Phelps A-Z: Model 1
Phelps Organizational Model is the foundation that allows us to define our mission and vision.
It helps us identify desired outcomes and hold ourselves accountable for those outcomes. The model is an integral part of Theory of Change methodology as applied to many non-profits.
your non-profit needs an Organizational Model
Phelps Helps has been going strong for almost a decade, and we’re extremely proud of the programs we’ve built in service of the Stanstead community. Of course, we’ve faced plenty of challenges along the way, but this has only made our resolve and dedication stronger. As we continue to grow and expand our programming, we feel compelled to share what we’ve learned about developing and managing an organization like Phelps Helps in support of similar groups looking to make a difference in their communities.
We owe a significant amount of our success to careful planning. By investing time and resources in the creation of solid governance models, Phelps Helps has been able to define its strategic objectives, keep them on track and adapt them over time.
However, we recognize that not everyone with similar goals to serve their communities knows where to start. Or maybe they do, but they need help harnessing and directing their ideas and initiatives. Whatever your objectives are, a well-documented Organizational Model can help.
Part of Theory of Change methodology, an Organizational Model represents a strong, principled foundation that represents the backbone of all programming and activities.
Think of it has a roadmap or business plan for what a non-profit or community service group wants to accomplish, including the steps you’ll take to achieve those outcomes.
There are many ways an Organizational Model or similar construct can help non-profits like Phelps Helps accomplish their mandates, which make it all the more crucial to have. Specifically, an Organizational Model can help your group or association clearly define its mission and vision, identify desired outcomes and hold itself accountable for those outcomes.
Define your mission and vision
Why do you what you do? What purpose does your organization serve? What results are you looking for? Your organization’s mission and vision should answer these questions. Having a defined, concise vision and mission statement serves to communicate as much information as possible about your non-profit or association to relevant internal and external stakeholders.
Your vision is usually one sentence that explains the ultimate, big picture goal of the organization—without allocating a timeframe. The mission statement, on the other hand, focuses more on the organization’s current offerings. It answers the ‘what’, ‘how’ and ‘who’ of services offered.
Identify desired outcomes
Within the greater vision your organization wants to realize should be measurable goals and milestones based on which you can track your progress and performance. Broken down into short, medium and long-term, these desired outcomes should reflect the organization’s aspirations, yet still be attainable.
To promote the administrative sustainability of your organization, it’s recommended that long-term desired outcomes should span multiple years. Depending on your specific mission and vision, it’s safe to assume that any lasting community impact could take a longer period of time to enact.
Although your long-term goals might be adjusted over time, documenting future desired outcomes through an Organizational Model will help to ensure your organization stays true to its stated mission and vision over time.
Hold yourself accountable
Among other benefits, implementing an Organizational Model for your association or non-profit empowers you to hold yourself accountable to your mission, vision and identified desired outcomes.
Even if your goals and priorities change over time, keeping a record of them and their evolution can be crucial to your success. Especially when it comes to implementing activities and programs to achieve desired outcomes, maintaining information related to why those specific activities were selected can help you improve and finesse operations over time.
Ultimately, an Organizational Model serves as a detailed guide for the purpose your group seeks to serve.
"Empowering a community through educational and career support."
Phelps Helps' Vision
Phelps Helps' Organizational Model
Beyond identifying desired outcomes and the means to realize them, an Organizational Model can also be used to outline specific areas of interest for your mission and vision. For example, Phelps Helps has pinpointed four such areas to support activities stated in its Organizational Model: educational support, career support, personal growth and advocacy.
Long-term goal of target population achieving successful educational transitions.
Long-term goal of target population gaining and holding valuable employment.
Long-term goal of target population increasing skills for living autonomous lives.
Long-term goals of increasing community awareness and engagement with Phelps Helps.
Learn more about how we work
We think it’s imperative to offer support to organizations with similar mandates to Phelps’, enacting positive change and growth within communities. Our Phelps A to Z Handbook outlines the structure of our organization and how we’ve overcome challenges to drive our own desired outcomes. Download it for free —we’d love to hear your feedback!