Strategic Goal 1: Achieve Organizational Excellence through Effective Leadership Practices

Create an administrative structure that advances organizational goals and that responds to and engenders trust and confidence in its constituents and third parties with whom it deals.

Key Strategies:
  • Develop communication strategies the will convey relevant information clearly, effectively and accurately, in a timely manner to constituents, media, the general public and third parties.

Strengthen governance and leadership capacity at the Board and committee level.

Key Strategies:
  • Conduct Board and committee development activities to strengthen orientation, communications, leadership, and performance.
  • Create roles and responsibilities documents for Board and committee members.
  • Develop work plans for each standing committee with objectives and goals.
    • Each committee is accountable for its work plan to a member of the Board, and each committee has a staff liason.
  • Overhaul recruitment procedures for Board and committee.
  • Continue to improve Board performance evaluation system.

Enhance staff performance and job satisfaction.

Key Strategies:
  • Review employee compensation and benefits system.
  • Provide all staff with professional development opportunities.
  • Set and evaluate annual individual performance goals.
  • Ensure appropriate facilities and technology for staff and programming.

Strategic Goal 2: Position USAFencing for Long-Term Financial Sustainability

Generate appropriate revenue to meet growing annual operating budget.

Key Strategies:
  • Increase board and staff capacity for fundraising efforts.
  • Create a fundraising plan focused on building a funding portfolio.
  • Create a marketing/communications and membership plan to increase earned revenue.

Strategic Goal 3: Enhance and Expand USAFencing Programs continue the growth of fencing, at all levels, in the United States

Support and grow fencing at all levels

Key Strategies
  • Support the formation of new clubs or the continued grow current fencing clubs though:
  1. Provision of recruitment tools, and administrative tools and packages for running a club.
  2. Leveraging the coalition of fencing clubs for better deals for management software, insurance, equipment acquisition, and promotional material
  3. Develop a structure, similar to that used by college sororities, that utilizes regional volunteers of indviduals with specific skills - fundraising, tournaments, club organization, recruitment of students, to assist the development of clubs.
  • Assure consistent, high quality, fair and well-organized competitions and other services for fencers of all interests, skill levels, ages and locations through use of regional cup series within Divisions and Sections.
  • Support Coaching Development through coaches college and continuing coaches education with the USFCA.
  • Provide fencers of all levels with perspective to advance their career
  • Encourage (public/private, middle/high) schools to create fencing programs and leagues.
    • Promote mutually-advantageous partnerships between existing programs (clubs, foundations, universities) and local secondary schools.
    • Create a package of best practices and practical advice on how to start school programs
    • Identify successful programs/individuals that could volunteer to act as mentors, possibly on a regional basis

Coordinated efforts to support and develop fencers to be able to achieve higher levels of competative success

  • Outline set of a competive goals and implement a structure for a series increasingly challengeing tournaments to support the competative ambitions of developing fencers at all ages (cadet, junior, senior, veteran and wheelchair.
    • Utilizing volunteers that are accountable and work with a set of written purposes and goals, and ultimately answer to a Board member or lead volunteer.
  • Designate regional training centers for recurring training camps to increase readiness for higher levels of competition.

Continue the tradition of international competitive success though a systemized approach that results in athletic success at the highest levels of fencing.

Key Strategies
  • Coordinate efforts of high-level coaches to ensure athletes of all agaes are properly supported at the highest levels of competition
  • Develop national training opportunities/camps for high level fencers and coaches with a primary goal of providing greater competitive experiences in a more focused environment.
  • Strengthen relationships and partnerships in the USOC, FIE and Pan American Zonal Confederation.
  • Develop ongoing relationships with European coaches and fencing federations to build networks for high-performing athletes and coaches to train with top level athletes from other countries

Implementation Guidelines

USAFencing’s Strategic Plan is a management tool to guide the work of the Board of Directors, management and staff to develop effective programs, make better management and financial decisions, evaluate performance and increase the value of the organization to its artists.

For each of the strategic goals, a committee of the Board, an ad hoc task force, a staff member, volunteer or consultant will be assigned a leadership role in pursuing strategies for implementation that will achieve measurable outcomes. Regular updates will be given on the progress toward achieving goals, which will allow the Board to ensure effective coordination among groups working on different goals.

The Board will designate a standing committee to be responsible for evaluating progress and celebrating accomplishments on an ongoing basis. A series of benchmarks has been created to help guide the staff and board in evaluating progress. Ideally, every Board and staff member will be involved in helping to achieve one or more of the strategic goals in the plan.

Board Responsibilities

  • Championing the strategic plan with board, funders and supporters
  • Following the strategic plan when governing
  • Fundraising to support the strategic plan and related capacity-building initiatives
  • Make committee assignments and/or create ad hoc task forces comprised of Board members, staff, volunteers and consultants to support the achievement of strategic goals
  • Providing guidance and support to staff
  • Evaluating progress on a regular basis

Staff Responsibilities

  • Championing the strategic plan with board, funders and supporters
  • Following the strategic plan in daily operations
  • Fundraising to support the strategic plan and related capacity building initiatives
  • Task force and individual work to support the achievement of strategic goals
  • Integrating strategic goals and objectives into programs and services

Evaluation Guidelines

USAFencing Board of Directors is responsible for monitoring and evaluating progress on implementation of the Strategic Plan. Evaluation guidelines include the following:

  • Ensure activities are mission-driven
  • Focus on outcomes-based performance measures to assess level of success
  • Conduct evaluations on a regular basis
  • Gather feedback from as many stakeholder groups as possible in the evaluation process
  • Document and publicize achievements
  • Do not hesitate to terminate strategies (and programs) that are not working; think of termination as part of a cycle of change for the better

Evaluation Questions
For every strategy used to fulfill a measurable objective towards one of the goals in the organization’s Strategic Plan, the Board of Directors will work with whomever has been assigned the lead responsibility for implementation of a specific goal to answer the following questions:

  1. What have we achieved in the last evaluation period?
  1. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this strategy?
  1. What changes could we make to improve this strategy?
  1. Based on the answers to these questions, should this strategy be: a) maintained, b) revised or, c) replaced?

Annual Review

  • Convene an annual strategic planning review meeting to assess long-term progress. This will allow the organization to build on its successes, identify challenges or barriers to the implementation of specific goals or objectives, and have the flexibility to alter the Strategic Plan to reflect changes in the organization’s operating environment. Meeting participants should include a variety of key stakeholders.

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