Acknowledgments

After the Harvest thanks the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, which generously supported the development of this strategic plan. We also wish to extend our sincere thanks to the many people who participated in the stakeholder surveys conducted recently.

The organization acknowledges the time, expertise, and energy offered by the following individuals who led the strategic planning effort.

Board of Directors

  • Jim Merrill, President-Elect, Board of Directors, Independent Consultant
  • Sally Luck, Chair, Board of Directors, Hallmark Cards, Inc.
  • Mark A. Smith, Secretary, Board of Directors, Hallmark Cards, Inc.
  • Jane Smeltzer, Treasurer, Board of Directors
  • Christina Martin, Independent Consultant

Staff

  • Lisa Ousley, Executive Director
  • Karin Page, Program Director
  • Sandy Vivian, Outreach Coordinator

Consultant

  • Gretchen H. Kunkel, KC Healthy Kids

Introduction

After the Harvest (ATH) is a newly established 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to prevent hunger by rescuing fresh produce that would otherwise go to waste and distributing it to organizations that feed hungry people. ATH collects fresh produce two ways:

  • By gleaning excess food from local and regional farms, farmers’ markets, and orchards
  • By securing truckloads of donated fruits and vegetables from large commercial producers and brokers.

The donated produce is distributed to food banks and other organizations feeding hungry people in Greater Kansas City, primarily, and in the states of Kansas and Missouri.

To best meet increasing community need, we developed this strategic plan to strengthen our efforts to reach more agencies within the 26-county Kansas City region and to increase the effectiveness of our services to prevent hunger. The plan covers three fiscal years, January 2015 through December 2017. It is intended to communicate our purpose and support our decision-making regarding our program, policy, budget, and operational priorities. Overall, the strategic plan communicates our commitment to reducing waste and preventing hunger by addressing the following four strategic issues:

  1. How do we increase gleaning and recovery of fresh produce and distribute it to organizations feeding
    hungry people effectively and efficiently?
  2. How do we motivate stakeholders to take action in support of ATH’s mission?
  3. How do we increase revenues to achieve our mission sustainably?
  4. How do we establish a strong infrastructure necessary to fulfill our mission?

Each of these issues has equal priority and should be considered in context with the others. Strategic goals, measurements, strategies, and action plans have been developed to address each of the strategic issues and are dealt with extensively in this document.

Strategic Plan

Who We Are

After the Harvest’s mission is to prevent hunger by rescuing fresh produce that would otherwise go to waste and distributing it to organizations that feed hungry people. We are a nonprofit organization serving Greater Kansas City, primarily, and the states of Kansas and Missouri.

With the help of volunteers, we glean fresh fruits and vegetables from regional farms, farmers’ markets, and orchards. We also secure truckloads of donated produce from large commercial producers and brokers. The produce is distributed to food banks and feeding agencies in Missouri and Kansas.

Vision

A healthy Heartland without hunger and food waste

Mission

To prevent hunger by rescuing fresh produce that would otherwise go to waste and distributing it to organizations that feed hungry people.

Core Values

The following core values guide the way we work and the relationships we build.

  • Mission-Driven – We work together based on our shared beliefs that no one should be hungry and no healthy food should be wasted.
  • Dignity – We believe everyone has a fundamental right to nutritious food. Hunger is unacceptable.
  • Collaboration  – We believe collaboration is the only way to end hunger and food waste.
  • Environmental Sustainability – We believe in common-sense solutions to ending hunger that are sustainable – locally, socially, economically, and environmentally.
  • Diversity – We aspire to create an inclusive environment that embraces the diversity of individuals, thoughts, and viewpoints.
  • Integrity – We believe in being transparent and trustworthy. We are committed to ethical and professional accountability in the management of our operations, resources, and relationships.

Strategic Issues for 2015 – 2017

We identified the following four issues as critical to ensure our ability to achieve our mission in Kansas City, primarily, and in the states of Kansas and Missouri.

  1. How do we increase gleaning and recovery of fresh produce and distribute it to organizations feeding
    hungry people effectively and efficiently?
  2. How do we motivate stakeholders to take action in support of ATH’s mission?
  3. How do we increase revenues to achieve our mission sustainably?
  4. How do we establish a strong infrastructure necessary to fulfill our mission?

Strategic Goals, Objectives, and Strategies for 2015 – 2017

The following four strategic goals, objectives, and strategies are our responses to these strategic issues for the years 2015 through 2010.

Goal 1: After the Harvest increases the collection and distribution of excess and unmarketable
produce to organizations feeding hungry people (PROGRAMS).

Strategies:

1.1 Gleaning:

a) Identify, build, and strengthen partnerships with local and regional farmers

b) Improve volunteer management system and experience

1.2 Produce Procurement:

a) Identify, build, and strengthen partnerships with large commercial producers and processors

1.3 Distribution:

a) Identify, build and strengthen partnerships with agencies feeding hungry people

b) Identify, build, and strengthen large load distribution capabilities using Harvesters and other food banks

1.4 Collaboration:

a) Accelerate the collection and distribution of fresh, nutritious produce by partnering with innovative regional efforts, such as the Giving Grove and the Greater Kansas City Food Hub.

Outcomes:

  • Volume of produce gleaned/procured and distributed annually, and the percentage of change per year.
  • Variety of produce gleaned/procured and distributed annually, and the percentage of change per year.
  • Number of servings provided (may need to extrapolate), and the percentage of change per year.
  • Number of farmers participating annually, and the percentage of those returning, and the percentage of increase per year.
  • Number of commercial producers donating annually, and the percentage of those returning, and the percentage of increase per year.
  • Number of volunteers participating, and the percentage of those returning, and the percentage of increase per year.
  • Number of organizations partnering per year, and the percentage of increase per year.

Goal 2: After the Harvest strengthens understanding, capacity, and interest in participating in the sustainable recovery and use of fresh produce (COMMUNICATION and EDUCATION).

Strategies:

2.1 Establish and implement effective strategic communications and branding resulting in increased awareness and support of the organization, its issues, and its programming

2.2 Organize, lead, and/or participate in targeted efforts to educate farmers about the benefits of gleaning and its role in sustainable farming practices

2.3 Organize, lead, and/or participate in targeted efforts to educate feeding agencies and other partners about healthy eating, storage, preparation, and use of gleaned produce and provide opportunities for involvement

Outcomes:

  • Strategic communications plan addressing identity, branding, messaging, and appropriate communication platforms is established and implemented. Corresponding outcomes are measured
  • Number of targeted opinion leaders with increased awareness of After the Harvest and its mission and consider ATH the thought leader on food recovery
  • Number of farmers with increased understanding of the role of gleaning in sustainable farming practices
  • Percentage of feeding agencies and other partners with increased understanding of healthy eating, preparation, and use of gleaned produce
  • Percentage of new volunteers sourced from organizations where education or services have been offered (e.g., survey asking how did you learn about ATH)

Goal 3: After the Harvest boosts fundraising and financial capabilities to stabilize and grow the organization (FINANCE AND FUNDRAISING).

Strategies:

3.1 Develop and execute annual and three-year strategic fundraising plans that diversify and grow sources of
funding

3.2 Establish financial management and reporting system, including appropriate internal controls

3.3 Establish and build cash reserves

Outcomes:

  • Fundraising plan is established and implemented. Corresponding financial and revenue goals are met annually (e.g., amount; public or private source; type of restriction)
  • Regular financial and reporting statements are established and monitored
  • Financial, accounting, and investment policies and procedures are established and reviewed annually.
  • One-year cash reserves are established

Strategic Goal 4: After the Harvest builds the human and technical resources required for effective
and efficient operations (OPERATIONS).

Strategies:

4.1 Design and implement an effective organizational structure and workforce

4.2 Develop, provide, and deliver effective management and employee training to use existing competencies, foster new competencies, build leadership, and develop critical skills for accomplishing the mission and associated strategies

4.3 Increase governance through board development and use of outside expertise

4.4 Develop and implement a technology plan to address hardware and software needs

4.5 Build human resources and administrative policies, processes and capabilities

4.6 Seek opportunities to build alliances and other strategic partnerships, creating greater operational efficiencies

Outcomes:

  • Optimized staffing and productivity levels meet organizational goals and strategies, including consideration of the seasonal nature of the work
  • Increased organizational and workforce competencies and flexibility provide strategic direction and meet organizational challenges
  • Increased diversity (racial, ethnic, and age) in staff, board, and volunteers
  • Optimal number of board members recruited to meet organizational needs
  • Personnel policies and procedures manual is established and reviewed annually
  • Hardware and software are procured to support program, fundraising, volunteer management, and financial needs
  • Equipment and other required capital are secured to support operations

Implementation

We developed this strategic plan to map our future for the next three years. To realize the plan, we must fully integrate it into the organization’s operational structure and procedures. To make sure this happens, we will institute the following practices.

  • The Board of Directors will oversee and monitor the execution of the plan. They will review performance against the strategic plan no less than quarterly in the first year and then bi-annually thereafter.
  • The annual budget will be developed in accordance with the priorities established by the strategic plan.
  • One assumption associated with executing the activities presented in this plan is that ATH will be able to secure the necessary financial resources. A key organization tenet is that financial prudence must be exercised at all times to ensure the organization’s long-term financial health. If funding falls short, available funding will be moved to areas of greatest priority. Lesser priority activities will be delayed until resources are available. Additionally, an organizational contingency plan with associated trigger points will be instituted to allow for swift operational adjustments.
  • Annual operating plans will be developed, implemented, and monitored to ensure execution of the strategic plan
  • Employee job descriptions, performance objectives, and performance reviews will mirror expectations established through the strategic and operating plans
  • Financial reporting will occur at each board meeting
  • Organizational measurements will be established and reported upon at least every six months to the board

The above stated practices should ensure the effective implementation of the plan from 2015 through 2017.

Conclusion

This three-year strategic plan demonstrates our commitment to providing healthy food for hungry people. While the plan will guide the organization for the coming three years, we will update it annually to respond to the evolving interests and concerns of the organization’s diverse volunteers and customers, and to the needs of the community. Our hope is that this roadmap of the future will afford many successes for our newly established organization.

Appendix A: Strategic Planning Process

In September 2014, the organization began the process of developing a strategic plan. A consultant was retained to guide the planning process with the Board of Directors and staff. Meetings focused on mission, vision, core values, internal capabilities, external environment, stakeholder feedback, long-term objectives, and strategic issues. After much analysis and broad participation, the four strategic goals and 18 strategies were identified for the three-year period beginning in early 2015 through the end of 2017.

The strategic planning process facilitated the gathering of key information, offered opportunities for input by various stakeholders, and provided an open forum for thought and discussion. Among the chief activities undertaken as part of the strategic planning process were the following:

  • Surveyed key stakeholders: Using face-to-face and online surveys, we surveyed board members, staff, and representatives from regional farms, hunger-relief organizations, foundations, food systems advocates and the broader community to get their opinions about the organization, the environment, and hunger.
  • Revised the mission statement and created a vision statement
  • Developed core values: The organization developed core values that communicate our values and tenets.
  • Conducted an environmental scan and analyzed internal capabilities. We examined environmental trends and our internal competencies, which included the use of a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis.
  • Identified long-term strategic position and objectives. We developed our strategic position and objectives for 10 years into our future.
  • Determined strategic issues and goals for the next three years. Based on analyses and discussions, we determined our issues of greatest priority for the next three years and corresponding goals.
  • Created strategies, action plans, and measurements. We developed strategies and measurements,
    and identified our priorities for the years 2015 to 2017.