In early 2013 the Rock of Faith Community Development Corporation (ROFCDC) embarked upon a strategic planning process with the goal of developing a plan for guiding its future community development efforts to assist the Near East Side community located in Columbus, Ohio. Rock of Faith Community Development Corporation funded the strategic planning process as part of an organizational development capacity-building initiative launched in the spring of 2014.
As part of its strategic planning process, ROFCDC reviewed its mission statement, developed a new vision for its work, critically assessed its organizational strengths and weaknesses and made decisions about its future growth and strategic direction. The process resulted in this strategic plan, which represents the organizational and programmatic framework for ROFCDC’s growth over the next five years.
ROFCDC’s strategic plan looms particularly important because of the ever-changing development and neighborhood revitalization context of Columbus. As one of the fastest growing cities in the country, Columbus has begun to grapple with how to best integrate community economic development and the issues of the population into a broader community building strategy that includes faith-based initiatives, non-profit organizations, corporations, private developers and organized philanthropy. While development is not new to the City of Columbus, building a community that supports the ever-growing urban population is! Public and private sector leaders are now facing significant challenges and opportunities in building an infrastructure that supports community economic and human capital development.
In meeting these challenges and opportunities, ROFCDC has developed a series of strategies to help leverage public and private sector investment in the Near East Side corridor. Accordingly, ROFCDC’s aim is to become a catalyst for the constructive redevelopment of the growing Columbus urban community through the development and implementation of neighborhood safety, public education, community outreach and coalition-building activities.
Within this strategic plan, the ROFCDC’s Board and staff have developed three-year work plans which include specific goals, objectives, and timetables. Many of these goals and objectives build on the organization’s work in community revitalization as well as complement the strategies outlined in the City of Columbus’ Strategic Plan.
ROFCDC recognizes that it will have to constantly evaluate how well it adjusts to the rapid pace of change in the community vis a vis its strategies, goals and objectives. Agility and flexibility will be key to the organization’s success as it begins to implement its work plan during a time of major transition and change.
The ROFCDC Board and staff outlined the following programmatic and organizational areas for its future community development work.
Engage in broad-based neighborhood revitalization and community reinvestment initiatives focusing on the Near East Side/South of Main to build coalitions and collaborations supporting the development of human and social capital to leverage public and private sector community reinvestment.
Build organizational capacity and strengthen administrative operations. Strengthen board governance and leadership. Enhance image and visibility across multiple sectors of the community. Build a network of civic, corporate and philanthropic advocates to support ROFCDC’s organizational growth and programmatic activities.
ROFCDC will evaluate its performance through qualitative and quantitative measurements based on the plan’s goals and objectives. The organization’s strategic planning committee will be responsible for monitoring progress based on performance and developing contingency plans when deemed appropriate, especially during the early stages of implementation. In this way, both ROFCDC management and staff will focus on key implementation issues and make the necessary adjustments to overcome hurdles and mitigate risk to insure that all maintain focus.
Within the plan, there are strategies and timelines for developing and implementing resource development activities designed to help build a core base of public and private support for the implementation of ROFCDC’s strategic plan. Accordingly, the ROFCDC’s leadership and staff will develop a three-year organizational budget and set specific fundraising goals that are directly led to the implementation of this strategic plan.