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Discover What Furniture Bank’s Future has in store

The Strategic Planning Journey Begins…

the FB leadership team recently began a strategic planning exercise led by Margot Smart and Robin Cory from Innoweave.  Innoweave’s mission is to provide community sector leaders with tools and processes to effect large-scale change.

the FB leadership team is wrestling with some key strategic questions:

  • What is our intended impact?
  • Should we grow beyond the GTA?
  • Should we offer additional services?

Major learning

we learned from Innoweave that the most common mistake nonprofit organizations make is a lack of focus.  All too often nonprofits are lured by the promise of funding to do things that are not core to their mission. Commonly referred as “mission drift” in the sector. The team agreed to avoid this common mistake and embark with Innoweave to achieve ‘Strategic Clarity’

Part one:

Part one was ‘the What’?  What is our intended impact?  Including what we hope to achieve, for what audience, and within what time period. After much discussion, the team landed on: By 2019, through the collection and delivery of furniture, Furniture Bank will provide comfort and dignity to 60,000 financially insecure persons who are emerging from displacement.  As an integral part of the furniture delivery operations, Furniture Bank will provide on-the-job training for life and work skills, in part with the Leg Up program, and ensure that persons who are facing barriers to full-time employment are well-positioned for employment.

Part two:

Part two was ‘the how’ What is our Theory of Change?  What changes are needed to achieve the intended impact, what programs or activities get us there, using which resources? About this time two very interesting things happened at Furniture Bank.

  1. Our planned showroom expansion into York Region fell through
  2. We were introduced to a sister organization in Mississauga FB that does things very differently using ECommerce to serve their furniture recipients

call it a bit of luck or our founder Sister’s Anne’s blessings but this provided our “ah-ha” moment.  “Perhaps we can serve additional recipients at a low cost using an Ecommerce approach similar to Mississauga?

That takes us to where we are now, the team is in the process of building out the 5 year plan including the Ecommerce approach and some pretty exciting partnership opportunities.  We are happy to share our Intended Impact Statement and Theory of Change so that everyone can get behind our vision and help us reach those individuals and families in need!