In late 2012, the Latino Programs division of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF) decided they wanted to undergo a one-day, brief strategic planning process to help guide the future of their program. This planning process would help clarify their direction prior to applying for crucial funding from the federal government. SFAF hired Facente Consulting to facilitate that strategic planning process.
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The strategic planning process included 6 hours of preparation work, leading up to a 4-hour planning session with current SFAF staff, plus a 2-hour session with external stakeholders (other HIV-related Latino-specific service providers in San Francisco). The SFAF team focused on a review of what was already known, a discussion of existing opportunities and challenges for the program, and an examination of data points that are unknown and important to collect, including why and how they should be collected. Following this groundwork, the team began to explore what they thought Latino Programs should look like in 5 years, and how that aligned with the overall Strategic Goals of SFAF. Utilizing an interactive activity using post-it notes to generate and organize thoughts and themes from all participants, the team discussed their specific target population, mission and vision, as well as conceptualizing future programs and activities.
After the group had settled on the ideal target programs and activities, it was time to develop a plan to achieve that vision. This included discussions about staffing, relationship with other service providers, strategic partnerships that should be pursued, needed commitments from SFAF as a whole, potential funding sources, evaluation strategies, succession planning, and a reasonable timeline in which to achieve those milestones.
The day closed with the addition of external stakeholders to the room, so the entire group could discuss together about HIV-related services currently provided to Latinos in San Francisco, the group’s perspective on how Latino Programs fits into the landscape of other service providers, the vision for Latino Programs in the future, and the collective to-do list to help realize those goals. In the end, notes and materials were provided to SFAF to support their future discussion and planning as they progressed through the next 5 years of Latino Programs’ evolution.