Family Giving Tree, founded in 1990, began with a vision to provide holiday wishes to children in the Bay Area. During the Holiday Wish Drive that first year, over 500 children received gifts. Fast forward 30 years, and Family Giving Tree distributed 73,000+ holiday wishes in the middle of a pandemic and ensured 23,000 students in the Bay Area had new backpacks and school supplies to start the school year.
In 2021, Family Giving Tree launched the Student Restock Program, a spring distribution of school supplies to students finishing their school year. Thanks to the generous support of donors and volunteers over three decades, the organization anticipates serving its 2-millionth recipient during the 2021 Holiday Wish Drive.
In the past few years, Family Giving Tree has shifted to year-round programming, anticipating the organization's —and the community it serves — future needs. In order to be prepared for that future, in the fall of 2020, Family Giving Tree applied for and received a grant from The David and Lucile Packard Foundation to fund a strategic planning process. Christine Jeffers from Elevating Good led the FGT staff and board in this process, including revising the organization's mission, vision, and values and creating this Strategic Plan.
Vision, Mission, Core Values
We envision a world where giving brings joy, offers hope, and creates learning possibilities.
Connecting those who can give to those in need with educational support, gifts, and volunteerism.
Community – We foster an inclusive culture of volunteerism and philanthropy with people of all ages and backgrounds. We strive to inspire people to “pay it forward” by uplifting others in our community.
Kindness – We demonstrate genuine empathy and compassion in all that we do. We are advocates for treating people with respect and consideration. We make giving back a joyful experience.
Empowerment – We recognize that we don’t all start from the same place in the world. Through community alliances, we provide those we serve with gifts and tools to give them the equitable opportunity to dream and grow.
Adaptability – We collaborate creatively to adapt and provide relevant resources to meet community needs. Family Giving Tree tests new ideas and explores innovative ways of delivering value to our community.
Accountability – We take initiative to meet our commitments to each other and to our volunteers, agencies, donors, and community. We are responsible stewards of the gifts we receive on behalf of those we serve.
To achieve our vision and address the needs in the community the following strategic priorities will define our direction over the next three years:
- Our Future: A permanent, year-round space to maximize operations and enhance the volunteer experience.
- Our Supporters: Deepen Our Relationships to encourage broader support and engagement from the community.
- Our Team: Build Capacity for Staff and Volunteers to support current, future and ongoing programs.
- Our Stories: Develop clear ways to Measure, Evaluate, and Communicate the impact of our work.
Goals & Outcomes
Priority 1: Our Future: A permanent, year-round space to maximize operations and enhance the volunteer experience.
1. Find a permanent warehouse.
2. Employ our financial resources to effectively support strategic initiatives.
3. Consider investing reserves.
We will begin the process of a capital campaign for a permanent warehouse. In addition, we will identify and secure funding for all strategic initiatives within 18-24 months.
Priority 2: Deepen Our Relationships with our Supporters
1. Increase Donor, Volunteer ,and Corporate partner engagement.
2. Focus partnerships with volunteers and diversify those partnerships.
The continued support of our donors, volunteers, and corporate partners will be critical to a successful capital campaign. We will identify ways to increase donor retention and steward new donors. We will create new partnerships with corporations that align with our mission and values. We will also forge relationships with new volunteer groups, and create more family-friendly volunteer opportunities.
Priority 3: Our Team: Build Capacity for Staff and Volunteers to support Current, Future and Ogoing Programs
1, Assess and align organizational structure to support the implementation of the strategic plan.
2. Expand our commitment to professional growth, retention, satisfaction, diversity,y and inclusion.
3. Cultivate leadership to build a pipeline for succession planning for staff.
4. Identify partnerships with agencies and companies who can magnify our mission and maximize services to our constituents.
5. Continue working with Elevating Good and other consulting agencies as needed to support board development.
6. Establish service level agreement for Board communications and decision-making for urgent and non-urgent issues; define urgent issues.
Optimizing annual operations plans that are program-specific, identifying opportunities for growth in staff and volunteer positions, and creating succession plans for key staff members. Additionally, the organization will include all-staff training and education around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Priority 4: Our Stories: Develop clear ways to Measure, Evaluate and Communicate the Impact of our Work
1. Provide transparency to the Board on the current framework of our existing programs to fully define goals, objectives, and outcomes and share those at the board level.
2. During the annual budgetary process provide a budget support document that goes beyond the simple distribution number.
3. Strengthen technology for data tracking and evaluation.
4. Match community needs to impact.
5. Communicate impact through extended use of social media platforms.
A key outcome for this goal is designing email marketing strategies to match audience’s interests in the various drives at Family Giving Tree. We will also continue to strengthen our relationships with media outlets to increase visibility in these activities.