This year, our goals are as easy as 1, 2, 3!
First things first: We want more people at the table—more interns, more volunteers, more donors.
Traditionally, we've recruited most of our interns through word-of-mouth and long-term relationships we've developed at Michigan State University. As part of our plans for growth, however, we're reaching out to students at other Big Ten schools, liberal arts colleges countrywide and universities across Michigan. By the end of 2016, we hope to have at least three (3) new university partners.
In the past, we've also been rather short-staffed. Of course, we've had a dedicated team willing to roll up their sleeves and get things done. But they can't do it alone. That's why this year, building on the success of our chapter at Michigan State University, we plan to extend more opportunities to serve at colleges and universities within the region and around the country. With a nominal sized board, we also plan to add more members to our ranks. By the end of 2016, we hope to have at least two (2) new chapters and a board of at least nine (9) members.
Not surprisingly, we've also historically had a smaller group of people supporting our mission. While this has served us well and allowed us to achieve some remarkable things, we want to invite more people to make gifts that will help us advance our mission and amplify our impact. By the end of 2016, we hope to have at least 50 new donors (at least 20 of whom will give on a recurring, monthly basis), making an average gift of $150.
Second thing: We want to be the face of Squarespace.
More (engaging) content.
We're living in the day and age of always-on technology, and the young people we want to work with are reading, watching and sharing content every minute throughout the day. But we've never been able to produce the content we've needed to produce in order to reach them. This year, using a guerilla marketing strategy, we plan to use Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, email and our website to create and share content that is not only entertaining, but educational and engaging. By the end of 2016, we hope to be one of the top ten places university students go to learn about international internships.
More (consistent) communication.
In the past, we've shared ad hoc newsletters and announcements. But we know that hasn't been enough to keep you engaged in what we're doing—largely because you don't know when to expect news from us. This year, we're putting together a calendar to help as we publish our content with you and everyone else in our network. By the end of 2016, we hope to have shared at least 11 e-newsletters with you—one each month—and we want to offer messages specific to your interests and passions.
Finally: We want to amplify our impact.
We've yet to master how to quantify the impact we're having with the youth we serve at home and abroad. We know we've improved their lives, but we only know that anecdotally. This year, we want to drill down and identify the metrics that will best define our success. From there, we will collect, analyze and share our data with you and everyone else in our network. By the end of 2016, we hope to have shared logic models for all four (4) of our programs and provided an interactive way to access quarterly and annual data through our website.
Similar to our relationship with data, we want to more consistently share stories with you. From time to time, we let you know when we or our partners are in crisis or when we hit a significant milestone, but we know consistency is the key. That's why this year, we plan to tell you stories about all the work we're doing by inviting interns, board members, partners, donors and the youth themselves to share their experiences with you. By the end of 2016, we hope to have shared at least 20 stories with you and everyone in our network.