Home header left
| Login Help



SSA Four Year Strategic Plan, 2012-2016

Soaring Society of America

Strategic Plan

2012 – 2016  


The purpose of the Soaring Society of America is to foster and promote the sport of soaring in the United States.


The SSA will promote and support the sport of soaring by providing services and benefits to the SSA membership and to the soaring movement in the United States in the following areas:

 Marketing and promotion of the sport both to the flying community and to the public at large.

Representing the soaring movement to governments, air sporting organizations and aviation groups.

Support the financial stability of the sport by providing an insurance program for SSA members.

Directing, supporting and rewarding both individual and group competitive soaring activities.

Providing channels for effective communication between all individual and organizational elements of the sport

Sponsoring and supporting safety and training programs intended to enhance the sport

Preserving and protecting historical records, documents, artifacts, and sites.

Support the Mission by conducting operations in a financially responsible manner and by building endowment funds to support the Mission into the future.

Provide other services and benefits, not expressly enumerated herein, that are consistent with the Purpose of the SSA and that are within the capabilities and resources of the SSA.


It is the guiding principle of the Soaring Society of America that, in accomplishing its stated Missions, the SSA staff, leadership and volunteers will conduct all activities in a professional and ethical manner and will manage all fiscal and fiduciary responsibilities consistent with best business practices.






The following objectives and their accompanying strategies are to be treated as the highest priorities for action by the Soaring Society of America leadership, staff and volunteers for accomplishment during this planning period.




 Objectives and Goals

 Reverse the decline in SSA membership by achieving real growth in SSA membership during calendar year 2012.


Increase SSA membership by 200 members by the end of calendar year 2012 (an increase of approximately 2% in the number of members over membership level at end of 2011.)


Continue the 2-3% growth rate over the next five years – 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. 



 Appoint marketing task force to develop effective marketing tools and to assist in implementing them.  It is envisioned that volunteers and perhaps paid professionals would be recruited for this activity.  The SSA is willing to commit funds for board approved pragmatic initiatives to advertise  soaring and increase growth of the sport.  


               The charge to the marketing task force will be to :

Develop a marketing plan for national publicity and exposure for the sport of soaring.


 The Marketing task force will develop tools for Clubs and Chapters to help increase club and SSA memberships.


 Develop a marketing plan that targets soaring pilots who are not currently SSA members


  Develop a marketing plan that targets licensed pilots who are not currently soaring pilots


 Develop marketing methods and strategies for local marketing of soaring to the general public in conjunction with SSA clubs, chapters, and business and commercial operator members


 Support third-party efforts to publicize the sport with high quality soaring videos and other captivating publicity




 Objectives and Goals

 Insure that the SSA’s voice is heard by the appropriate governmental representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other United States regulatory agencies.


Insure that SSA has an effective national voice within the National Aeronautic Association.


Insure that SSA has an effective international voice within the FAI/IGC


Insure that SSA has an effective presence within other commercial and non-profit aviation-related groups


 The Board of Directors will appoint and oversee volunteers who are effective advocates for the SSA at the FAA,  NAA and the FAI/IGC.


The Board of Directors will reach out to the AOPA, EAA , AMA, USPHGA and other sport aviation groups and will seek ways to cooperate with such groups in publicizing soaring and expanding sport aviation including the sport of soaring. 



 SSA will participate in at least one aviation related exposition or airshow annually.





 Objectives and Goals

 Protect and continue SSA’s group insurance program, available to SSA members as a membership benefit.


Educate and inform SSA members of the value and benefits of SSA’s insurance group program.



 The Board of Directors shall continue to appoint an SSA member, who is experienced in insurance matters, to serve as the Board’s representative with the provider of SSA’s group insurance program.


With the assistance of SSA’s insurance representative, at least once every two years, the Board of Directors shall formally evaluate the competitiveness and effectiveness of the insurance program.




 Objectives and Goals

 Continue to support formal soaring competitions in the United States.


Continue to support formal involvement of the US Team in international soaring competitions

Support and promote non-traditional competition among soaring pilots through the On Line Contest (OLC) and other vehicles for recognizing soaring achievement. 


Continue to support participation in the FAI badge and record program. To promote cross-country flying while improving pilot skills and the enjoyment of the sport .



 Through the SSA Contest Committee, provide organizational support to all phases of soaring competition.


Foster cross-country soaring by promoting the SSA FAI badge and records programs and by providing organizational support for those programs.


Increase SSA member participation in the OLC by promoting the OLC in Soaring magazine and on the SSA website, and by developing on-line information and instructional materials. 




Objectives and Goals

 Maintain and improve the quality and usefulness of SSA’s flagship printed publication, SOARING magazine


Explore ways to make publication of SOARING magazine more profitable.


Maintain an outreach and improve the usefulness to SSA members through electronic communications such as E-news.


Improve the usefulness of the SSA website to both SSA members and to the public at large.



 Establish an effective Editorial Review Board for the purposes of assisting the Editor in obtaining quality content for the magazine, reviewing all articles for technical and scientific accuracy and otherwise assisting the editor to improve the overall content of the magazine. 

 This strategy might also include expanding the geographic scope of magazine to include events happening in Europe or elsewhere that will affect soaring in the United States.


Improve the SSA website by:

 Insuring that the sailplane directory and the magazine archives are kept as a living document. 


Continue  to look for initiatives to make the SSA website more useful to the membership.  



 Use E-News to inform the membership of special announcements, events, and other activities in a timely and efficient manner. Investigate the potential benefit to provide better communication to the membership by retaining a paid or full time volunteer to manage E-news content.




 Goals and Objectives

 Promote safety in soaring through pilot education, program development, information dissemination, and publication of accident statistics


 Maintain the ABC and Bronze Badge training program and appoint SSA instructors to encourage and teach more advanced soaring techniques.


Develop the resources required to support scenario based  soaring instruction.


 Through the Soaring Safety Foundation, provide organizational support and effective outreach programs that promote a culture of safety at all soaring operations.  Work with the CFI community to develop a collection of proven resources that enhances both primary and recurrent training activities.




 Objectives and Goals

Entrust that the National Soaring Museum, the Southwest Soaring Museum and the SSA Divisions preserve the records and artifacts that describe the history of our soaring programs. 

The NSM Landmarks of Soaring program recognizes nationally significant historic soaring sites; for lesser significant sites a Cornerstone of Soaring program should provide coverage.  


The SSA must assist in the preservation of existing soaring sites and explore possible new sites.



The SSA will help support fundraising and outreach activities to the fullest extent and all the  efforts of these organizations to remain viable and productive in their missions.




Objectives and Goals

 Maintain the books and records of the SSA, including all subsidiary groups of the SSA in accordance with proper accounting rules and procedures


Insure proper budgeting and cash management of the SSA’s financial affairs


Preserve the financial integrity of the SSA’s financial activities by insuring that 

proper accounting controls are in place.


Provide the SSA membership and the SSA board with timely and meaningful information about the SSA's finances. 


Preserve and increase the financial resources available to support SSA and it’s Mission through fund raising activities.


Provide the board with recommendations to replace our present software accounting system with an affordable and sufficient one to handle the  bookkeeping and financial  planning functions.



 Engage a reputable public accounting firm to perform an audit of SSA’s books and records annually, as required by SSA’s bylaws.


Provide quarterly financial reports (income statements and balance sheets) of SSA financial operations to the membership not later than 60 days after the end of each fiscal quarter.


Conduct yearly fund raising activities within the SSA membership through annual Eagle Fund campaign.


Revitalize the fundraising mission and efforts by the SSA Foundation to advance the financial security of the SSA. 


Be open to opportunities to raise funds by providing naming opportunities for endowment and unrestricted gifts.


The treasurer and accounting manager will provide the SSA board with direct recommendations for upgraded, more robust accounting software that fits the Society’s operational and fund raising needs and is within the means of the society to finance.









Objectives and Goals


The Chair of the SSA and the SSA Board members will promote more joint programs and projects involving the Affiliates and Divisions and the SSA.


Seek to find out what the Affiliates and Divisions need/want from SSA.




 Act on the recommendations of the Affiliates and Divisions about how the SSA can help them carry out their missions.


Encourage Affiliates and Divisions to submit news articles to Soaring Magazine and E- news 

Posted: 11/4/2011