New Client: Starting Strategic Work with Children, Incorporated

This week, I begin work with another strategic planning client -- Richmond-based Children Incorporated, which serves the needs of children around the globe, and in our own backyard. The 45-year-old nonprofit is often described as a hidden gem in Richmond, because it flies so quietly beneath the local radar -- and because it is so often confused with ChildFund (formerly the Christian Children's Fund). Interestingly enough, Children Incorporated was founded by the daughter of the founders of ChildFund.

More than 17,000 children around the world benefit from CI's good work -- including children in South Richmond, New Orleans, Detroit, Appalachia and the American Southwest, where CI works with the Native American population in five states.

The first few phases of work with CI fall into the broad categories of Discovery and Design. In addition to a lot of meetings and interviews with the internal project team, the organization's Board and some of of their project managers around the globe, I'll work on the development of an online survey to get feedback from as broad a pool of stakeholders as possible. I'll also be guiding a small internal team as they do some benchmarking work, focusing on best practice organizations in the areas of children's services and global development practices.

We're simulatenously laying the groundwork for a small group of staff and Board members to take a serious look at the organization's vision, mission and core values.

Out of all of this activity -- slated to run through March -- we'll design the rest of the strategic process, including clear outcomes for the whole initiative.

It's exciting to be partnering with yet another Richmond-based organization that is committed to making a difference in the lives of others. I'll be sure to keep the blog and the newsletter community updated as we move forward on this project.