Strategic Plan

After many months of diligent work on a new strategic plan, the Board of Directors is pleased to share the following announcement with you. We look forward to sharing updates with the membership over the next two years and welcome your thoughts!

2019-20 Strategic Plan: Advancing Mission – Building Sustainability

Following a six-month review of the opportunities and challenges facing the Wood River Women’s Foundation, the Board of Directors recently approved a two-year strategic plan. The purpose of this planning effort was to identify and set high-level, achievable goals that address the WRWF’s near-term organizational priorities. The process was informed by the full WRWF community with input from surveys conducted with membership and local non-profits, along with engagement by the Board and the President’s Council.
The resulting two-part plan, Advancing Mission – Building Sustainability, fully supports our mission of a strong, sustainable and impactful collective giving culture while establishing a framework to ensure future operational and philanthropic success.


Co-chaired by Terri Bullock, Vice-Chair of the Board, and Gail Landis, Governance Committee Chair, the Strategic Planning Task Force collaborated throughout summer, autumn and early winter under the guidance of a professional management consultant. Throughout the process, the committee worked through a series of input mechanisms and information processes including research on best practices for non-profits, similar work by our sister collective giving organizations and numerous good governance materials.
The planning research showed strong support for our mission and wide participation of our members. This is a wonderful reflection of the dedication and commitment of women in our community to engage in philanthropic work for the benefit of all. The rapid expansion in membership is exciting and, inherently, brings with it a clear need for organizational structure – the building blocks – that will enable us, as volunteers, to consistently deliver on our philanthropic promise.

Two Strategic Initiatives

To achieve the goal of continuing to fulfill and sustain our mission, the plan consists of the two initiatives:

1. Leadership Development – Design and implement the Wood River Women’s Foundation Leadership Development Program to foster the identification, recruitment and experiential preparation of rising leaders across the organization.

· The WRWF rate of growth calls for an expanding circle of qualified leaders across the organization. These leaders must be drawn from the growing membership, identified, recruited and familiarized with the WRWF Standards of Governance and Operations.

2. Standards of Governance & Operation – Establish and employ the Wood River Women’s Foundation Standards of Governance & Operation to ensure effective operations and sound governance within a volunteer community of mutual support, accountability and transparency.

· As the WRWF continues to grow in membership, scope of interest and size of grant resources, it is imperative that the WRWF ensure consistency of performance year to year, thus ensuring the organization’s ability to fulfill and sustain mission. WRWF Standards of Governance & Operation must be developed to guide the board in its fiduciary, strategic and generative roles, while also fostering operational effectiveness, communication and accountability at all organizational levels.
The work of delivering results will take place over the next two years and will involve all WRWF committees. This plan is intentionally focused on designing and implementing the building blocks that will support our ability to deliver on our mission well into our future. These are critical scaffolding components for an organization that is reliant on volunteers to carry it forward.

Strategic Planning Task Force. Many thanks to the following volunteer members who participated in the Task Force:

Co-Chairs Terri Bullock and Gail Landis
Kathleen Eder
Peggy Grove, WRWF President
Lynne Heidel
Marcia Liebich

Participants in strategic planning board retreat. WRWF Board and President’s Council Members:

Terri Bullock, WRWF Vice President
Jan DeBard
Sandra Flattery
Margery Friedlander
Peggy Grove, WRWF President
Gail Landis
Terri LeFaivre
Marcia Liebich
Sandy McCullough
Sylvia Miller
Louisa Moats
Barbara Thrasher
Kat Vanden Heuvel
Gina Wolcott
Patti Zebrowski

Highlights from the member survey

Last fall, all members were invited to participate in a survey in order to gain a clear and current picture of our membership. The number of responses was terrific – thanks to each of you who took the time to complete the online survey! Here are some key takeaways:

We are growing: 66% have been members for five years or less

We are seasoned: 81% of members are age 60 or older

Full-Time/Part-Time: 67% are full-time residents, 33% are part-time

Members are active: 55% consider themselves active, only 20% say they are not active

Members made abundantly clear that they are both informed and focused on the WRWF mission with 99% stating they understand our mission, 97% believing the mission is being fulfilled, and 97% feeling informed on programs. These numbers are about as close to 100% as surveys get, a true confirmation that WRWF members are fully committed and engaged in contributing to the community through the mission of the Foundation.

Stay tuned for progress reports!

The work of delivering on the strategic plan will be ongoing through 2020 and progress will be shared with the full membership.

Thank you!
March 2019


Recent Updates:

July News Brief

Advancing Mission, Building Sustainability: Strategic Plan Update

Our incoming Board Chair, Terri Bullock, recently shared an analogy that came to mind while she was visiting family on the Washington Coast.

“Let’s say I decided to build a beach house, and constructed it on the sand rather than on pillars or a foundation. Since the main purpose of a foundation is to hold the house upright for years so that it can weather a variety of conditions, my house would never be sustainable if it were built on sand.

By analogy, the WRWF is our house, and its strength and longevity rests on the pillars of its foundation. This is the important Building Sustainability piece of our Strategic Plan. We rely on this organizational structure to establish and implement policies, collect and document the knowledge of our founders who have worked tirelessly to grow our organization, ensure our financial health, develop disciplined and focused board leadership, and create a culture of continuous learning. Strengthening the ‘foundation of our foundation’ will assure our mission is sustainable for years to come.”

June News Brief

Advancing Mission – Building Sustainability
Strategic Plan Progress Update: Sub-committee volunteers ready for action
Last month, the sub-committee team leaders were announced. Over the past few weeks they organized their respective teams and are now ready to dive into their work. Here are the three teams – a huge “Thank you!” to each and every one for volunteering to roll up her sleeves!

Initiative #1: Leadership Development, led by Kat Vanden Heuvel

Esther Ochsman
Gayle Stevenson
Kit Wright

Initiative #2: Governance Standards, led by Gail Landis

Jane Conard
Kathy Edwards
Kimberly Ellwanger
Kathryn Hulbert
Christine Kraatz
LeeAnne Linderman

Initiative #3: Operational Standards, led by Carrie Morrow

Pam Colesworthy
Maija Eerkes
Sandra Flattery
Jana Foushee
Susan Larson
Lisa Leach
Lynne Mackenzie
Lauren Wagner

Updates on the Strategic Plan work will be shared monthly through the News Brief and periodically via email. Please reach out to the Steering Committee if you have any questions.

May News Brief

Advancing Mission – Building Sustainability
Strategic Plan Update – Sub-committee Chairs Named
Last month, the Steering Committee was announced; this month, leaders for the sub-committees that are tasked with addressing the three initiatives have been named and they are now at work putting their teams together.

Initiative #1: Leadership Development
Kat Vanden Heuvel will lead the design of a program to identify, recruit and prepare new leaders from within our membership to meet the increasing demand for WRWF-qualified leaders.

Initiative #2: Governance Standards
Gail Landis, current Chair of the WRWF Governance Committee, will lead the team tasked with establishing a set of standards to ensure sound governance within a volunteer community. This will provide guidance to the board in its fiduciary, strategic and generative roles.

Initiative #3: Operational Standards
To ensure operational consistency and accountability, Carrie Morrow will take the lead in creating a WRWF “operations manual” – a necessary detail in a volunteer-driven organization.

“Carrie, Kat and Gail deserve a big round of appreciation for their willingness to step up to a heavy lift on behalf of our Foundation,” Steering Committee Chair Terri Bullock said. “This work may not be flashy, but ensuring that we have a solid organizational structure in place is critical to the longevity of our mission and future effectiveness.”

Updates on the Strategic Plan work will be shared monthly through the News Brief and periodically via email. Please reach out to the Steering Committee if you have any questions.


April News Brief

Strategic Plan Steering Committee Named

Steering Committee members at work: Gina Wolcott, Kathleen Eder, Terri Bullock, Sandy McCullough (on the phone in front of Terri!)

After the hard work of creating and adopting a strategic plan, many non-profits report that, while their plans look good on their shelf, they tend to become dust collectors. To ensure the WRWF’s new two-year Advancing Mission- Building Sustainability plan doesn’t fall to that dusty fate, a new Steering Committee has been named. This group is tasked with creating sub-committees around each of the initiatives in the plan and supporting the work of those working groups in achieving the goals and timelines outlined.

“We look forward to working over the next two years to create the scaffolding necessary to support this growing organization and continue delivering on our mission,” Steering Committee Chair Terri Bullock said. “Simply put, these are the building blocks that will allow us to think more broadly about WRWF’s vision going forward.”

The Steering Committee consists of board members: Terri Bullock, Vice-President of the Board and committee chair; Kathleen Eder, Co-chair of Membership; Gina Wolcott, Chair of Grants; and Sandy McCullough, Chair of Communications.

Updates on the Strategic Plan work will be shared monthly through the News Brief and periodically via email. Please reach out to the Steering Committee if you have any questions.

February News Brief

The WRWF Board Strategic Planning Session Update:

In January, we announced that our Board of Directors and Presidents’ Council came together to develop a two-year Strategic Plan (see January News Brief). At that time, a critical next step was to present this Plan to the Board for formal approval. It is with great pleasure that we inform you, our membership, that our Board of Directors unanimously voted to approve the 2019-2020 Strategic Plan and will now focus on crystalizing the actions necessary to implement the Plan.
We fully understand and appreciate your eagerness to hear what the future holds and will be working hard to ensure that information is shared across the membership with full transparency. Please continue to follow the progress as we continue building this amazing organization while advancing our Mission and ensuring our long-term sustainability. And thank you again for providing your input to this process via the member survey that was conducted last fall. Stay tuned!

Teri Bullock-WRWF VP


January News Brief

Leaning Forward: The WRWF Board’s Strategic Planning Session

You may remember news and information about the WRWF Strategic Planning Process, which began in May 2018, with a Task Force co-chaired by Terri Bullock, WRWF VP and Gail Landis, Governance Committee Chair. Much has been gathered, reviewed, discussed and assimilated since the start of this process. It has been a long and productive journey, and we are pleased to share that our Board of Directors, along with our Presidents’ Council, completed its full day of strategic planning on January 8, facilitated by David Alexander of Alexander Resource Strategies.

During this session, the team reviewed the feedback from both the member and the nonprofit surveys, as well as feedback gathered from small focus sessions, to get a sense of what matters most to those we serve. Once the team was level set, sleeves were rolled up to draft a working plan of initiatives and actions that will be designed and implemented over the next two years. The team wanted to be realistic in their recommendations and what could be achieved, so the term “Thinking 10 Years, Planning 2 Years’, was coined very early on in this process. Given that our Board is made up of volunteers who already commit so much of their time to chairing committees and working on Task Forces, the initiatives needed to be realistic.

The day concluded with two key multi-phased operational initiatives that speak to our Strategic Planning theme of Advancing Mission – Building Sustainability. These two initiatives – WRWF Leadership Development Program and WRWF Standards of Governance and Operations, will help us continue to do the good work around our Mission while building an operational foundation that will support our rapid growth and ensure our sustainability for years to come.
Our anticipated next steps will be to present the strategic plan to the Board for final adoption and to develop a communications plan that will be shared with our membership and our community. Stay tuned as our plan takes shape!

-Terri Bullock, Vice President, WRWF
-Gail Landis, Governance Chair


November News Brief

Preparing the Board for Strategic Planning:

Good governance practices for non-profit organizations include systematic attention to Strategic Planning, particularly during times of growth. With our exciting increase in membership numbers and a greater opportunity for creating impacts in our community, the WRWF Board stepped up to this ‘best practices’ model and has engaged in a new Strategic Planning process.

To begin the process, the board’s first action was to survey the entire WRWF membership and Blaine County Nonprofits, asking for input on how we can improve our already thriving and successful foundation. The response rates were terrific and your feedback was strikingly optimistic. A clear theme that was apparent in both survey responses was that we do important work in the community and, as relationships grow within the WRWF, the overall member and nonprofit experience becomes more rewarding and valuable.

The next step is for the board to come together for a full day session focused on strategic planning in early January. The goal is to ‘Think 10 Years Ahead’ and ‘Plan for 2 Years.’ The outcome of this session will be the identification of 3-5 key initiatives with executable goals and actions that will help us manage our growth and engage with our members, Blaine County Nonprofits, and the community at large. Your survey comments and recommendations will inform the board’s thinking as it works to identify and prioritize the key initiatives and develop a 2-year plan that not only focuses on strengthening our internal processes, but also continues to build our culture of collective giving and community as a whole.

We look forward to sharing more about the planning work with you in the first quarter 2019 and to further engaging with our membership as we move forward. And another huge thank you for participating in the survey – the time you took to respond will make a meaningful difference in this process.

-Terri Bullock, Social Media Chair and Vice President


October News Brief

  • The Board is planning a full day Strategic Planning Session in early January. Thanks to all who responded to our opinion survey. Results of the survey will be sent out soon. These results will help us decide what topics we need to work on during our Strategic Planning Session.


September News Brief

  • The Strategic Planning Committee has developed a Member Survey that has already been sent to us by email. The input gained from members will facilitate the board’s Strategic Planning Session, scheduled for January. Strategic planning for our foundation allows us to think forward and envision what we want our organization to be in the years to come. If you have not already done so, click here to respond!


August News Brief

  • The Strategic Planning Committee has developed a Member Survey that will be appearing in our e-mail boxes by the end of August. Input from members will inform the board’s Strategic Planning Session this winter. Strategic planning for our foundation allows us to envision what we want our organization to be in the years to come. Please take a few minutes to respond – your input is key. Thank you in advance for your participation in this important survey!