Posted by: mattnespoli | August 25, 2010

Strategic Planning

Matt Nespoli is the President and Founder of Water for Waslala

Over the last three months, our WfW Board of Directors has been busy creating our strategic plan for our next fiscal year, which begins on September 1. Here are some of the big-picture goals we have agreed to work on this year:

1. Increase our donor base: Over the last six years, we’ve had wonderful financial support from mainly Villanova students and alumni. But in order to grow, we need new sources of financing outside of the University. We are going to pursue three avenues of support this year to grow our revenues and donor base:

  • Attract donors online using our new website, Google adwords, and new SEO (search engine optimization) techniques
  • Create relationships with online funding communities like The Peer Water Exchange and Global Giving
  • More aggressively pursue corporate sponsorships for our annual Walk for Water

2. Improve our communication with our current donors: we want to keep our current donors (all of you!) more engaged in our work in Waslala. Here’s how we’re going to do so:

  • Justin Knabb, our former Director of Accounting, will lead a new function on our Board: Director of Donor Relations.
  • Increase the # of weekly blog posts
  • Send media-rich emails to our supporters every three months (if you want to be on this list, email us)
  • Organize 2-3 “virtual brownbags” each year, where we invite our supporters to a webinar and share photos, video and stories of recently completed water systems. This will help existing donors better understand how their donations were used and what the impact was on the ground.
  • Justin will be reaching out to every donor on a personal basis 1-2 times a year to ensure that they are satisfied with the ways in which their donations have been used.

3. Build more water systems!: We want to increase the number of projects we complete each year and help more Waslalans access the clean water they deserve. To do so, we’re going to reduce the time and cost of each project by doing the following:

  • Hire a project manager with engineering expertise: Meaghan Gruber, our current Waslalan project manager, will be leaving us in September. Meaghan’s replacement will pick up on the good work she has done over the last year, and take it further by bringing engineering skills to the mix. This will allow us to design our systems in-house as opposed to paying a local Waslalan engineer, and it will also make the construction process go faster and smoother.
  • Begin a new VU engineering summer internship program: This summer, Dave Rounce, a 2010 VU graduate in mechanical engineering, spent his summer creating design drawings for our next two water systems. We’d like to continue having Villanova engineers completing summer internships in Waslala  to lend us a hand and help us design and build more systems.

These are just some of the plans we are working on for next year. Stay tuned for more details!

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