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Strategic Business Plan Strategic Business Plan Document Transcript

  • Anacostia Trails Heritage Area Inc. Strategic Business Plan 2010-2015 FINAL February 12, 2010 Facilitated and prepared by Strategic Management Consulting Odette T. Ramos, President and CEO ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 1
  • Table of Contents Part I. Introduction and Context 4 About ATHA, Inc. Rationale for this plan Strategic Questions to Address Partners involved in the Heritage Area Part II. About This Plan 8 Details on the Process, Findings, and Decisions Made ATHA, Inc.’s Commitment to Implementation Part III. Strategic Identity 10 Vision and Mission Guiding Principles and Primary Customer Part IV. Strategic Direction of ATHA, Inc. 12 Part V. Results, Goals, and Objectives 13 Part VI: Overall Plan Timetable 18 Part VII: Component Action Plans, Implementation Timeline and Accountability 19 • Strong Board and Organization • Historic, Natural, Cultural Preservation, and Conservation • Enhancing Visitor Experience • Marketing the Heritage Area and ATHA, Inc. • Fund-raising and Financial Viability Part VIII: Appendices 40 A. General Terms Used B. Performance Measures from MHAA C. Highlights from Information-Gathering Phase of Process D. Proposed Board Organizational Structure E. Photos of Model Way-finding While Driving Signage F. List of Items in Resource Notebook ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 2
  • Organization of this document This comprehensive strategic business plan articulates the mission of ATHA Inc. and establishes a framework for implementation and accountability. The document is organized in the following parts: Part I. Introduction includes details about ATHA Inc., the rationale for why it needed to move through a strategic planning and implementation process, and strategic questions the organization wanted to ask during the process. Part II. About This Plan details the methods used in this strategic planning process and next steps, the results of implementation, and the commitment to implementation. Part III. Strategic Identity includes the history of ATHA Inc., its Vision and Mission statements, the guiding principles that reflect how ATHA Inc. functions, the theories of change to understand why ATHA Inc. does its work, and its primary customer. Part IV. Strategic Direction is the description and set of results describing what ATHA Inc. will accomplish, look and be like after implementing this plan. Part V. Results, Goals, and Objectives are listed here comprehensively. Part VI. General Timetable for implementation outlines the benchmarks to be achieved each year as the plan is implemented. This should be used as a guideline. Part VII Action Plans are in tabular form containing the goals, specific strategies, time frame for implementation, who is responsible, and other notes. These should be revisited from time to time to make sure progress is made on accomplishing the goals and objectives, or whether changes should be made if the context or environment changes. Strategic Management Consulting has provided ATHA with a Resource Notebook at the conclusion of this process. It contains the complete transcripts of the meetings, a record of the process, and the decisions ATHA, Inc.’s staff and management reached during the process. This record can then be used to explain to others the intent of the work, philosophy, and to ensure there is no backtracking from the original intent. The notebook also contains a periodic self-assessment form that can be used to check the status of implementation of the comprehensive strategic plan every six months, which helps bring the organization back to the initial discussions. About Strategic Management Consulting Strategic Management Consulting is a Baltimore-based firm dedicated to ensuring that organizations (including community groups, nonprofits, businesses, public agencies, and others) operate in the most effective manner possible to be significant players in achieving the vision for a better quality of life. The firm works with groups to operate within the context of the “big picture” by organizing strategic planning and implementation processes, retreats and meetings, media relations, and assisting with organizational strengthening and development, especially for groups that do not fit the typical molds.. More information is available on www.strategicmgmt.net. ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 3
  • Part I. Introduction About ATHA, Inc. ATHA Inc. was founded in 1997 as an advisory group of representatives from the fourteen municipalities within the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area, which covers an 85 mile area in northern Prince George’s County, Maryland. The area was designated as a certified Heritage Area in 2001 with the development and passage of its Management Plan. The Heritage Area was developed to highlight the area’s historic, natural, and cultural aspects and to encourage heritage tourism. The municipalities inside the Heritage Area are: Bladensburg (considered one of the Port Towns) Colmar Manor (considered one of the Port Towns) Cottage City (considered one of the Port Towns) Edmonston (considered one of the Port Towns) Berwyn Heights College Park Mount Rainier (in the Gateway Arts District) Brentwood (in the Gateway Arts District) North Brentwood (in the Gateway Arts District) Hyattsville (in the Gateway Arts District)Riverdale Park University Park Beltsville Greenbelt The Anacostia Trails Heritage Area is one of eleven heritage areas in Maryland. The state created the Heritage Areas Program in 1996 to help communities strengthen their economies by developing, protecting, and promoting their cultural, historical, and natural resources. Maryland’s heritage areas are locally designated and State certified regions where public and private partners make commitments to preserving historical, cultural and natural resources for sustainable economic development through heritage tourism. At the local level, Heritage Areas focus community attention on often under-appreciated aspects of history, living culture, and distinctive natural areas, thus fostering a stronger sense of pride in the places where Marylanders live and work. 1 The Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA) oversees and supports the areas. Each heritage area has a management entity that coordinates the work of partners to implement their respective Management Plans. The Redevelopment Authority of Prince George’s County (RA) originally managed the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area. During the past eight years, ATHA, Inc. has taken on that role; it has been conducting workshops on MHAA grants, managing the grants process, promoting the Heritage Area, and assumed all other management duties. During this planning process, ATHA, Inc. decided to work to become the official management entity for the Heritage Area. (More details on this are included in the Strong Board and Organization Component of this plan.) The state’s Program Open Space funds the Heritage Areas program. MHAA gives each heritage area operational funding given specific outcomes. The funding has been consistent for the last ten years, and the program was not cut back at all during the economic crisis of 2009. In an attempt to ensure that funding continues, and to justify the investment in the Heritage Areas program, MHAA conducted its own strategic planning process in 2009. Mandates from that plan for each area are included in this document. Two important items to highlight include: 1 From the MHAA website, February 2010 ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 4
  • A. MHAA has mandated performance measures. These items are listed on Appendix B. For the most part, they are data collection requirements. These performance measures may be changed over time. Some evaluate the success of the entire Heritage Area, while others evaluate the success of the management entity. In addition, MHAA plans to conduct a “360 review” of the management entities annually. B. MHAA has mandated that all Heritage Areas work in three key areas, listed below: ! Product Development: Management entities lead or initiate the creation of new or enhanced place-based (archaeological, historic, cultural, natural) experiences for both visitors and Maryland residents. Heritage Areas focus on the sustainability and capacity of these heritage tourism products both so their partner Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO) have more to market to the consumer and so Maryland residents have better communities in which to live. ! Building Partnerships: Management entities work to engage all partners and leverage resources. They work to bring both common and uncommon partners together to focus on projects of common benefit. Heritage Areas bring disparate state and local entities together around a common, local vision. Heritage Areas help to build organizational capacity, understanding, and access to financial and technical assistance. ! Regional Identity: Heritage Areas provide a connection to place that showcases each area’s distinctive archaeological, cultural, historic, and natural assets. They apply an approach that is unique to, and respectful of, local geography. Through the projects and events that they host or encourage, Heritage Areas sustain, respect, and celebrate the heritage of an area, making it relevant to both present and future generations. These items are integrated into each piece of ATHA Inc.’s strategic business plan. Instead of formal Management Plan updates, MHAA now requires that all heritage area management entities have a five-year work plan that covers the three key areas. This five-year plan has been created separately for the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area. Rationale for this Plan Certified heritage areas were asked to do a management plan update every ten years, prior to the new mandates in the MHAA strategic plan. ATHA, Inc. commissioned Baltimore based Strategic Management Consulting to conduct this management plan update, as well as to conduct a strategic business plan. The update is in the form of a status report on current implementation, activities slated for implementation, and the five--year work plan template that MHAA provided. In addition to the update (which is a separate document), ATHA, Inc. decided to start a strategic planning process to refine its work and add a business plan element to understand the funding needs and potential funders/donors. This plan was necessary to help answer the strategic questions ATHA, Inc. has, as well as to integrate the MHAA mandates into a format that ATHA, Inc. can use. Strategic Questions to Address Strategic questions are the broader set of issues that come up often during conversations with people inside and outside of the organization. Without answers to these questions, or a process to resolve them, the organization could risk being reactive, rather than proactive, and could veer in an unanticipated direction. Identifying these strategic questions and creating a plan to address the issues helps shape the direction for ATHA, Inc. Also, conclusions about the role of ATHA, Inc. may help shape the answers to these questions. Based on the initial conversations with stakeholders in the Heritage Area, ATHA, Inc board members and staff, the following items surfaced as strategic questions to address during this process: ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 5
  • • What capacity is needed for ATHA, Inc. to take on the management entity role? • What role does ATHA, Inc. play in implementing the management plan promoting heritage tourism? • What is the best structure for ATHA, Inc. in order to accomplish its mission and goals? • How do we raise funds to comply with the MHAA mandates and increasing our match? • How to we change the perception that ATHA, Inc. is ineffective? • What is the best relationship ATHA, Inc. can have with the destination marketing organization to ensure successful heritage tourism? Relevant organizations playing a role in the Heritage Area mentioned in this Plan: Redevelopment Authority (RA): This entity within Prince George’s County government assists with development issues across the county. It was designated as the management entity for the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area in 2001. ATHA, Inc. would like to take on that role, and will work with the RA to make that happen. Maryland National Capital Parks and Planning Commission (MNCPPC): The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission is a bi-county agency empowered by the State of Maryland in 1927 to acquire, develop, maintain and administer a regional system of parks within Montgomery and Prince George's Counties, and to provide land use planning for the physical development of Prince George's and Montgomery counties. In addition, the Commission gained responsibility for the public recreation program in Prince George's County in 1970. The Commission coordinates and acts on matters of interest to both counties, and meets at least once a month. The members of the Commission from each county serve as separate Planning Boards to facilitate, review and administer the matters affecting their respective counties. MNCPPC includes heritage sites in its work regarding public recreation, and has had a seat on the Board of ATHA, Inc. Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA): A 17 member board consisting of various agency representatives dedicated to managing and overseeing the Maryland Heritage Areas Program. Their role is to certify new heritage areas, provide staff support for current heritage areas, and cross agency coordination. MHAA also administers the benefits given to heritage areas which are marketed by each local area. These include: • Operational support to the management entities in each heritage area • Matching Capital grants to improve heritage areas and tourism. These can be used by local governments or non-profit groups. The matches have to be dollar for dollar. • Marketing grants to help market each heritage area • Benefits that are available in Targeted Investment Zones Targeted Investment Zones (TIZ): Areas within each Heritage Area that have main benefits: • Loans to assist with the preservation of heritage resources and the enhancement of heritage attractions and visitor services • Historic Preservation Tax Credits to help rehab historic sites and properties (or sites/ properties that contribute to furthering the vision of the heritage area.) • The TIZs in the Anacostia Heritage Area are College Park, Berwyn Heights, Greenbelt, and Riverdale Park. Expansion of the TIZ is possible through approval of MHAA. Each Municipal government within the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area: Each municipality selects a member of its council or staff to be on the Board of ATHA, Inc. and provides dues to help ATHA, Inc. In this new Plan, these representatives become members of the “Governing” board and will select the initial new “managing” board and both will run as described in Appendix D. ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 6
  • Preservation / Conservation Organizations: In this plan, ATHA, Inc. will partner with historic preservation organizations in a more coordinated way (see Historic, Cultural, Natural Preservation and Conservation component). These organizations include, and are not limited to: Prince George’s Heritage, friends groups for various sites, the Anacostia Watershed Society, Prince George’s County Historical and Cultural Trust, Berwyn Heights Historic Preservation Committee, Historic Preservation Department, and the University of Maryland. Port Towns: The Towns of Bladensburg, Colmar Manor, Cottage City, and Edmonston comprise the Port Towns. The area is nestled in Prince George's County at the head of the Anacostia River and has several resources they share. The Port Towns Community Development Corporation (Port Towns CDC) is the entity that works with each town to enhance the tourism, business and community development in the area. Gateway Arts District: As a result of the interests expressed by the community in developing an arts district, in January 2002, the State of Maryland designated the Gateway Arts District as one of the four Arts and Entertainment Districts in the state. The municipalities in this district are Mt. Rainier, Brentwood, North Brentwood and Hyattsville. The managing entity includes the Gateway CDC and the Hyattsville CDC as well as other stakeholders. In February 2002 the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission initiated a sector plan to reexamine land use, zoning, and development standards to ensure implementation of the communities' vision of the Prince George's County Gateway Arts District. ATHA, Inc. works with groups in this district to enhance the cultural resources in the Heritage Area. Prince George’s Conference and Visitors Bureau: The Prince George's County Conference & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is the official destination marketing organization for Prince George's County, Maryland. Through the efforts of the CVB and our many partners, we actively market and promote Prince George's County (regionally and nationally) as a prime Mid Atlantic destination for leisure travelers, meetings, conventions, reunions, group tours, sporting events and special events. The CVB is a membership organization, working with the Maryland Office of Tourism and has a seat on the board of ATHA, Inc. ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 7
  • Part II. About This Plan Details about the Process, Findings, and Decisions made There were four phases to the comprehensive strategic planning process. Under the name of each phase and a brief description is a statement or two about major decisions or findings from the planning process that led to the recommendations in this plan. Phase I. Information Collection. The information collection phase consisted of in-person and phone interviews with stakeholders, funders, board members, and partner agencies, as well as gathering research on other heritage areas and their management entities. Research was conducted in conjunction with understanding the implementation of the original management plan passed in 2001. The results are explained in Appendix C. In addition, the George Washington University School of Hospitality conducted a visitor survey, which showed that visitors liked what they saw in the Heritage Area, but did not know they were in a Heritage Area. Visitors also said they get their information from the Internet and that the Heritage Area needs better signage. Phase II. Strategic Direction and Identity. The ATHA, Inc board met in June and August 2009 to determine the strategic direction of the organization based on the information gathered. The board revised the Vision for the Heritage Area and Mission statement of ATHA, Inc. to reflect its role as a facilitator, convener, resource, and catalyst that works with partner groups and municipalities to foster heritage tourism. This role is a new role for ATHA, changing from marketing and oversight of MHAA funds to an entity that is: ! An advocate to o Municipalities to take advantage of the benefits in the Heritage Area and economic development strategies (such as the benefits of being in a TIZ historic districts, and more) o MHAA to improve its systems and information (i.e. it is difficult to use the loans because of bureaucracy, etc.) o County and local governments to make heritage tourism a priority and in order to preserve historic, natural, and cultural resources. ! A coordinator with o MNCPPC which manages most of the historic sites in the Heritage Area o The DMO (destination marketing organization), which is the Prince George’s Conference and Visitor’s Bureau, to market the Heritage Area o Other preservation and conservation groups to coordinate initiatives ! An organizer and catalyst to o Create a “there” in the Heritage Area, o Build collaborations, o Work with partners to carry out the Vision for the Heritage Area. The other big decision was to change the board structure from a board of municipal representatives to one that is a true nonprofit board (called the Managing board); the municipal representatives will be a “Governing” board. Appendix D contains the proposed board structure chart, as well as the proposed committee structure. Last, the board decided to be the official management entity of the Heritage Area. The Redevelopment Authority was not interested in continuing in this role, and it has participated less and less during the past few years. Phase III. Component Action Planning. There are five component areas. Each component area has an action plan. The action plans were developed using the information collected, and then in meetings with staff, who primarily drive the programs, and some board members. Each action plan contains a result statement of where things ought to be within the next three years (completion of implementation of the plan). After that, the action plans list the goals (again, stated as if they are completed) and then the objectives, strategies, timelines, and who is responsible ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 8
  • for implementation. Each goal is enumerated, and each objective has letters, for clarity only rather than to indicate priority. Phase IV. Review and Comment. The draft of all parts of the Strategic Plan was circulated to the entire board for comment in December, and was passed at the January 27, 2010 board meeting. Phase V. Implementation Phase. This phase will begin once the plan is completed. NOTE - While the action plans show time frames for implementation in the most optimal environment, it is important to understand that these may change as the organization moves forward. Some items may require more time to unfold, while others may be completed sooner than expected. Goal of This Plan and Commitment to Implementation The goal of this plan is to articulate the role that ATHA, Inc. will play as the official management entity for the Heritage Area and to outline the results, goals, and objectives within the next three to five years. Approval of this plan moves ATHA, Inc. forward toward implementation and ultimately achieving the organization’s new mission and its vision for the Heritage Area. ATHA, Inc. has shown it is committed to implementation by putting in place the following mechanisms: • MHAA requires that ATHA, Inc. have specific committees on its board and also raise money in a way that helps reduce its dependence on MHAA funding. • MHAA insists on specific performance measures that ATHA, Inc. must comply with in order to remain a Certified Heritage Area. • ATHA, Inc. will look for assistance to implement this plan. ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 9
  • III. Strategic Identity Vision of the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area The vision is a statement about the broader state of being, i.e. quality of life that everyone in the community would like to have. It answers the question, “What do you want the Heritage Area to be like in the next ten to twenty years?” The following statement best articulates the vision of the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area in the future: The Anacostia Trails Heritage Area is a place where visitors come to experience the evolution of our nation through our history, culture, and natural assets. Visitors will easily find ways to enjoy the Anacostia River and beautiful trails, as well as the culture and arts that highlight our diversity. The restored historical sites and properties in each municipality emphasize the area’s significance in our nation's history. Visitors will also enjoy area restaurants, retail, and other amenities. All this is connected via tours, trails, signage, and transportation. Visitors and community members will encourage others to come and experience all that the Heritage Area has to offer. Mission of the Anacostia Heritage Area, Inc – the management entity The mission statement is an opportunity to convey in a concise, compelling way the role the organization plays in achieving its vision. There may be many other people and groups involved in the process, but the mission is the difference the organization itself aims to make. This is what the organization will be remembered for in the future. Given the role that ATHA, Inc. plays and wants to keep playing to ensure the vision articulated above becomes reality, its board of directors recreated the mission statement: To advocate for, organize, and promote heritage tourism in a way that fosters economic development while revealing and protecting the cultural, historic, and natural resources in each community within the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area. ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 10
  • Guiding Principles Guiding principles are the fundamental values or ideals at the heart of an organization. They articulate ideals that you’d like to be held to in the operations of the organization and offer guidance about how to do your work (i.e. inclusiveness, representative, etc.) The principles that guide how we do our work at ATHA, Inc. are: Partnership and Collaboration: In order to achieve the Vision for the Heritage Area and implement our management work plan, we have to partner with groups and municipalities to help move the agenda. Outreach and Organizing: It is important to reach out to partners, municipal officials, neighbors, and others to make them aware of our resources and those of MHAA in order to accomplish the goals for the Heritage Area. Customer service: We provide courteous service to our customers and partners in order to strengthen them and ensure the Vision of the Heritage Area is accomplished. Transparency: Our financials and business practices are sound, our communications are explicit, and all documents are available for public review. Accountability: We hold ourselves and our partners accountable for making things happen in the Heritage Area. Primary and Supporting Customers of ATHA, Inc. Primary Customer The primary customer of an organization is the person or group most directly impacted/changed through the organization’s regular, on-going work. The primary customer can be an individual, organization, animal, or thing. ATHA, Inc.’s primary customer is: • The partners acting for the benefit of heritage tourism (natural, cultural, and historic) throughout the Heritage Area Supporting Customers The supporting customers of an organization are all the people and groups an organization needs to succeed. They are just as important as the primary customer. They are engaged with the organization because of and in order to support the accomplishment of the vision and mission. ATHA’s supporting customers are: • Funders of ATHA, Inc. including the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority • Municipalities • Visitors to the Heritage Area ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 11
  • Part IV. Strategic Direction The strategic direction is a concise statement about the strategy or approach an organization takes to its work over a specific period of time. The statement is based on a combination of both the current environment (the opportunities and threats facing the organization) and its mission and competencies. This is often a direct response to the strategic questions asked by an organization and tells you what the organization will look and be like over the next three to five years. Within the next three to five years… The Anacostia Trails Heritage Area, Inc is the official management entity for the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area. In that role, ATHA, Inc. is the catalyst for getting things done and ensuring that the Vision for the Heritage Area is achieved. ATHA, Inc. is an advocate for historic, cultural, and natural preservation and conservation in order to develop the heritage “product.” ATHA Inc. is a catalyst in enhancing visitor experience in the Heritage Area by galvanizing support and resources for capital improvements to connect historic, cultural, and natural sites. It shares information about the benefits within the Heritage Area for economic development and works to ensure that visitors return. ATHA, Inc. works with partners to promote the Heritage Area to neighbors and visitors. The new board structure energizes the municipalities while ensuring stability, expertise, and accountability. ATHA, Inc.’s staffing structure is lean enough to be efficient, yet effective enough to coordinate partners to accomplish the mission and vision of the Heritage Area. The following results, goals, and objectives are what ATHA, Inc. will accomplish in the next three to five years to reach this strategic direction, fulfill its mission, and achieve the goals for the Heritage Area. Action plans to accomplish these results start on page 18 with the general timeline and specific details. ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 12
  • Part V. Results, Goals, and Objectives Goals and objectives set out the broad results that ATHA, Inc. hopes to achieve within a specific time period. Goals are broad aims for the community to accomplish. Objectives are statements of short-term achievements and collections of activities that, if achieved, constitute fulfillment of the goals. Component 1: Strong Board and Organization RESULT: Within the next three to five years, we will see… ATHA, Inc. is the management entity for the Heritage Area, and is a well run, efficient, and effective organization. It has a strong, diverse managing board that works together to implement the mission. The organization also has strong committees, and its internal policies and procedures are solidified for more efficient, effective operations. The municipalities participate directly through the governing board and assist with the implementation of the mission. Goal 1: Change the board structure in order to be more effective and sustainable. Objectives: A. Create a managing board composed of members of the community, experts in specific fields, fund- raisers, and others. It will have between fifteen and seventeen members. B. Recruit members to the managing board. C. Redefine the role of the municipalities (governing board). D. Orient and educate board members about the vision, mission, and culture. Make sure board members know their roles in the organization and fulfill them. E. Create new board committee structure (under the managing board), and define the roles of each committee, including governance, marketing, fund-raising, and others. (See Appendix D) F. Amend bylaws and board operating procedures as needed. Goal 2: Become the official management entity for the Heritage Area. Objectives: A. Conduct meetings with RA, MHAA, and ATHA, Inc. board to organize the process of separation. B. Work to amend all plans and laws having the RA as the management entity for the Heritage Area. C. Confirm passage of change with MHAA board. Goal 3: Ensure ATHA, Inc. staff is strong, and internal operations are efficient and effective. Objectives: A. Conduct staff evaluations to celebrate good performance, set goals each year, and add suggestions for improvement. B. Update job descriptions. C. Create and implement a personnel manual and other policies. Goal 4: Review and assist historic, cultural, and natural sites with MHAA grant funding and mini grants. Objectives: A. Conduct annual workshops for grants. B. Create Grants Review committee to review MHAA grants. C. Create section of the website for guidelines, procedures, policies, and requirements on grants. D. Distribute guidelines and policies regarding signage to all municipalities to use as a guide. ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 13
  • Component 2: Historic, Cultural, and Natural Preservation and Conservation RESULT: Within the next three to five years we will see… ATHA, Inc. works to enhance historical, natural, and cultural heritage preservation by partnering with preservation and conservation groups, advocating when needed, and connecting to resources. ATHA, Inc. also strengthens local heritage through awareness of MHAA grants and technical assistance. Goal 1: Link to preservation and conservation groups in order to strengthen and advocate for the Heritage Area’s historical, cultural, and natural treasures. Objectives: A. Build partnerships with preservation and conservation groups, and specify benefits to each. B. Determine benefits of preservation/conservation groups working with ATHA, Inc. and use to build partnerships. C. Participate in the War of 1812 work as a way to promote and ensure preservation/conservation of Heritage Area. D. Work with partner conservation/preservation groups to develop the Heritage Area interpretive theme trails (i.e. transportation, settlements, etc.) Goal 2. Work with partners to increase the number of historic sites and districts, both local and National. Objectives: A. Work with groups to increase historic districts--national and local--to ensure historic preservation. B. Refer groups to Historic Preservation Commission for tax credits and other incentives for historic districts and sites. Goal 3: Strengthen historic, cultural, and natural sites. Objectives: A. Promote the availability of MHAA funding for local sites. B. Conduct workshops to provide technical assistance for groups interested in MHAA funding. C. Partner with MNCPPC to provide technical assistance to groups to help them with visitor experience. ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 14
  • Component 3. Enhancing Visitor Experience RESULT: Within the next three to five years, we will see… ATHA, Inc. works to enhance visitors’ experiences by increasing economic activity and visitor amenities through advocating for specific programs and services, as well as by forming partnerships with municipalities and community development groups. As a result of these efforts, we will see more shops and restaurants, streetscaping, and overall investment in the Heritage Area. ATHA, Inc. also advocates for signage and connections so that it is easier for visitors to locate sites and connect to other sites in the area. Goal 1: Enhance the regional identity and visitor experience by adding signs that help visitors reach their destinations. Objectives: A. Devise a signage plan for visitors to find their way while driving and walking. B. Continue to raise funds for uniform way finding signage throughout the Heritage Area. C. Build a Heritage Area Visitor Center Goal 2: Enhance visitor experience with historic streetscaping near historic sites and along corridors. Objectives: A. Advocate for capital spending on streetscaping near historic sites and along corridors. B. Work with economic development entities (community development groups, municipalities, etc.) to streamline capital investment process and explore funding options. C. Work with state highway administration and other agencies to develop Scenic Byways along Routes 1, 201, and 450 in order to better connect the historic/cultural sites. D. Work with municipalities and partners to create a trolley along Route 1 to connect sites and make travel easy for visitors. Goal 3: Work with businesses and municipalities to spur economic development so visitors have retail outlets and other amenities while visiting the Heritage Area. Objectives: A. Work with MHAA on improvement of the TIZ benefits and marketing. B. Expand the areas in the Heritage Area that are designated TIZs. C. Promote the use of the TIZ benefits to municipalities and businesses. D. Work to develop a Main Street Program along Route 1. Goal 4: Create a Visitor Experience committee for ATHA, Inc. to initiate and manage the visitor experience work. Objectives: A. Constitute Visitor Experience committee of managing board members and relevant members of the community. B. Define role of the Visitor Experience committee. ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 15
  • Component 4: Marketing the Heritage Area and ATHA, Inc. RESULT: Within the next three to five years we will see… The Heritage Area is the place to help visitors understand the “Evolution of our Nation.” ATHA, Inc. works at the grassroots level to promote the history and culture within the Heritage Area. This includes working with schools, churches, community groups, municipalities and more to showcase the “Evolution of a Nation” theme. ATHA, Inc. collaborates with the county’s conference and visitors bureau (also the DMO) and municipal marketing entities on marketing to visitors. Goal 1: Create a Marketing committee that strategically works on all aspects of marketing the Heritage Area and ATHA, Inc. Objectives: A. Define the role of the Marketing committee. B. Recruit managing board members and other experts in the field to be members of the committee. Goal 2: Make sure that visitors and communities identify the area as a heritage area and know about its many attractions. Objectives: A. Develop the messages and brand for the Heritage Area, building on the “Experience the Evolution of a Nation” theme and the interpretive plan for the Heritage Area. B. Plan, execute, and distribute the message about the theme, sites, etc., for visitors. C. Plan, execute, and distribute message for communities in the Heritage Area. D. Develop marketing work plan with DMO (and vice versa) to ensure ongoing coordination. E. Make sure ATHA, Inc. board members are versed in the messages and theme so they can discuss it with their constituents and networks. F. Apply for the MHAA marketing grant in order to further the work. G. Utilize the War of 1812, Battle of Bladensburg, Star Spangled Trail, and 150th anniversary of the Civil War to market the Heritage Area. Goal 3: Ensure that ATHA, Inc. is known as a resource for municipalities and groups interested in heritage tourism. Objectives: A. Develop the message about ATHA Inc. and the value it brings to heritage tourism in the area. B. Let municipalities, businesses, heritage groups, etc. know about the resources available through ATHA, Inc. (including TIZ benefits, and grants) and other projects. C. Conduct workshops to provide technical assistance to groups interested in MHAA funding D. Partner with MNCPPC to provide technical assistance to ensure historic sites are strong. Goal 4: Work with partners to create events that market the Heritage Area. Objectives: A. Develop “Passport to History” event. B. Continue and enhance the Bike Ride sponsored by ATHA, Inc. C. Make sure ATHA, Inc. participates in Heritage Area partner events. D. Include more events as needed through the marketing plan (see Goal 2). ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 16
  • Component 5: Fund-raising and Financial Viability RESULT: Within the next three to five years, we will see… ATHA, Inc. relies on a diverse funding base and has a strong fund-raising plan each year in order to meet its financial needs. The financial policies and practices ensure that the organization is accountable and sustainable. Goal 1. Diversify ATHA, Inc.’s funding base. Objectives: A. Develop annual fund-raising plan that examines needs and adheres to funding that is relative to mission and work B. Encourage Managing board members to “give/get” a certain amount in personal contributions and/or raise additional money from individual donors. C. Expand individual donor base through one-on-one meetings and “friend-raiser” events. D. Execute tenth anniversary gala garnering “friends” and funds. E. Organize an annual event to raise profile and money for ATHA, Inc. F. Expand annual solicitation to raise 5-10 percent of budget and increase each year. G. Increase foundation support. H. Increase number of organizational members. I. Increase major gifts (gifts worth more than $500). J. Develop reserve/emergency fund. L. Consider charging fees for ATHA, Inc. sponsored tours and events. K. Encourage and explore government grants. Goal 2: Expand ATHA, Inc.’s capacity to effectively raise money. Objectives: A. Develop a fund-raising committee (per the MHAA mandate). B. Consider hiring a part-time development director. Goal 3: Continue rigorous accounting and monitoring of finances. Objectives: A. Establish a finance committee to review finances monthly. B. Set financial polices and guidelines. C. Conduct audits regularly. D. Update financial policies and develop new ones as needed. ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 17
  • Part VI: Overall Plan Timetable Below is a summary of the overall focus of ATHA, Inc.’s work for each year of plan’s implementation. Year Summary of Activity January – • Design marketing messages for the Heritage Area and ATHA, Inc. June 2010 • Coordinate with the DMO on marketing • Define the roles of Managing and Governing boards, re-write bylaws • Create and recruit members for Managing board • Create the board committees and have board orientation • Begin negotiations and legal changes to separate from the Redevelopment Authority • Draft, approve, and circulate the MHAA grant guidelines and signage requirements • Visit and convene meetings with preservation and conversation groups (and define what ATHA, Inc. can provide) • Evaluate the management plan update to see what needs to be advocated for • Rewrite job descriptions and staff plan based on this strategic plan July – • Devise signage plan for signs to help visitors find their way while driving December • Implement marketing strategies 2010 • Reach out to municipalities regarding TIZ and other Heritage Area benefits • Finalize release from the Redevelopment Authority • Continue work on War of 1812 and Star Spangled Banner trail activities January- • Advocate to the State Highway Administration and other agencies to make Route 1 a Scenic June Byway 2011 • Work with preservation groups to establish more historic districts and sites in the Heritage Area • Continue work on War of 1812 and Star Spangled Banner trail activities • Plan for and execute the tenth anniversary celebration • Circulate MHAA grant guidelines widely, implement grants review committee July- • Consider hiring a part-time development director December • Begin Main Street Program application 2011 • Continue work on War of 1812 and Star Spangled Banner trail activities • Plan for an execute the tenth anniversary celebration • Get support and funding for trolley 2012 • Develop the Main Street infrastructure and partnerships • Continue work on War of 1812 and Star Spangled Banner trail activities • Implement trolley system 2013 • Continue work on War of 1812 and Star Spangled Banner Trail activities • Continue partnerships and advocacy for streetscaping, signage, and other capital investments • Open the Heritage Area Visitor Center 2014 • Continue work on War of 1812 and Star Spangled Banner trail activities • Continue partnerships and advocacy for streetscaping, signage, and other capital investments Note: All items are considered ongoing and are only listed in the year they begin. ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 18
  • Flow Chart of what a strategic vision and planning process produces that sets the stage for implementation. ATHA, Inc. has made well-informed strategic decisions that help define the comprehensive strategic direction of the organization and answer strategic questions. It has a set of action plans to help chart the course toward implementation. Vision of Area/Quality of Life/Field of Interest Strategic Identity: To advocate for, organize, and promote heritage tourism in a way that spurs economic development and protects the cultural, historic, and natural resources in each municipality in the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area. Component 1: Component 2: Component 3: Component 4: Component 5: Strong Board and Historic, Natural, Enhancing Visitor Marketing the Fundraising and Organization Cultural Experience Heritage Area and Financial Viability Preservation ATHA, Inc. Action Plan Action Plan Action Plan Action Plan Action Plan Goals Goals Goals Goals Goals Objectives, Objectives, Objectives, Objectives, Objectives, Measures, Measures, Measures, Measures, Measures, Action Items/ Action Items/ Action Items/ Action Items Action Items/ Strategies, Strategies, Strategies, /Strategies, Strategies, Timetables Timetables Timetables Timetables Timetables Who is Who is Who is Who is Who is responsible responsible responsible responsible responsible Implementation Periodic check-in and status report ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 19
  • Part VII: Component Action Plans, Implementation Timeline, and Accountability Action plans are specific plans that hold the timeline and tasks for implementation. These detail the objectives, strategies, partners to engage, timelines, and who is responsible for making it happen. These are the road maps for implementing the plan and getting things done. ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 20
  • Component 1: Strong Board and Organization RESULT: Within the next three to five years, we will see ATHA, Inc. is the management entity for the Heritage Area, and is a well run, efficient, and effective organization. It has a strong, diverse managing board that works together to implement the mission. The organization also has strong committees, and its internal policies and procedures are solidified for more efficient, effective operations. The municipalities participate directly through the governing board and assist with the implementation of the mission. Goal 1: Change the board structure in order to be more effective and sustainable. Objective Action Item Start Date Implement By Whom Notes Date (Committee, Staff, Board) A. Create a managing board Define the specific role and responsibilities of this managing Spring 2010 Full board (led by an See Appendix D composed of members of the board. ad hoc nominations This group will community, experts in specific March 2010 group) hire and fire the fields, fund-raisers, and others. It Revised bylaws accordingly executive will have between fifteen and director, with seventeen members. Draft board job description Spring 2010 March 2010 governing board’s Draft operational procedures approval. B. Recruit members to the managing Nominations function of the board to devise the skills board Spring 2010 March/April Full board led by board members need and to recruit people who have those skills. /May 2010 nominations ad hoc Consider getting the skills listed below. committee - Finance, legal, management, fund-raising, public relations, human resources - Representation to include: o Corporate, individual, philanthropic, arts, natural resources, historians, DMO, etc. o Ensure compliance with MHAA requirements The nominations ad hoc group will propose a slate of new members at the annual meeting. C. Redefine the role of the Define the role of the governing board Fall 2009 Governance Meets semi- municipalities (governing board) committee annually for an Draft job description for municipality representatives Spring 2010 update and other Update bylaws Spring 2010 information to ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 21
  • take to their Confirm the role, meetings, and decision making municipalities. Approves the budget and the executive director. D. Orient and educate board Conduct board training/orientation each year for new and old Spring 2010 Each near Governance members about the vision, members. board year committee mission, and culture. Make sure board members know their roles Update the board manual as needed. Executive committee in the organization and fulfill should review each year. them. Governing and managing board E. Create new board committee Create standing committees for the managing board. structure (under the managing Spring 2010 Ongoing Executive committee board), and define the roles of Executive committee – coordinates the work of the board, and board each committee, including consists of officers and committee chairs (or at large members) governance, marketing, fund- and serves as the finance committee to design the budget and raising, and others. (See Appendix oversee spending. D) Governance committee - takes on the role of board compliance with standards, conflict of interests, updating board manuals and board job descriptions, board orientation and training, and the nominations function, human resource policies, executive director review, and assist executive director with all personnel issues, grievances, etc. Fund-raising committee (mandated by MHAA and standard Spring 2010 practices – develops fundraising plan and helps Board and Exec Spring 2010 Director accomplish that plan. Grants Review committee – reviews all MHAA grants through ATHA, Inc. Marketing committee (mandated by MHAA) – works with all marketing, works with DMO and Maryland Office of Tourism, etc. Could include the programming and economic development work of ATHA, Inc. also. Visitor Experience committee – works on all aspects of visitor experience, including signage, economic development, ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 22
  • programming, etc. Define roles of each committee more fully to include their charges and obligations, and place in board manual. Chairs of each committee should be managing board members. Others from the community are welcome (except to the governance and executive committees, in which board members only should belong.) F. Amend bylaws and board Review bylaws, and make changes based on new committees Spring 2010 Every four Executive committee/ Review operating procedures as needed. and other technical changes years Governance Sarbanes-Oxley committee and board requirements Review board policies and others, and include in board manual (i.e. conflict of interest, etc.) Spring 2010 Goal 2: Become the official management entity for the Heritage Area. Objective Action Item Start Date Implement By Whom Notes Date (Committee, Staff, Board) A. Conduct meetings with RA, Conduct meeting of all parties. Spring 2010 Summer Executive committee MHAA, and ATHA, Inc. board to 2010 and legal counsel organize the process for the Understand the capacity needed for ATHA, Inc. separation. Draft and sign all necessary documents. B. Work to amend all plans and laws List all plans and municipal/county laws that need amendment. Spring 2010 Executive committee having the RA as the management and legal counsel entity for the Heritage Area. Enter into discussion with lawmakers for this amendment. Fall 2010 Follow up with testimony and other information as needed to ensure timely passage. C. Confirm passage of change with Work with MHAA staff on necessary documentation, testimony, Spring 2010 Ongoing Board and MHAA MHAA board. etc. staff ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 23
  • Goal 3: Ensure that ATHA, Inc. staff is strong and internal operations are efficient and effective. Objective Action Item Start Date Implement By Whom Notes Date (Committee, Staff, Board) A. Conduct staff evaluations to Staff evaluations need to be performed and productive. They Annually Annually Executive committee Reevaluate celebrate good performance, set should happen at least annually. should implement calendar year goals each year, and add and ensure these are performance to suggestions for improvement. (evaluations = feedback) done each year. determine (Executive budget needs, Committee does for etc., for fiscal the Executive year. Director, and she/he does for staff.) B. Update job descriptions Job descriptions are essential for performance evaluations, Spring 2010 Update Governance clarity of roles, and some grants require them every two committee and years executive director Update job descriptions every two years. C. Create and implement a personnel Personnel manual was updated and needs to be implemented Summer 2010 Ongoing Staff and Governance manual and other policies possible trainings on the provisions with staff each year, etc. committee Goal 4: Review and assist historic, cultural, and natural sites with MHAA grant funding and mini grants. Objective Action Item Start Date Implement By Whom Notes Date (Committee, Staff, Board) A. Conduct annual workshops for Do that now. Annually Annually grants. Staff Make sure all grant procedures, guidelines, etc., are spelled out. Reference website. B. Create Grants Review committee Define the role, how often members meet, and who they should Spring 2010 Ongoing Board to review MHAA grants. be. Recruit members ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 24
  • C. Create section of the website for Create the guidelines and post on website. Add the items about Spring 2010 Ongoing Staff guidelines, procedures, policies, signage requirements, applications, etc. and requirements for grants. D. Distribute guidelines and policies Refer to policy about signage. If using MHAA or ATHA, Inc. Spring 2010 Ongoing Staff and Grants regarding signage to all money, signage needs to match the design from 2003 Review committee municipalities to use as a guide. Grants committee reviews all designs. ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 25
  • Component 2: Historic, Cultural, and Natural Preservation and Conservation RESULT: Within the next three to five years we will see… ATHA, Inc. works to enhance historical, natural, and cultural heritage preservation by partnering with preservation and conservation groups, advocating when needed, and connecting to resources. ATHA, Inc. also strengthens local heritage through awareness of MHAA grants and technical assistance. Goal 1: Link to preservation and conservation groups in order to strengthen and advocate for the Heritage Area’s historical, cultural, and natural treasures. Objective Action Item Start Date Implement By Whom Notes Date (Committee, Staff, Board) A. Build partnerships with Identify each group (including arts advocates, preservation Spring 2010 Fall 2010 Staff and municipal preservation and conservation groups in each municipality, etc.) These groups could include reps as well as others groups, and specify benefits to Prince George’s Heritage, friends groups for various sites, the each. Anacostia Watershed Society, Prince George’s County Historical and Cultural Trust, Berwyn Heights Historic Preservation Committee, Historic Preservation Department, and the University of Maryland. Consider reconstructing the Heritage Area preservation team at the university to help with trail development, etc. Managing board Meet with each one to explain ATHA, Inc.’s role and how they can benefit. Explore a special committee of these groups to advise on actions. B. Determine benefits of List the benefits and have the board agree on them: Managing board and preservation/conservation groups - legislation/zoning, etc., Spring 2010 Executive committee working with ATHA, Inc. and use - links to state and local funding as available to build partnerships. - hearings when support from a large entity can be helpful for preservation purposes - others? Agree on the process for approving legislative/zoning actions. The letters/testimony should be approved before staff acts on Summer 2010 them. ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 26
  • C. Participate in the War of 1812 Participate in the commission’s work. Spring 2010 Ongoing ATHA, Inc. staff and work to promote and ensure committee preservation/conservation of Ensure that all preservation groups in the relevant area are Heritage Area. included in the activities, etc. D. Work with partner Identified in the Heritage Area Management Plan, including Summer 2010 Finish all ATHA, Inc. staff and conservation/preservation groups transportation, the river, settlement patterns, and more. ATHA trails by fall interested board to develop the Heritage Area should help facilitate this work. 2014 members interpretive theme trails (i.e. transportation, settlements, etc.) Consider reconstructing the Heritage Area preservation team at the University of Maryland to help with trail development, etc. Goal 2: Work with partners to increase the number of historic sites and districts, both local and national. Objective Action Item Start Date Implement By Whom Notes Date (Committee, Staff, Board) A. Work with groups to increase Compile list of historic sites and districts in the Heritage Area Fall 2010 Ongoing ATHA, Inc. staff and historic districts--national and (local and national). Visitor Experience local--to ensure historic committee preservation. Determine (based on sector plans and other conversations) where other districts should be, and encourage groups to move through that process. B. Refer groups to Historic Historic Preservation Commission just passed its plan for Spring 2010 Ongoing ATHA, Inc. staff and Preservation Commission for tax historic districts and sites, and ATHA, Inc. should help people Visitor Experience credits and other items for historic take advantage of the benefits. committee districts and sites. Refer to the Historic Sites and Districts Plan. Goal 3: Strengthen historic, cultural, and natural sites. Objective Action Item Start Date Implement By Whom Notes Date (Committee, Staff, Board) A. Promote the availability of See marketing component ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 27
  • MHAA funding for local sites. B. Conduct workshops to provide Conduct semi-annual workshops regarding grants available Spring 2010 Ongoing ATHA, Inc. staff technical assistance for groups through MHAA. interested in MHAA funding. C. Partner with MNCPPC to provide Technical assistance could include press releases, marketing, Ongoing Staff technical assistance to groups to visitor experience, etc. help them with visitor experience. MNCPPC already does this for its sites; staff there has agreed to Ongoing help with others that are not MNCPPC sites. ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 28
  • Component 3. Enhancing Visitor Experience RESULT: Within the next three to five years, we will see… ATHA, Inc. works to enhance visitors’ experiences by increasing economic activity and visitor amenities through advocating for specific programs and services, as well as by forming partnerships with municipalities and community development groups. As a result of these efforts, we will see more shops and restaurants, streetscaping, and overall investment in the Heritage Area. ATHA, Inc. also advocates for signage and connections so that it is easier for visitors to locate sites and connect to other sites in the area. Goal 1: Enhance the regional identity and visitor experience by adding signs that help visitors reach their destinations. Objective Action Item Start Date Implement By Whom Notes Date (Committee, Staff, Board) A. Devise a signage plan for visitors Signage plan is a plan for where signs would go so ATHA, Inc. Fall 2010 Spring 2011 Visitor Experience to find their way while driving can help lead visitors to the sites. committee and walking. Plan includes the design piece. See the Baltimore signs as examples on Appendix E. B. Continue to raise funds for Work with MHAA grants and other capital grants for such Ongoing Board and staff uniform way finding signage signage. throughout the Heritage Area. Once banners go up, this will improve regional identity. Fall 2010 Ongoing Signage throughout the heritage area should be large to best help people find their way while driving. Ongoing C. Build a Heritage Area Visitor Continue plans to build the visitor center off Route 1. Design started Spring 2015 Board, staff, city of Center Spring 2009 Hyattsville, others Raise money to ensure that the center is built in the next five years. Goal 2: Enhance visitor experience with historic streetscaping near historic sites and along corridors. Objective Action Item Start Date Implement By Whom Notes Date (Committee, Staff, Board) ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 29
  • A. Advocate for capital spending on Demand changes to Route 1 as indicated in the sector plans Ongoing Visitor Experience streetscaping near historic sites and (Bladensburg, etc.) Committee along corridors. Refer to other sector plans as well. B. Work with economic development Work with county council members to make Route 1 a Summer 2010 Staff entities (community development priority. Ongoing groups, municipalities, etc.) to streamline capital investment Work with developers. process and explore funding options. (Explore TIF on developments; part of this financing could go to streetscaping specific areas.) C. Work with state highway Meet with state highway officials and others to determine the Fall 2014 Staff and Visitor administration and other agencies best process. Fall 2010 Experience to develop Scenic Byways along committee Routes 1, 201, and 450 in order to Make sure that county council and legislators work to make better connect the historic/cultural state highway prioritize this area for its programs. sites. D. Work with municipalities and Trolley was high on the priority list for stakeholders. Does not Fall 2011 Fall 2015 ATHA, Inc. staff, partners to create a trolley along have to be a rail trolley; could be a road trolley. board, and partners Route 1 to connect sites and make travel easy for visitors. Would have to be operated effectively. Goal 3: Work with businesses and municipalities to spur economic development so visitors have retail outlets and other amenities while visiting the Heritage Area. Objective Action Item Start Date Implement By Whom Notes Date (Committee, Staff, Board) A. Work with MHAA on As per the MHAA plan Summer 2010 ATHA. Inc. staff and improvement of the TIZ benefits interested board and marketing. members B. Expand the areas in the Heritage Current TIZ areas in the Heritage Area are College Park, Summer 2010 Fall 2010 ATHA, Inc. staff and ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 30
  • Area that are designated TIZs Riverdale Park, Berwyn Heights, and Greenbelt. economic development partners Work to designate more TIZs in order to ensure more businesses in various municipalities can utilize the benefits. The expansion should include the Rt. 1 communities. Understand the expansion criteria from MHAA and apply for further designation. C. Promote the use of the TIZ Work with economic development staff of each municipality (or Ongoing benefits to municipalities and council/staff) to understand the benefits of TIZ and how to Fall 2010 Staff and interested businesses. apply. board members D. Work to develop a Main Street Work with municipalities around Route 1 for to apply for Main Spring 2011 Spring 2012 Visitor Experience Program along Route 1. Street designation, which will provide grants for façade deadline committee and staff improvements, marketing of the area, etc.) Meet with each municipality on the idea and garner support. Determine the best likely applicant (Gateway? Hyattsville? ATHA, Inc.?) Goal 4: Create a Visitor Experience committee for ATHA, Inc. to initiate and manage the visitor experience work. Objective Action Item Start Date Implement By Whom Notes Date (Committee, Staff, Board, etc.) A. Constitute Visitor Experience Define the composition and role of the committee. Summer 2010 Managing board committee of managing board members and relevant members of the community. B. Define role of the Visitor Proposed role: Ongoing Experience committee --Work on signage plan Fall 2010 Staff and interested --Work on economic development initiatives board members --Collaborate on initiatives --Oversee the preservation and conservation work ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 31
  • Component 4: Marketing the Heritage Area and ATHA, Inc. RESULT: Within the next three to five years we will see… The Heritage Area is the place to help visitors understand the “Evolution of our Nation.” ATHA, Inc. works at the grassroots level to promote the history and culture within the Heritage Area. This includes working with schools, churches, community groups, municipalities and more to showcase the “Evolution of a Nation” theme. ATHA, Inc. collaborates with the county’s conference and visitors bureau (also the DMO) and municipal marketing entities on marketing to visitors. Goal 1: Create a Marketing committee that strategically works on all aspects of marketing the Heritage Area and ATHA, Inc. Objective Action Item Start Date Implement By Whom Notes Date (Committee, Staff, Board) A. Define the role of the Role could include: Summer 2010 Fall 2010 Managing board Marketing Committee - Help draft and implement the marketing plan for the Heritage Area and one for ATHA, Inc. - Assist staff in executing that plan - Make connections with media resources to ensure coverage of stories related to the Heritage Area (especially upcoming milestones like the War of 1812, etc.) B. Recruit managing board Includes DMO and marketing entities from each municipality, Summer 2010 Ongoing Managing board members and other experts in experts in the field, etc. the field to be on the committee. Goal 2: Make sure that visitors and communities identify the area as a heritage area and know about its many attractions. Objective Action Item Start Date Implement By Whom Notes Date (Committee, Staff, Board) A. Develop the messages and Identify and list the audiences and the types of messages for each Summer 2010 Fall 2010 Marketing brand for the Heritage Area, one, based on the themes of the Heritage Area (i.e. historians, committee building on the “Experience nature and art lovers, visitors, etc) the Evolution of a Nation” theme and the interpretive plan Refer to the Heritage Area interpretive plan, including work for the Heritage Area. around: ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 32
  • - Settlement patterns and development of communities - The river and its history - Transportation Other marketing messages and opportunities - War of 1812 - 150th anniversary of the Civil War B. Plan, execute, and distribute Collaborate with DMO on specific strategies/opportunities related Summer 2010 Ongoing DMO and the message about the theme, to ad placement, travel trade shows, etc. Marketing sites, etc., for visitors. committee Assign specific tasks to DMO and ATHA, Inc. related to this marketing. Utilize web-based marketing through DMO and ATHA, Inc. website. C. Plan, execute, and distribute Coordinate work with local groups, including preservation groups, Summer 2010 Ongoing ATHA, Inc. staff message for communities in schools, etc. the Heritage Area. Use web-based marketing through DMO and ATHA website, and others (like those for municipalities, etc.) Newsletters (e-news), etc. Events D. Develop marketing work plan Per the MHAA requirements, set up at least annual work plan Spring 2010 Annually Marketing with DMO (and vice versa) to meeting with DMO. committee and ensure ongoing coordination. ATHA, Inc. staff E. Make sure ATHA, Inc. board Train board members on the messages, conduct role-playing. Summer 2010 Ongoing Marketing members are versed in the committee messages and theme so they Provide opportunities for board members to speak publicly about can discuss it with their the Heritage Area (at council meetings and others). constituents and networks. F. Apply for the MHAA Coordinate with the CVB to apply for and administer the grant Summer 2010 Staff and DMO marketing grant in order to funds. further the work. ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 33
  • G. Utilize the War of 1812, Battle Work with 1812 Commission and stakeholders in the Heritage Summer 2010 Fall 2014 Marketing of Bladensburg, Star Spangled Area to ensure that state funds and attention comes to this area. committee and Trail, and 150th anniversary of DMO the Civil War to market the Attend all committee meetings. Heritage Area. Work with sites and historic groups on strategies and events for these high-profile events. Goal 3: Ensure that ATHA, Inc. is known as a resource for municipalities and groups interested in heritage tourism. Objective Action Item Start Date Implement By Whom Notes Date (Committee, Staff, Board) A. Develop the message about Develop the tagline and message about ATHA, Inc.’s role. Spring 2010 Summer 2010 Marketing ATHA Inc. and the value it committee and brings to heritage tourism in (Ten-second speech or sound bite case statement on the value that staff the area. ATHA brings, etc.) B. Let municipalities, businesses, Schedule meetings with town councils. Attend council meetings to Spring 2010 Ongoing ATHA, Inc. staff heritage groups, etc. know give regular updates on ATHA, Inc. and the resources available by and board members about the resources available being included in the Heritage Area (including TIZ, grants, etc.) when appropriate through ATHA, Inc. (including TIZ benefits, and grants) and The message should also be about the broader theme of the other projects. Heritage Area. Utilize the tenth anniversary as a marketing opportunity. C. Conduct workshops to provide Conduct semi-annual workshops regarding grants available Spring 2010 Ongoing ATHA, Inc. staff technical assistance to groups through MHAA. interested in MHAA funding. D. Partner with MNCPPC to MNCPPC already does this for its sites and has agreed to do so for Ongoing ATHA, Inc. staff provide technical assistance to others (see Preservation Component). ensure historic sites are strong. ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 34
  • Goal 4: Work with partners to create events that market the Heritage Area. Objective Action Item Start Date Implement By Whom Notes Date (Committee, Staff, Board) A. Develop “Passport to History” Popular event worked well a few years ago, was sponsored by Spring 2010 Summer 2010 Marketing event. MNCPPC committee/staff B. Continue and enhance the Bike Assess the success of the bike rides and enhance them. Spring 2010 Ongoing ATHA, Inc staff Ride sponsored by ATHA, Inc. and board members C. Make sure ATHA, Inc. Attend and at times have a table at events as needed. Spring 2010 Ongoing ATHA, Inc. staff participates in Heritage Area and board partner events. Ensure that ATHA, Inc. is represented at events. D. Include more events as needed MNCPPC already does this for its sites and has agreed to do the Ongoing ATHA, Inc. staff through the marketing plan same for others (see Preservation Component). (see Goal 2). ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 35
  • Component 5: Fund-raising and Financial Viability RESULT: Within the next three to five years, we will see….. ATHA, Inc. relies on a diverse funding base and has a strong fund-raising plan each year in order to meet its financial needs. The financial policies and practices ensure that the organization is accountable and sustainable. Goal 1. Diversify ATHA, Inc.’s funding base. Objective Action Item Start Date Implement By Whom Notes Date (Committee, Staff, Board) A. Develop annual fund-raising Evaluate success of efforts in past years, including money raised When Fund-raising and Be careful not plan that examines needs and by sources and events, demographics of givers, appeal of developing Each Executive to do new adheres to funding that is message, etc. annual budget fiscal year committees programs just relative to mission and work. because you Each year’s plan includes: Fund-raising can’t find - Financial goals by source Annually committee money to do the - Developing at least two new funders/donors by end of each core work. fiscal year B. Encourage Managing board Institute board contribution policy. Summer 2010 Ongoing Fund-raising Municipalities members to “give/get” a certain - Make sure fund-raising expectation is in the board’s job committee to make give already, amount in personal description. Each year recommendation to and we need to contributions and/or raise challenge managing board cultivate them. additional money from They have to give or get a certain amount each year, using event each fiscal year individual donors. ticket sales, personal donations, grant writing, and individual with the This is for donations. fund-raising plan. Managing board members. Governing board members give their volunteer time as previously Fund-raising done. committee to challenge board Ensure that 100 percent of the board is giving. C. Expand individual donor base Cultivate more individual giving (more money and more people Spring 2010 Ongoing Fund-raising through one-on-one meetings giving) by: committee and “friend-raiser” events. --one-on-one meetings with major donors to ask for more and top get advice on whom else to solicit. --holding “friend-raisers,” coffees at board member homes, etc. ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 36
  • Board members produce names of people they can approach each year, (i.e. new/existing local businesses, colleagues, etc.) Consider developing a “Wall of Fame” of donors. Develop incentive programs for board members to raise money. For instance a “Board Member of the Year” plaque or some giveaway. D. Execute tenth anniversary gala Plan 2011 gala. Fall 2010 Event fall Fund-raising garnering “friends” and funds. 2011 committee, board, Consider ticket prices, location, etc., and get food, etc., donated so and honorary that all proceeds benefit ATHA, Inc. directly. committee Create an honorary committee (of municipal leaders, community leaders, business people, etc.) E. Organize an annual event to Could be a dinner with a keynote speaker, golf tournament, etc. Plan spring Fall event Fund-raising raise profile and money for 2012 ongoing committee ATHA, Inc. Board members can sell tickets to the event as part of their contribution. Use tenth anniversary as the kickoff; start this year after that. F. Expand annual solicitation to Plan strategic solicitations during the year and execute in fall. Fall 2010 Ongoing Fund-raising raise 5 -10 percent of budget and committee increase each year. Examine who the potential donors are (demographics, etc.) and build relationships. Managing and Governing board members to give names to receive solicitation letters. Historical society lists, etc. G. Increase foundation support. Apply to local foundations pitching ATHA, Inc.’s intermediary Summer 2010 Ongoing Fund-raising role. committee and staff This is not for the support of other sites, unless a large grant is available for that. Prospect for foundations through the “foundation center” database ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 37
  • and others. H. Increase number of Revisit the membership strategy. Summer 2010 Ongoing Fund-raising organizational members. committee and Organizations are members of ATHA, Inc.. Individuals are just staff donors. Determine the benefits of membership and how to manage the members. I. Increase major gifts (gifts worth Have managing board members suggest names and corporations Spring 2013 Ongoing Fund-raising more than $500). for large donations. committee and staff Have board members make the connections and individual meetings. Put together a packet of information for donors (see Marketing Component). J. Develop reserve/emergency Individual donations go into the reserve fund, not the general 2010 2012 Managing board fund. fund. K. Encourage and explore Work with MHAA for government grants from the local, state, Spring 2010 Fund-raising government grants. and federal levels. committee Encourage Prince George’s County Council to give an annual grant. Spring 2011 L. Consider charging fees for Bike rides currently have entry fees. Spring 2012 Visitor Experience ATHA, Inc. sponsored tours and committee events. If ATHA, Inc. starts tours, consider charging fees for those. Goal 2: Expand ATHA, Inc.’s capacity to effectively raise money. Objective Action Item Start Date Implement By Whom Notes Date (Committee, Staff, Board) A. Develop a fund-raising Role of the committee would be to: Spring 2010 For fiscal Managing board ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 38
  • committee (per the MHAA 2011 mandate). --develop the fund-raising plan with staff, including setting goals for each funding source. --assist in executing the plan, including hosting events, holding the board and staff accountable for its work. --assist when needed. --make connections to resources as available. --ensure the match for MHAA funding and more fund- raising above that. B. Consider hiring a part-time Development director would organize the events, help 2011 Executive /Fund- development director. cultivate the individual donors, keep the databases updated, raising committee and write grants. Goal 3: Continue rigorous accounting and monitoring of finances. Objective Action Item Start Date Implement By Whom Notes Date (Committee, Staff, Board) A. Establish a finance Finance committee, chaired by the treasurer. Purpose is to Spring 2010 Managing board committee to review oversee finances and have more than one person on the finances monthly. board other than the treasurer understand the financial situation. B. Set financial polices and Set guidelines for use of expense funds by department, Ongoing Finance guidelines. requisition, and approval process, and more (internal committee controls are already done, etc.) C. Conduct audits regularly. Ongoing Ongoing Treasurer D. Update financial policies These include petty cash, internal controls, and others. Spring 2010 Every two Finance and develop new ones as Possibly utilize the Maryland Association of Non-profits years committee needed. Standards of Excellence as a model. ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 39
  • Part VIII: Appendices A. General Terms Used B. Performance Measures from MHAA C. Highlights from Information-Gathering Phase of Process D. Proposed Board Organizational Structure E. Photos of Model Wayfinding while driving signage F. List of Items in Resource Notebook Appendix A: General Terms Used Results: Each component has a result to achieve in five years. It is a statement of what ATHA, Inc. will look like and accomplish in the next three years. Action Plans: Specific plans that detail the goals, strategies, partners to engage, who is responsible for making things happen, and timelines for implementation. These are the road maps to getting things done. Goals: These set out the accomplishments the organization hopes to make within a specific time period. Objectives: Statements of short-term achievements and collections of activities that, if achieved, constitute fulfillment of the goals. Strategies/Action Items: The activities that will be implemented to ensure that the goals are accomplished. They answer the question, “What will it take to accomplish our goal?” ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 40
  • Appendix B: Heritage Area Program Impact Metrics (From MHAA Strategic Plan, Appendix 6) On an annual basis, Heritage Areas will be asked to submit data for a series of metrics designed to measure Heritage Area impact in three key categories of activity: 1). Development of Heritage Based Product; 2.) Building Partnerships; and, 3.) Sustaining Regional Identity. All Heritage Areas will collect data in all categories. However, Heritage Areas will identify those metric categories in which achievement is most relevant to accomplishing their management plan goals and objectives. Following action on the Strategic Plan by MHAA, data definitions for these metrics will be developed. MHAA will review these metrics every year for clarity and effectiveness. This performance measurement tool will continue to be refined over time with input from Heritage Areas and other Program partners. Heritage Product Development Number of enhanced heritage attractions, activities, events Increased attendance at heritage attractions, activities, events (year over year percentage) Capital investment in TIZ - New designated resources -- byways, historic districts, protection, artsand entertainment districts -- to attract or contribute to heritage area, heritage - tourism Increase in other cultural/natural products and services related toheritage area awareness, themes, or heritage tourism (interpretation, guide training, signage, local marketing communications) Building Partnerships Number of organizations served through technical assistance and grant programs Three demonstrations of how heritage area management entity assistance added value, helped accomplish mission (preferably in heritage product development, sustaining regional identity) Workshops held and number of participants (follow-up following year to determine actual implementation-- report as result) - Cultivate new national funding (leverage certified heritage area status to attract federal funds) New partnerships cultivated to overcome preservation, protection challenge Sustaining Regional Identity Local communications, programs to educate residents about regional identity Anecdotes from stakeholders, residents Increased number of volunteer hours and dollars donated locally Participation in making positive change in county comprehensive plan Participation in development of new design guidelines, preservation/conservation policy ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 41
  • Appendix C. Highlights from the Information Gathering phase (separate document) ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 42
  • Appendix D. Proposed Board Structure for ATHA, Inc. (October 2009) Governing Board Composed of current representatives from the municipalities Role is to approve the Budget and Executive Director as recommended by the Managing Board Participate on committees as each member is interested. Meet at least quarterly or semi-annually for updates and decisions. Managing Board: A “real non-profit” board. Fiduciary responsibility for fundraising, financial accountability and promoting ATHA, and ATHA, Inc. Attention is paid to furthering ATHA, Inc.’s mission and role. Makes all decisions. Hires and fires Executive director (making a recommendation to the Governing Board first for their approval). Drafts budget and recommends to Governing Board. Serve on committees Composed of members of the community (within and outside of ATHA) with specific skills and interests Executive Committee Governance Committee Fundraising Committee Marketing Committee 4 officers, committee chairs, Board recruitment and Devise fundraising plan, Coordinates with the CVB representative of governing training/orientation, bylaws and work with staff to to market ATHA (the board review, compliance with execute the plan. Including Heritage area) as mandated standards and laws, Human donors, grants, etc. by MHAA, and works to Also serves as the Finance Resources and personnel market the services of committee to develop the items, organizational Monthly or as needed ATHA, Inc budget, oversee spending. policies. Monthly or as needed Meets monthly Meets monthly or as needed Grants Review committee Visitor Experience committee Review all applications for MHAA funding before Work with partners to enhance submitted to MHAA, update economic development and the guidelines for such visitor experience and funding, review sign preservation. Members can be designs, etc. outside Board ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 Meets only as needed 43 Monthly or as needed
  • Appendix E. Model “way-finding while driving” signage. Photos are from Baltimore City, Maryland, October 2009 ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 44
  • Appendix F. Items in the Resource Notebook A. Copy of this plan B. Copy of the management plan update C. Notes from the information collection phase D. Notes from the two board planning sessions E. Other notes ATHA, Inc Strategic Plan February 2010 45