Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF) hired Popular Education Consultants (PECI) to facilitate SAF’s 2022-2026 strategic plan process. Beginning in October 2021, PECI conducted in-depth interviews with key stakeholders, reviewed organizational documents, and facilitated three organizational assessment workshops, a report-back meeting with SAF constituents, two sessions with the Executive Committee, two sessions with the staff, and one session with the Diversity Leadership Team. PECI presented a final plan and report to the SAF board of directors and staff in March 2022.
SAF is in excellent organizational health in terms of performance and potential of programs, structures, mechanisms of coordination, communications, and resources. Here are a few highlights of SAF’s strengths:
- SAF’s community is well informed about the organization’s goals, programs, and events through practices rooted in popular education activities, including storytelling, participatory fundraising, community events, blogs, documentary projects, and theater.
- SAF practices effective communication, has onboarding documents with detailed information on running the organization’s key programs, and has a strong leadership development process for its staff, students, and supporters.
- SAF has an effective financial and accounting system, a robust financial reserve, a detailed fundraising plan, strong relationships with funders, and effective donor management.
- SAF has moved to a new office building that is shared with other organizations focusing on youth leadership development and racial equity.
SAF will be more effective if it can adapt to the challenges identified in the strategic planning process:
- SAF’s board of directors needs to take a key role in the Executive Director transition and commit to supporting the new Executive Director. They also need to make sure that there are succession plans developed at multiple levels of the organization.
- SAF’s leadership development programs can be strengthened around areas of diversity, geography, resources, student reflection, and alumni involvement.
- SAF needs to utilize its documentary work in more strategic ways, including to support advocacy campaigns.
- SAF needs to strengthen its internal communications, data storage, and IT training to support hybrid/remote operations.
SAF has opportunities to nourish its work and community by:
- Engaging alumni in local, state, regional, and national advocacy and voter engagement campaigns.
- Networking with new partners and coalitions (e.g., disaster relief organizations).
- Tackling disinformation campaigns and dispel myths about the farmworker community.
- Expanding its reach to include more diverse young people and partners that are involved with the food industry.
- Helping to build the collective movement between BIPOC and White people.
Thanks to the SAF alumni, students from farmworker families, partners, funders, donors, staff, and board members who participated in the strategic planning process!