Literacy Council and RSVP form planning dream team
When Eileen Hallstrom became executive director of the Literacy Council of Norristown last June, change was in the air.
“We were starting to come out of the pandemic,” she said. “Our board had new members. As we looked at our prior strategic plan, we realized we needed to refresh it.”
The Council serves some 300 adults each year in the greater Norristown area of
Montgomery County. About 200 are learning English as a second language (ESL). Others are receiving basic education in reading, writing and math.
Hallstrom and other senior leaders wanted to expand into family literacy, providing programs for parents while their children receive reading support. But how would they get there?
A strategic plan “is a roadmap of where you want your organization to go,” said RSVP board chairman Ron Gawel.
RSVP, which connects Philadelphia-area volunteers to community service opportunities, has helped dozens of area nonprofits through its Volunteer Executive Consultants (VEC). The group has 26 active projects focused on strategic planning, board development, fundraising, management, marketing and communications.
“VEC came highly recommended,” Hallstrom said.
In her previous jobs, most recently as Youth Job
Center’s director of strategic initiatives, Hallstrom had worked on several strategic plans.
“To get outside help to create a plan can cost $30,000 to $50,000,” she said. “And what you come up with in the end might not drive your organization forward.”
VEC’s services are free to nonprofits.
After Hallstrom con
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