Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan: July 1, 2014 – December 31, 2018

Strategic Planning Team

Heritage Foundation Directors:

  • Jeff Nielsen, President
  • Jeannie Kegebein, Chair
  • William (Bill) Barton
  • Sue King
  • Katie Mahan
  • Renee Mello 

Approved June 17, 2014, additions in December 2014

THE SANTA CRUZ COUNTY FAIR HERITAGE FOUNDATION

Strategic Plan

(A Blue Print For Growth)

Executive Summary

Strategic Planning Team: Jeff Nielsen, 2014 President and Board Members

Jeannie Kegebein, Chair; Bill Barton; Sue King; Katie Mahan and Renee Mello

Introduction: The 14th District Agriculture Association (the Santa Cruz County Fair), was established in 1941 to:

  • produce an annual Fair
  • be an emergency center

Although a California state-owned property, since 2008 the fairgrounds have received less than 2% of its revenues from the State of California. The Santa Cruz County Fair Heritage Foundation, the not-for-profit charitable organization founded in 2002 to help support the fairgrounds, has accepted the challenge of ensuring funding for the operations, maintenance and enhancement of the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds.

Objectives: The Foundation was must quickly grow from a passionate core of fair-lovers to a professional fundraising organization. To facilitate this growth an enhanced committee structures with dedicated leaders is ready to achieve identified objectives.

Risks and Opportunities:

Major Opportunities:

  • Incredible growth potential for members and donors
    • 74 years of fairground alumni
    • More than 400,000 people visit the Fairgrounds annually

Major Risks:

  • An unknown future in the State of California regarding fairground properties and fairs in general
  • The unknown abilities and agendas of future 14th District Agriculture Association Directors and Managers

The Solutions:

  • Organization –The Executive Committee is created to manage the organization, make recommendations to the Board of Directors and continually lead theFoundation toward its mission.
  • Volunteers – The Volunteer Committee is created to recruit, database and dispatch volunteers to meet the needs of the organization.
  • Marketing and Communication – This committee is formed to develop, implement and update consistent and timely messaging to the large, diverse fairground community.
  • Membership – Already a successful committee, membership is the initial step in elevating lifetime support of the Foundation and Fairgrounds.
  • Events – In a strategic sense events will be utilized, not only as a major source of joy and revenue, but to engage community members in Foundation activities.
  • Beverage Sales – The Foundation is entrusted with near exclusive alcohol rights on the fairgrounds, providing revenues for fairgrounds support. The Foundation’s strategic objective is to sell beverages and opportunities that enhance the financial goals of the Foundation through the lens of superior customer service.
  • Fundraising – A dedicated committee strategically focused on providing conduits through which the community can seamlessly contribute to the sustainability and success of the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds.

Resource Details:  

  • During the previous 5 years, The Heritage Foundation has provided approximately $650,000 in support of the fairgrounds. This amount helps bridge the current gap in revenues and expenses needed by the fairgrounds to maintain operations, buildings and grounds. Additional revenue is needed to upgrade the 60-year old buildings and infrastructure.
  • The Foundation projects the need for $2,000,000 (triple the previous 5-year support) in the next 5 years to provide acceptable maintenance, needed upgrades and sustain operations. 

The Santa Cruz County Fair Heritage Foundation

Strategic Plan

July 1, 2014 – December 31, 2018

Approved June 17, 2014 

VISION

Ensure a vibrant, healthy Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds

MISSION

Inspire and engage our community to support our Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds

to be ready in times of need as well as celebration.

CORE VALUES

Pursuit of Excellence

  • Identify and utilize people’s strength
  • Build capabilities through continuous learning
  • Never accept complacency or indifference
  • Remain flexible and open to possibilities

Honesty

  • Be truthful, accurate and straightforward
  • Be candid and non-deceptive in communication and conduct

Integrity

  • Maintain consistency between your beliefs and your behavior – walk your talk!
  • Have the courage to contend boldly for that which is right and reject firmly that which is wrong

Fairness

  • Endeavor to be reasonable, open-minded, impartial, even-handed and non-discriminatory
  • Genuinely partner and actively collaborate within and without the Foundation
  • Consistently maintain an attitude of sincerity, tolerance and consideration toward others

 

Respect

  • Practice the principles of the Golden Rule
  • Respect the dignity, rights, safety and personal property of others
  • Be open to the ideas and opinions of others
  • Exercise patience and remain positive under all circumstances
  • Only make realistic commitments and follow-through on the commitments you make
  • Accept responsibility for your own actions or inactions

 

Teamwork

  • Contribute fully to the activities of the Foundation
  • Step in and help out other team members when needed
  • Share information and resources with team members
  • Work out conflicts directly with the person involved

The Santa Cruz County Fair Heritage Foundation

 Case Statement

The Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds is one of the treasures of the Central Coast – providing a unique venue for recreation, education, science, sports and charitable activities that enrich our community. It is utilized by companies, individuals, schools and community groups year-round. The Fairgrounds also plays an important role as an evacuation center for people and animals in the tri-county area in the event of a disaster, such as fire, earthquake and flooding.

Founded in 2002, The Santa Cruz County Fair Heritage Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, raises funds through donations, special events, beverage sales, grants, planned giving and sponsorships. Through its community connections, it has assumed a major role in keeping the community aware of activities and improvements at the Fairgrounds.

With the help of volunteers, The Heritage Foundation raises funds to provide for operational services and capital improvements to ensure the continued vitality of this important community resource. 

The Santa Cruz County Fair Heritage Foundation

History/Background

In 2001 the Santa Cruz County Fair Board recognized the need for the Fairgrounds to be more self-sufficient due to the lack of funding for fairs from the State of California, its major source of revenues since inception. Under the direction of the Board, The Santa Cruz County Fair Heritage Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, was formed in 2002.

The main goal and purpose of the organization, as stated in the incorporation papers, is to preserve and enrich agricultural and other history of the community; promote science, art, music, history, heath and recreation to be able to support public education and entertainment activities and to support related facility improvements for public monuments and social welfare for future generations to come.

The Foundation began as a very small core of fair folks, who worked very hard to grow the organization over the years and raised an impressive amount of money for critically needed improvements to the Fair facilities.

By outreach and education, the organization has increased its influence by expanding the representation of the board beyond the fair committees, and included community members into the team of volunteers. With a wider segment of the community represented on the board, the overall feeling of ownership in the organization fostered increased membership to 400 by the end of 2013.

Through special events, beverage sales, donations and grants, the organization has continued to grow and attract the attention of the community as a whole. This has provided significant help in supporting the financial stability needed by the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, especially important in 2008 when the State of California decided to no longer fund fairs.

In 2013 the Foundation provided $200,000 to support the Fairgrounds, doubling the previous year’s contribution. In 2014 the board of directors approved an ambitious strategic plan for the organization, laying out plans for the next three to five years to expand the effectiveness of the organization to raise funds necessary to “Assure a vibrant, healthy Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds”.

SWOT ANALYSIS

(Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)

Strengths:

     

Weaknesses:

    

                                                                                                                 Associated with Santa Cruz County Fair

  

Limited knowledge about fundraising beyond events

 

Has access to all things on the fairgrounds (buildings,

 

   (Members, private donations, sponsorships, endowments)

   grounds, personnel)

   

Dependence upon volunteers limits capacity

 

Has a good rapport with fairgrounds staff and

 

Volunteer burnout

    

   volunteers

    

Shared role - duplication of fundraising with Fair Board, AHP

Board members passionate about fairgrounds and

 

   and other Fair departments (Ag Hort, Livestock, Horses, etc)

   activities

    

Public Relations revamp needed. Someone to address

Board members have a good community network

 

   poor public awareness of our role and effectiveness, perception

All volunteer staff means more money for Fairgrounds

   of clickish organization and to manage newsletter, collateral,

Contract to sell alcohol provides continual income

Fair has been here for 73 years, so there are thousands        

Lacks agreements with Santa Cruz County Fair Board

   (free building rentals, use of board room, beverage sales)

of alumni to involve with Heritage

 

 

Lack of diversity in organization's directors and other volunteers

      

Alcohol sales needs more - and ABC trained, volunteers

      

Evolving organization from operating as a fair family to

      

   being a professional fundraising organization

 
      

New accounting system and financial statements in process

      

Lack of clear direction: No strategic or business plan

 
            

 

Opportunities:

    

Threats:

     

Unlimited growth potential

   Memberships

   

Inability to depend upon future 14th District Agriculture

   Association Directors and Managers

   Donors

     

Inability to know the future plans of the State of California

   Sponsors

    

   for Fairgrounds and how the decisions will affect future

   Grants

     

   plans of Heritage Foundation

   

   Endowments

    

Changes in charitable deduction levels by Federal Government

Develop Memorandum of Understanding

  

Changes in net profit of food and beverages sold by Heritage

   with Fair Board on how we work together

 

Compliance with local, state and federal rules and regulations

Opportunity to make our fairgrounds a showplace

 

Heritage Foundation name also represents a national

 

Opportunity to expand volunteer involvement in

   all aspects of the Foundation and the Fairgrounds

 

   conservative political org with which people outside

   Watsonville may associate us

             

THE SANTA CRUZ COUNTY FAIR HERITAGE FOUNDATION

Strategic Plan

July 1, 2014 – December 31, 2018 

ORGANIZATION:     

Strategy: Build and match the organization and the Board of Directors to meet the requirements of the strategic plan.

Goals:

  • Develop a process for member development
  • Implement a robust database system that incorporates all activities including financial reports of the Foundation
  • Analyze and determine if any changes in the organization’s name and logo are needed
  • Negotiate and implement a written agreement between Heritage and 14th District Agriculture Association
  • Ensure that activities of the Heritage Foundation comply with Foundation policies

Lead by:          Executive Committee

Timeframe:      December 2015

VOLUNTEERS:

Strategy: Recruit volunteers to meet the needs of the organization

Goal:

  • Develop and implement a plan to help the Volunteer Coordinator identify and recruit volunteers

Responsibility: Volunteer Coordinator

Timeframe: December 2014

MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS:

Strategy: Develop and implement a marketing and communications plan that reaches all the target markets of the Heritage Foundation and the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds

Goals:

  • Develop a marketing and communications plan that stays within budget and best uses -
    • Website
    • Facebook and other social media
    • Newsletter
    • Press releases
    • Advertising
    • Collateral materials
    • Consistent messaging
  • Implement the plan
  • Coordinate with Event and Activity Chairs to ensure consistent messaging is prominent in advertising and promotions

Responsibility:   Committee Chair

Timeframe:       Complete marketing and communications plan by July 31, 2014.

Proceed with implementation when plan is approved

MEMBERSHIP:

Strategy: Use memberships as a way to help the community learn about the Heritage Foundation and to provide the their first step in their financial support of the organization

Goals:

  • Write and tell our story
  • Analyze membership benefits; create and implement any changes
  • Create and implement a membership plan
  • Take advantage of various events/situations to solicit new members

Responsible: Membership Chair

Timeframe: Membership plan by July 31, 2014.

       Proceed with implementation when plan is approved,

EVENTS:

Strategy:   Utilize Events as major sources of revenue and a fun introduction to engage new community members in Heritage Foundation activities

Goals:

  • Produce no more than 3 fundraising events annually
  • Work with the Volunteer Chair to establish an operating committee for each event with:
    • Subcommittees with responsibilities
    • Budget
    • Timeline
    • Planning meetings
    • Debrief
  • Coordinate with Marketing/Communications Committee to ensure branded promotion

Responsibility: Each Event Chair

Major Events:

  • Crab Feed
  • Holiday Crafts Fair

Other Events:

  • Heritage Hospitality Night during the Santa Cruz County Fair
  • Fair Volunteer Thank You Dinner

BEVERAGE SALES:

Strategy: Choose beverages and opportunities that enhance the financial goals of the Foundation

Goals:

  • Provide superior customer service
  • Follow laws and Foundation-approved policies and procedures for beverage service
  • Work with the Volunteer Chair to ensure trained volunteers for events
  • Coordinate with Marketing/Communications Committee to ensure branded promotions

Responsible: Beverage Chair

Timeframe: Immediately 

FUNDRAISING:

Strategy: Create a variety of avenues in which the community can easily contribute to the sustainability and success of the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds

Responsibility: Fundraising Chair

Donations –

Goals:

  • Develop and implement a program and process to help the community easily contribute to the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds
  • Achieve donations of $10,000 by December 31, 2014; Donations for 2015 and 2016 will be part of the donations program.
  • Solicit $30,000 to $150,000 for the 2014 Heritage Hog program before the livestock auction on September 13, 2014

Responsibility: Donations Committee Chair and Heritage Hog Committee

Timeframe: Heritage Hog program completed by September 13, 2014.

       Donations Program approval by December 31, 2014. Implementation follows.

Sponsorships-

Goals:

  • Develop and implement a sponsorship program that meets the marketing goals of the Heritage Foundation for its events and other activities
  • Work with the Fair Board and Agricultural History Project to find cooperative ways to involve businesses in co-sponsorships with multiple organizations on the Fairgrounds

Responsibility: Sponsorship Chair

Timeframe: Sponsorship program in place by September 30, 2014. Proceed with implementation.

Grants-

Goals:

  • Develop a program, process and resources to establish an effective grant requesting entity
  • Hire a grant writer

Responsibility: Grants Committee Chair

Timeframe: Establish program, process and resources and hire a grant writer by December 31, 2015

Planned Giving -

Goals:

  • Establish and implement a Planned Giving Program, including Endowment and Bequests programs, for the Heritage Foundation

Responsibility: Endowments and Bequests Chair

Timeframe: Explore and develop the program in 2014; implement in 2015 and 2016

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