With the dawning of a new year, there is always much reflection on past successes and the multitude of ways in which the League helped communities across the country in 2014. This also is the time when Leagues begin to plan for the future and think about the ways in which they can continue to build on the successes of past years in 2015 and beyond. The LWV of Ohio has taken the challenge of planning for the future head on with their 2013-2018 Strategic Plan. LWVUS asked LWV of Ohio President, Nancy Brown to share some insights on how the Ohio League’s strategic plan was developed and what it will mean for their future.

To ensure that their long-term strategic plan would be manageable and useful for all League members, the Ohio team worked long and hard on the research that went into forming it. “We spent a good year working on the plan with a wonderful volunteer, Frank Kunstel,” Nancy explained.  “Frank conducted an extensive survey of League members, community members, the legislature, etc. to get a sense of how the League is regarded and its strengths and weaknesses.”

The LWV of Ohio Board started by discussing their mission, vision, and core values and the ways in which the work they are doing now could be improved with an eye toward the future. They spent time discussing both the positives and the negatives.  Ultimately, they arrived at seven goals with specific objectives to bet met by 2018. The goals they set for themselves cover a variety of programmatic and organizational issues, including increasing membership by 50 percent and increasing diversity in the organization, expanding capacity to effectively advocate and lobby, and creating an effective internal and external communication system. All of these are lofty goals but with a concrete, well-researched plan in place, they are well within reach.

The best part is it is already working! “We are now in our second year of operation with the plan.  Various committees of board members take responsibility for different goals,” Nancy told us. Splitting up tasks into manageable chunks to avoid overwhelming any one person or committee helps keep everyone positive and motivated to continue working towards these common goals.  “At our next board meeting, these committees will review progress, propose any changes which should be made to the objectives, all of which will be discussed during the Board meeting.”

Even in the earliest stages of implementation, the results are clear for the LWV of Ohio. The League is conscious of the goals that have been set and they are continuously weaving them into the work that they do in a meaningful way. “It has been an excellent tool to keep us focused,” Nancy concluded. You can read more about LWV of Ohio’s Strategic Plan here.