Strategic Plan



The Exploited Children’s Help Organization (ECHO) embarked on strategic planning efforts in the spring of 2013.   It was the first dedicated planning for the organization since 2005.  The purpose of the planning was to bring together the voices of the organization’s leaders and to build consensus around a mission and goals for the next five years for ECHO.

The strategic planning group consisted of ECHO’s board of directors and staff (Appendix I).  The group met in March 2013 to begin the process by defining ECHO’s core values, vision for the future, and mission.  In April, a special strategic planning session was convened and the group developed strategic areas of focus for the plan.  During May and June, members met by committees to create goals and objectives for all six of the areas of focus. A draft of the strategic plan was distributed to ECHO’s board of directors and staff in July for comments and feedback.  The plan was unveiled to the public in September 2013.

This document sets out ECHO’s values and mission, as well as goals and objectives resulting from strategic planning.  The strategic planning roadmap and notes on the assessment of the internal and external environments are attached as appendices.



ECHO is a volunteer-based organization dedicated to preventing and reducing the incidence and impact of child abuse by providing education, advocacy and support services to the children and families of Metro Louisville and surrounding areas


Through our guiding values, ECHO creates a network of hope for children and families:

Through education, we create awareness.  With compassion we provide support.  Through advocacy we empower the voices of children and seek to create a stronger and safer community.



The use of success measures is necessary to ensure that ECHO is continually moving toward achieving its mission and goals.  It is important to check progress against these measures so that ECHO’s growth and development stay on track.  Overall success for ECHO will include the following indicators:

  • Financial viability of ECHO
  • Consistent presence in Kentucky communities through awareness and expanded programming
  • More and deeper connections with community partnerships
  • Leadership development for ECHO volunteers, staff and board members
  • A strong and energized volunteer base
  • Consistent meetings for ECHO’s leadership to ensure the mission is continually pursued

Strategic Focus 1:

Public Awareness


Goal 1:  Create an informed marketing plan

  •  Objective 1.1:  Define and develop key messages for top ten primary audiences by September 2014
  • Objective 1.2:  Strengthen ECHO’s brand identity
  • Objective 1.3:  Establish ECHO as a reputable resource on child abuse


 Strategic Focus 2:

Financial Stability


Goal 1:  Create a development infrastructure

  •  Objective 1.1:  Establish a development database by December 2013
  •  Objective 1.2:  Establish a part-time development director within three years
  •  Objective 1.3:  Develop board giving expectations
  •  Objective 1.4:  Establish a planned giving society


Goal 2:  Diversify ECHO’s revenue streams

  •  Objective 2.1:  Increase foundation giving to 10% of annual budget
  • Objective 2.2:  Increase individual donations to 20% of annual budget
  •  Objective 2.3:  Increase corporate donations to 30% of annual budget
  •  Objective 2.4 Decrease government funding to 40% of annual budget
  •  Objective 2.5:  Explore additional revenue streams


Goal 3:  Increase revenue from fundraising events

  •  Objective 3.1:  Increase revenue from wine tasting to $50,000 within five years
  •  Objective 3.2:  Increase revenue from profit sharing events


Goal 4:  Establish a successful annual giving campaign

  •  Objective 4.1:  Secure 50 donors at the $1000 level annually
  •  Objective 4.2:  Secure 100 donors at the $500 level annually
  •  Objective 4.3:  Secure 100 donors at the $250 level annually
  •  Objective 4.4:  Secure 250 donors at the $100 level annually
  •  Objective 4.5:  Secure 500 donors at the $50 level annually


Strategic Focus 3:

Quality Program Development and Expansion


Goal 1:  Develop strong and effective programming to meet community needs

  •  Objective 1.1: Conduct a community needs assessment
  •  Objective 1.2:  Audit and review current programming
  •  Objective 1.3:  Develop ongoing assessment procedures for programming
  •  Objective 1.4:  Revise program materials for age and cultural appropriateness by fall 2015
  •  Objective 1.5:  Create and cultivate relationships with more entities in our service area
  • Objective 1.6:  Increase access to ECHO’s programs across the community


Strategic Focus 4:

Volunteer and Community Engagement


Goal 1:  Develop and strengthen community partnerships

  •  Objective 1.1:  Establish and maintain an advisory committee to the Executive Director by end of FY 2014
  •  Objective 1.2:  Identify and partner with more faith-based institutions
  •  Objective 1.3:  Identify and partner with more public kid-friendly events
  •  Objective 1.4:  Identify and partner with more family focused organizations
  •  Objective 1.5:  Identify and partner with more adult spaces

Goal 2:  Expand ECHO’s volunteer program

  •  Objective 2.1:  Identify and cultivate relationships with primary communities


Goal 3:  Provide broad and consistent support for volunteers

  • Objective 3.1:  Develop and implement a plan for managing volunteers

Goal 4:  Garner broad and consistent support for intern/practicum students

  • Objective 4.1:  Develop and implement a plan for managing intern/practicum students


Strategic Focus 5:

Board and Committee Development


Goal 1:  Enhance ECHO’s passionate and productive board

  •  Objective 1.1:  Assess and expand current membership for professional and community inclusion

Goal 2:  Increase board capacity for organizational leadership

  •  Objective 2.1:  Create and implement a training series for board members to accomplish aims of ECHO’s strategic plan by spring 2015


 Goal 3:  Enhance ECHO’s passionate and productive committee members

  •  Objective 3.1:  Assess and expand current membership for professional and community inclusion


 Goal 4:  Increase committee capacity for organizational performance

  •  Objective 4.1:  Create and implement a training series for committee members to accomplish aims of ECHO’s strategic plan


Strategic Focus 6:

Administrative Development


Goal 1:  Ensure operational procedures meet best practice standards

  •  Objective 1.1:  Review, revise and update policies and procedures



With the intention of creating lasting and positive change, ECHO’s strategic planning group focused on how to implement this strategic plan over the next five years.


  • Understand and agree that the strategic plan is a living document
  • Communicate the strategic plan to community partners and key audiences
  • Make copies of the strategic plan available on ECHO’s website and in print
  • Create a work plan of activities for implementation of the plan
  • Recognize that the ECHO Board of Directors is responsible for strategic management
  • Conduct strategic reviews of the plan on a quarterly basis



Strategic Planning Group


Board Members

Amanda Main, Chairperson

Sandy Bowen, Vice-Chair

Andrea Brady, Secretary

Mark Brown, Treasurer

Dr. Cherie Dawson-Edwards

Lt. Tom Dreher

Clifton Dukes

Linda Engel

Elizabeth Fitzgerald

Quinn Hart

Alina Klimkina

Dylan Owens

Hon. Tom Wine


Immediate Past Board Members (participated through May 2013)

Laura Grubbs

Keith Hardison


Staff Members

Kendell Nash, Executive Director

Theresa Boyd, Outreach Specialist

Kelsie Smithson, Victim Services and Development Assistant



Tisha Pletcher, Renewall Coaching Inc.



ECHO Strategic Planning Roadmap


Phase I

January – March

  • Board meeting to review vision, mission statement and values (March 27)



Phase II


  • Planning session with facilitator and ED (April 1)
  • Drafts of mission statement and values by committee members (due April 5)
  • Collection of community and agency data for informal scan (April 1-12)
  • Staff meeting with facilitator to review data collection and draft SWOT analysis (April 12)
  • SWOT Analysis survey to board (April 15)
  • Approval of mission statement and values, review of SWOT analysis and development of key strategic issues and goals (April 24)



  • Staff meetings with facilitator to draft strategies for key goals (May 6 & 28)
  • Committee meetings with board members to get additional input on strategies
  • Board meeting (May 22)



  • Staff meetings with facilitator to enhance strategies for key goals and discuss work plan (June 10)
  • Report of strategic goals/objectives and final approval of mission statement and values (Board meeting June 26)
  • Committee meetings (Communications June 13 & Executive June 28)



Phase III


  • Staff meeting with facilitator to finish draft of work plan (July 3)
  • Draft of plan distributed for review (July 8)
  • Revisions of draft by board members and staff (due July 15)
  • Committee meeting to create communication plan for Taste event
  • Approval of final draft of strategic plan and distribution of work plan for the launch of strategic plan (July 31)



  • Committee work on Tasting event and communication plan
  • Distribution of work plan for FYE 2014 (August 28)



  • Tasting event and official launch of strategic plan (September 12)


ECHO Assessment of Internal and External Environments*



  • Founding member/network with other missing exploited organizations
  • Staff is passionate, energetic and dedicated*********
  • Board is well intentioned and works hard****
  • Strong relationships with funders**
  • Solid, long standing volunteers and board members
  • Members/staff get importance of community organizing
  • Long history of doing good work****
  • Fill a gap in the community***
  • Diversity of knowledge within the organization
  • Volunteer based
  • Commitment to goals
  • Great programs
  • Well connected network
  • Advocacy for abuse victims and families
  • Solid community partnership with law enforcement officials and others and still more in development
  • New marketing ideas
  • Public education and awareness
  • Good pipeline for grants
  • Subject matter area is generally accepted as relevant
  • Creating and strengthening partnerships*
  • Great reputation with people who know about organization*
  • Growing diverse board and staff


  • Not consistent deep bench of volunteers
  • Strained relationships with community organizations
  • Services/programs are not comprehensive
  • Capacity development
  • Lack of diversity in board, volunteers
  • Training for staff/organizational introduction
  • Majority of board is new to organization
  • Grant dependent**
  • Not enough people know about the organization****
  • Staff are all relatively new to the organization*
  • Lack of private donors****
  • Maintaining adequate number of volunteers
  • Philanthropic dollars spread between many organizations
  • Operating on a deficit budget in the past
  • ECHO could benefit from larger, more diverse board—which we are working on
  • Loose hierarchy regarding governance, decisions
  • Lack of funding**
  • Relatively small board with limited corporate involvement*
  • Like most nonprofits, few resources and a lot of work to do*
  • Too reliant on federal funding
  • Size of board and committees*
  • Not holding people accountable
  • No routine large donors
  • No clear and uniform vision for the future
  • Historically, low use of technology
  • We don’t have a really nice “home space” where we can provide services



  • Tap into national resources
  • Reach out to people in diverse communities, etc.
  • Grants
  • Cultivate volunteers (talk to those who do it well)***
  • Strengthen relationships with community partnerships/organizations********
  • Social marketing
  • Outreach
  • Capacity building in skills/knowledge
  • Info graphic
  • Advocacy/policy work social justice framework
  • Strong need for prevention services regarding sexual abuse
  • Incidences of abuse, neglect and exploitation of youth—heightened awareness
  • Board member turnover*
  • High visibility created by Kosair Collaboration
  • Work through schools to reach more families
  • Leveraging our new staff**
  • Stronger brand identity and recognition of who we are, what we do and what makes us special***
  • Unique prevention services for children
  • Potential corporate and organizational partnerships
  • Ability to educate children about abuse prevention*
  • Expansion of donor base to ensure ongoing long-term funding*
  • Not many others doing what we do
  • Update internal documents and materials
  • Thought leadership—positioning ECHO leadership as an expert among all target audiences
  • Opportunity to relocate, gain more visibility
  • Possible merging opportunities with other organizations
  • Board/committee growth*
  • New perspectives from this planning session
  • Integrity (no scandal or negative publicity)
  • Updating our resources and ability to promote them



  • Services/programs not deep enough so might not engage us anymore
  • Labeled as volunteer organization but not actually
  • Lack of community conversation about issue
  • Disbanding of AMECO, loss of national sources*
  • Shrinking federal/grant dollars***
  • Lack of name recognition*
  • Larger organizations that people think do the same thing
  • Other organizations faltering and ECHO filling the gaps
  • Lack of resources (both human capital and monetary resources)
  • Weak economy*
  • Lack of funding****
  • Low volunteer retention*
  • Board members contacts’ being tapped out financially
  • Spread too thin over large geographical area*
  • Board retention*
  • Not expanding board membership
  • Lucy’s contacts leaving organization
  • Nature of work (hard to brag, demonstrate results)
  • Staff retention
  • Not creating/strengthening partnerships*
  • Bad press for some Kentucky nonprofits




* denotes answer that was repeated, one asterisk per person

bold print is chosen for top issue for the category

underline is tie for top issue for the category



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