With new leadership, the Arras Foundation sought to develop a new strategic direction based on community input and engagement. ACS helped the new CEO educate her board, develop a powerful yet manageable community outreach process, and forge a vibrant and inclusive new vision.

How we did it: ACS shared national best-practice examples and developed a community engagement plan and process. ACS trained board members to lead focus groups and community meetings, and developed a comprehensive communication plan to help the foundation be strategic and intentional in their community outreach. ACS synthesized information from community meetings, focus groups, and a survey, and explained the results to the foundation’s board. ACS has facilitated multiple strategy sessions to help the board and staff make tough decisions and zero in on a strategic vision. ACS guided the development of a weekly communication plan to help support the implementation of that vision. ACS continues to be a thought partner to help guide and facilitate the Foundation’s strategic decision-making.

Outcomes to date: The Foundation now has established a strategic direction for the next five years and increased its community engagement and community partnerships. Now, it can deliver more effectively on its three strategic pillars: to support and build a healthy community, help youth successfully transition to adulthood, and elevate philanthropy. ACS continues to help implement aspects of that plan, as well as increase staff capacity, and provide thought leadership and communication support to the foundation to ensure they stay focused on achieving their organizational goals.