After completion of the purchase of the Garden in Nov 2019, the Board of Directors continued fundraising primarily through grants with the thought that starting programs and events would add to a more diverse revenue stream. We have also been grateful for memberships and substantial donations. Shortly after our Grand Opening with the Grow Hawaiian Festival in Feb 2020, our world turned upside down with the COVID 19 pandemic and we closed for several months. The Board used this closure as a time of reflection as there were numerous hurdles to clear in our quest for the Garden to be a sustainable entity.
What we needed was a Strategic Plan to organize and prioritize plans for our future. Drawing on my experience from the corporate world in Strategic Planning, we set forth on the development of our own Strategic Plan. Normally this process involves getting the interested group to dedicate 3-5 full days of moderated sessions. But in a COVID world this was not feasible, so our journey started with several 2-hour Zoom sessions, numerous offline discussions, and ongoing email input from Board members between sessions.
These key steps were used to create the Garden’s Strategic Plan:
〈 Vision and Mission statements
〈 Identifying our Objectives and Activities to attain the Objectives
〈 SWOT analysis (identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) that affect meeting Objectives
〈 Goals, aspirations on what we’d like to accomplish
〈 Committees formed to be responsible for specific Activities
〈 Prioritization of Activities and Projects dependent on resources
Below is an infographic summarizing our Strategic Plan. The kukui tree and leaves graphic is an overview of the Friend’s desired stewardship of the Garden. With the Goals in the roots as a foundation, financial sustainability as the pedestal is needed to support the Activities. The leaves show our Objectives and Activities as evidence of healthy growth. And finally, our Mission and Vision statements are the kukui nuts symbolizing the fruits of our sustainability.
We aim to use our 2021 Strategic Plan as a guide for prioritizing activities and requests for programs in grant proposals. The Plan will also show potential donators and members the multiple paths of stewardship the Friends would like the Garden to become. “As stewards of the Garden’s legacy, we cultivate opportunities for everyone to enjoy our Hawaiian botanical and cultural resources through educational programs, scientific research, recreation and conservation for the islands and the world” (Our Mission statement, 2021).
Words by Alan Rolph