Case Study: HLUW Strategic Plan 2021-2025

Challenge: Beginning in August 2021, Head of the Lakes United Way (HLUW) engaged Northspan to conduct a strategic planning process. The goals of the process were to clarify and/or identify the following:

  • Strategic directions for the next five years 
  • Accomplishments by which the strategic directions were achievable 
  • Mission, vision, and core values

Role: The strategic planning process began with collection of background information and a community informed survey with staff, board, and identified stakeholders. In preparation for the strategic planning sessions, Northspan conducted an economic trend analysis that provided an understanding of the HLUW service area and its residents.   

Four strategic planning workshops took place between August and September 2021. The strategic planning virtual workshops identified underlying contradictions and explored blocks preventing the organization from reaching its goals, then explored strategic directions to overcome those barriers. Participants assessed current realities for the organization and conducted a SWOT overview before establishing a timeline for priorities.  

Results: Over three 3-hour workshops and a follow up 1.5 hour workshop, HLUW defined their mission, vision statement, core values, and strategic directions:  

Mission: To strengthen our communities by uniting people and resources 

Vision: To improve the health, education, and financial stability for every person in every community we serve 

Core Values: Community-Led • Inclusive • Engaged • Sustainable • Transformative • Integrity 

Strategic Directions: 

  1. Implementing clear goals and expectations to strengthen and develop the organization 
  2. Actively building relationships to directly connect with individual donors 
  3. Developing a focus for community-led change 
  4. Developing clear, consistent messaging to create community understanding and engagement 

You can view HLUW’s full strategic plan plus background information and details on the strategic planning process here: Strategic Plan 2021-2025

Reference: President of Head of the Lakes United Way Matt Hunter,