For 35 years, cycling events, rural economic development, and grants were the mainstay for Cycle Oregon, but they wanted a way to broaden their community impact which led them to establish a 501c3 Foundation in 2023. The Foundation’s goal is to build stronger, safer, healthier, and more vibrant communities for those who live and visit there, enabled by cycling. The focus is statewide, but they spend the majority of their time working in rural communities. Cycle Oregon reached out to Pepper Foster to help develop their first strategic plan for the Foundation, define success metrics, and narrow their focus to minimize resource impacts on the broader organization.
Pepper Foster led the Foundation’s executive team in a series of workshops where they collaborated to define their vision, identify strategies to achieve the vision, and develop a plan to measure success. Pepper Foster’s work included:
1. Brainstorming - Facilitated meetings with stakeholders to gain consensus on the organization’s vision for the future and what challenges they were facing.
2. Identifying Strategies - Distilled themes from the initial brainstorming session to inform organizational strategies which were used as alignment tools to build short, medium, and long term goals.
3. Execution – Made priority recommendations for the Foundation based on the identified strategies.
4. Tracking progress: Introduced a flexible project management tool for the Foundation to use and measure progress toward their goals.
Through the workshops the Foundation established four strategic objectives with activities designed to achieve them. These activities were identified, prioritized, and broken into manageable pieces which Pepper Foster assembled on a timeline with milestones in a project planning tool so the nonprofit could easily track and manage their progress.
A month after implementation, the nonprofit was successfully using the project management tool to execute their objectives. By the start of 2024, the Board of Directors took ownership of the strategy and created working groups to refine and make progress on the objectives, particularly around donors, sponsors, and the sustainable organization.
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