2023-2025 Strategic Plan
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Theory of Change
Catalyst Miami seeks to solve the problem that is built into capitalism: our economic, social and political systems exclude and oppress many people. Power is concentrated in the hands of a few. Because of this, we continue to have unequal distribution of resources and vast disparities in living conditions. As a result, individuals and whole communities — especially those that are predominantly Black and Brown — face significant barriers that limit access to democratic processes and economic prosperity.
We feel these inequities in our own lives. And just like the communities with whom we work, we know how hard it is to change the status quo. Our communities know what we need, and meaningful change happens when communities affected by injustice can transform the systems that shape our daily lives. Achieving this requires a unified, influential, and multi-generational movement of people directly impacted by inequity, as well as their allies. That’s why building community power is at the core of our organization.
At Catalyst Miami, we take a “both-and” approach: both reforming the current systems and ushering in new people-powered systems. We protect and support our communities today, while collectively shaping the world we want to live in tomorrow.
We offer community organizing, popular education via leadership programs, policy innovation, cooperative ownership, and direct services. These efforts all feed into each other and lead to more effective power-building, ultimately allowing people to change the systems at the root of our issues. We work shoulder-to-shoulder with frontline communities, who have long been working to change systems of injustice. We honor their wisdom and follow their lead as together we catalyze equitable solutions and grassroots transformation.
Methodology & Process
Catalyst Miami’s 10-month strategic planning process for 2023-2025 began in June 2022 and was designed to meaningfully involve individuals across multiple levels of the organization and from its wider community. Major components of the process included:
Staff and Board Engagement
- A 15-member Strategic Plan Staff Committee (SPSC) composed of a cross-section of employees met monthly from June 2022 to March 2023. This group, representing half of Catalyst’s overall staff, took a lead role in authoring Performance Challenges and related strategies, activities, and metrics; conducting the Community Conversations; facilitating conversations among the rest of the staff; and vetting the Theory of Change.
- An ad-hoc committee of the board of directors met three times for briefings on the Plan’s progress and to review proposed edits to each of the Plan’s sections. A subset of this committee, representing board members who are also program participants, provided feedback on materials in advance of Community Conversations. The full board received the complete Strategic Plan for review and approval at its March 2023 board meeting.
- Catalyst held extended all-staff meetings in November and March for all employees to review and weigh in on the Plan. All staff also engaged in a day-long retreat in January 2023 to design the Core Values that are built into the Strategic Plan and will be used to design core leadership competencies.
- Members of the SPSC facilitated three rounds of Community Conversations to share early versions and modified drafts of the full Strategic Plan. These discussions, which took place in August 2022, October 2022, and February 2023, brought together approximately 60 individuals with direct participation experience across different Catalyst Miami programs and services. A written survey distributed after conversations helped staff gather additional input.
- The SPSC also conducted one-on-one interviews to supplement Community Conversations. All notes were consolidated and aggregated to lift up major themes to help inform iterative drafts of the Plan.
Structures, Systems, and Processes
- The Executive Team (CEO, Deputy CEO, COO, CFO, and Vice President of Community Economic Development) worked in the latter half of 2022 to revise Catalyst Miami’s organizational chart to set up the staff to deliver on the Performance Challenges in the Strategic Plan.
- During the strategic planning process, Catalyst created new positions in alignment with the organization’s strategic direction. These included a Vice President of Community Engagement to support implementation of Catalyst’s “people power” Performance Challenge; elevation of a Director role to a Vice President of Policy, Advocacy, & Services to oversee improved coordination between these two business lines; and expansion of staff in Catalyst’s Future Bound Miami initiative.