Strategic Action Plan

Foundation for the Future

 Building a Vital and High Quality Bratenahl

through Community Engagement, Giving and Service

2011-2012 Strategic Plan Summary

October 3, 2011

 This document summarizes the Bratenahl Community Foundation’s (BCF’s) new strategic plan, which is called Foundation for the Future. This plan identifies how BCF will strengthen itself and its contributions to the Village of Bratenahl in the future through:

–        Community engagement

–        Charitable giving

–        Community service

 No community exists as an island. All exist in the context of history and geography. Bratenahl has a rich history with strong and interesting connections with Greater Cleveland over the past century and longer.

Bratenahl’s future will be closely linked to the future of the Greater Cleveland region. This strategic plan recognizes these past, present, and future connections.

 The Bratenahl Community Foundation Today

 Small volunteer-driven community service organization with a limited philanthropic role. Funded by memberships and sponsorship gifts.

  •  Primary roles: Small charitable contributions to a few local causes; publishes a bimonthly community publication (Lamplighter) and community information blog; sponsors community social events and community education programs; and provides a new resident welcoming service.
  •  With this plan, BCF hopes to formalize its operations and operate more strategically, without undermining the organization’s friendly and neighborly culture.
  •  BCF Moving Forward: Main Thrusts
  •  First Order: Strengthen BCF’s organizational strategy to serve Bratenahl through current major functions and work with others to create a community marketing campaign for Bratenahl. (2011-2012)


  • Second Order: Grow BCF in an appropriate and sustainable manner through increased partnerships and a sustained focus on the organization’s top community service priorities. (2011-Ongoing)


  • Third Order: Increase BCF’s involvement in its surrounding geographic area through selective engagement and support. (2013-Ongoing)


Future Guiding Principles


  • The organization’s first responsibility is to serve its members, funders, and the residents of Bratenahl through high quality services and strategic giving. However, this responsibility should be approached with an understanding and involvement in Bratenahl’s surrounding region.


  • In an overall sense, BCF should be viewed (and branded) as Bratenahl’s “community builder.”


  • BCF will operate in an open and accountable manner, and it will follow a servant leadership model in serving Bratenahl.


  • Future success in community building should be judged on the basis of quality, impact, and partnerships.


  • BCF should remain a volunteer-driven organization and grow in the future through “strategic doing” in partnership with key community and regional groups and organizations.




  • BCF will increase its capacity for “strategic doing” and “community-building” by:

–        Growing existing partnerships with community and external groups.

–        Create new partnerships with existing new partner organizations.

  • These partnerships in every case will reflect the community’s best interest, be approached in a collaborative and respectful way, and will be performance-based to ensure that measurable good is produced by these partnerships




  • BCF will take the following action steps to build its organizational brand:

–        Adopt a new organizational logo that is highly consistent with the BCF strategic plan. This logo will be used on all electronic and print communications.

–        Create a new physical mailing address (post office box).

–        Create an annual report for the 2012 year that describes BCF’s accomplishments and builds the organization’s brand. A summary would be included in the Lamplight and the Blog and the full report should be posted on the new BCF website for download purposes.




Community Education


  • BCF will sponsor and co-sponsor community education programs that are consistent with its strategic plan. These include:

–        Candidates Night: A plan and team for conducting it will be developed.

–        Annual Meeting: A plan and team for conducting it will be developed.

–        Surviving These Economic Times Community Education Series: This is a proposed education program that has three sessions, starting in December 2011 and concluding in the spring 2012: 1) real estate and property values; 2) jobs, careers and business survival; and 3) retirement and wealth formation. Each will provide appropriate and timely information to community residents about personal financial survival in these hard and challenging economic times. Programs would be sponsored jointly by BCF, Village Government, and the Bratenahl Sustainability Action Team (BSAT).

–        Any others?


Community Marketing


  • Board approval to move forward. November 2011.
  • Develop starting concept proposal for the initiative. November 2011.
  • Joint meeting of BCF, BSAT, Village Hall. December 2011. Gain agreement to move forward.
  • Work plan and organizational role identification. December 2011-January 2012.
  • Engage community, realtors, regional marketing groups, and other multiplier organizations. January 2012 meeting.
  • Develop the team and raise $10,000 for the initiative.
  • Launch campaign in spring 2012.