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SSA Four Year Strategic Plan 2004-2007

2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
Approved by the Board of Directors, October 16, 2004


The purpose of the Soaring Society of America is to foster and promote all phases of gliding and soaring.


The Mission of the Soaring Society of America consists of the following elements and programs:

      a. Publications
      b. Website
      c. Educational Programs
      d. Safety Programs
      e. Information Dissemination
      f. Record and Badge Homologation
      g. Contest Rules and Sanction of Contests
      h. Insurance
      i. Membership Management

      a. U. S. Federal (Congress and Executive Regulatory), State and Local Governments
      b. FAI, IGC, NAA
      c. Sporting Aviation Groups

      a. Promotion of the Sport
      b. Convention Management
      c. Chapter, Club, Division, Affiliate and Business Member Support
      d. Availability of the SSA Foundation
      e. Awards for Achievement and Service
      f. Communication of the above to the membership


The vision of the future that guides the volunteer and staff management of the Soaring Society of America includes the following specific images:

  1. By the end of 2007, grow the membership to 14,300 (compared to the present 12,100), to be accomplished by growing the membership through higher market penetration and lower dropout rate.
  2. By the end of 2007, increased total revenue from operations of $1.75M per year (compared to the present $1.2M per year), to be accomplished through expanded markets and more non-dues revenue.
  3. Continually demonstrate financial credibility with the membership, to be achieved through consistently positive cash flow and consistent, timely and clear reporting.
  4. Be involved in cooperative alliances with related organizations and expanded member categories, to be achieved through offerings of products and services.
  5. Have demonstrably effective leadership of volunteer workers in the Soaring Society of America.


To achieve the expressed vision, the following objectives are specified, the strategies to accomplish these objectives are defined, the initial actions to carry out the strategies are specified, and those persons and/or groups responsible for their achievement are identified

OBJECTIVE 1. GROW MEMBERSHIP TO 14,272 BY THE END OF 2007. (WITH THE YEAR-END TARGETS OF 12,522 '04, 13,072 '05, 13,672 '06.)

Strategy A. Carry out an integrated, comprehensive, on-going recruitment, retention and renewal program.

Program 1. Accomplish a direct mail marketing campaign to the FAA glider pilot list.
(a) Start mailings by 1 July ‘04 —Executive Director and staff.

Program 2. Execute a direct mail marketing campaign to people who have given names and addresses indicating interest at “walk-up-to- booth” venues.
(a) Sun ‘n’ Fun by 1 July '04 - Executive Director and staff.
(b) Other venues awaiting definition
Identify venues by 1 July '04 — Executive Director and staff working with the Growth and Promotion Committee.
Execute direct mailing campaign no later than 6 weeks after each event.

Strategy B. Encourage and stimulate commercial operators and clubs.

Program 1. Develop seminars for the next Convention supporting commercial operators. (Bret Willat, Sky Sailing proprietor, suggested) — Chip Fitzpatrick and Jim Skydell to coordinate so that subjects and presenters are identified by 1 SEP ‘04.

Program 2. Get Edith Decker to market her software to Commercial Operators and Business Members (COBM), and Clubs.
Edith Decker and Dianne Black-Nixon to coordinate with Cindy Brickner and Mark Keene to consider strategy, including an article in Soaring Magazine. Proposed action date 1 JUL ‘04.

Program 3. Revitalize management of the COBM Committee with a view to organizing self-help initiatives. Cindy Brickner and Karen Willat(?) to develop an action plan by 30 SEP ‘04.


Strategy A. Increase membership. (See Objective 1 Strategy A.)

Strategy B. Increase non-dues revenue.

Program 1. Increase display advertising revenue to $140,000 per year (per budget) for 2004; $160,000 — ’05; $170,000 — ’06; and $180,000 — ’07 — Executive Director and Staff .

Program 2. Increase merchandise sales and margins, achieving gross revenues of $212,000 in ’04; $222,000 in ’05; $233.000 in ’06 and $245,000 in ’07 — Executive Director and Staff.

Program 3. Increase return on the Convention, realizing a non-wage, $30,000 net revenue over expenses for the 2005 convention — Local Convention Committee, Executive Director and staff.

Program 4. Develop a full line of training/instructor manual(s) as promotion/sale items with the first publication for sale by SSA Convention 2006 — Soaring Safety Foundation.

Program 5. Identify and develop non-dues revenue sources by 1 FEB 2005 — Executive Director and Staff.


Strategy A. Accomplish clear and timely financial reporting.

Program 1. Publish the Foundation annual report within 60 days of the fiscal year end starting with the report for fiscal 2004 — Executive Director and Staff.

Program 2. Carry out rigorous accounting of Eagle Fund receipts and disbursements and report within 60 days of the fiscal year end — Executive Director and Staff.

Program 3. Define and publish policy and safeguards for the distribution of SSA Foundation Funds. SSA Foundation Trustees to complete by 30 SEP 2004.

Program 4. Publish donor Bill of Rights to be completed by — 30 SEP 2004 by group led by Larry Tuohino.

Program 5. Publish an SSA Annual Financial Report within 60 days of the end of the fiscal year beginning with fiscal 2004 and an annual financial report for all integral units of the SSA, e.g. Soaring Safety Foundation, US Team, etc. Executive Director and Staff.

Program 6. Issue SSA monthly financial reports by the following mid-month. Executive Director and Staff — immediately.

Program 7. Put SSA monthly financial reports on the website beginning with the report for the quarter ending 30 SEP 2004.

Strategy B. Accomplish timely financial transactions.

Program 1. Pay bills in 30 days beginning March 2004 — Budget and Finance Committee, Executive Director and Staff.

Program 2. Pay off computer loan from the Foundation Life Trust Fund by 31 DEC 2006 — Budget and Finance Committee, Executive Director and Staff.


Strategy A. Define Committee purposes, objectives and actions.

Program 1. Have EXCOM members request/produce Committee Statement of Purpose for each committee and subcommittee to be completed by 30 Sep 2004 — Dianne Black-Nixon to coordinate.

Program 2. Have EXCOM members compile action plans for each committee to be completed by 30 NOV 2004.

Strategy B.Make it attractive to volunteer.

Program 1. Post volunteer jobs at ssa.org with first posting occurring 30 OCT 2004. Directors, Committee Chairs, Governors and Record Keepers needing help are encouraged to post job descriptions, commitment required and timing.

Program 2. EXCOM members work to nominate Committee good performers for awards by 30 OCT 2004.

Program 3. Report volunteer accomplishments in Soaring Magazine the Sep 2004 edition — EXCOM and Directors.

Program 4. Publish Governor/Record Keeper list to the web site quarterly beginning 30 SEP 2004 — Dianne Black-Nixon working with Executive Director and Staff.


Strategy A. Open up the "box" in which information has been stored.

Program 1. Hire a media and publication "content generator" to be on staff by 1 SEP 2004 — Executive Director.

Program 2. Completely re-launch the website by -1 AUG 2004 — Executive Director and Staff.
(a.) Promote the sport better.
(b.) Make website more user-friendly.
(c.) Host and link and post.

Program 3. Publish descriptions of SSA organization structure and operations staff by (done).

Program 4. Have an SSA official visit every soaring site. Regional Directors to visit every site within their region at least once during a 3-year term of office - Regional Directors.

Program 5. Implement a program for regional town meetings. Conduct at least 6 Town Hall meetings before 1 DEC 2006 — Regional Director and Executive Director.

Program 6. More frequently publish better listings of member benefits. Executive Director and Staff.

Strategy B. Improve SSA publications

Program 1. Design and implement a program for continuous improvement to Soaring Magazine. In place. Soaring Magazine to be continually reviewed and refined — Publications Committee, Editorial Board, Managing Editor, Howard Banks and Chip Garner.

Program 2. Create and publish an e-newsletter with the first newsletter published by Jim Skydell and Staff — 1 OCT 2004.

Program 3. Conduct periodic surveys to evaluate improvements, at least annually — Publications Committee and staff.


Strategy A. Make entry into soaring easier.

Program 1. Update, reprint and distribute the Grow Book — Bob Wander — time frame TBD.

Program 2. Establish and implement a meet/greet program — package for chapters to be implemented by Growth and Promotion Committee by 31 DEC 2004.

Program 3. Implement a program to increase instructor availability.
(a.) Do liability protection education. Skydell to coordinate a session at Convention 2005.
(b.) In conjunction with the SSF, devise programs to assist candidates in achieving instructor initial certification, 1Q, 2005.
(c.) Make available the FAA CFIG rating holder list. David Newill — 30 SEP 2004.
(d.) Review CAP training to stimulate instructor availability.
(e.) Develop with the CAP a cooperative instructor development training program.

Strategy B. Provide more value to members.

Program 1. Conduct effective survey of SSA performance and member wants and needs at least once a year beginning FY 2005 — Executive Director and Staff.

Program 2. Define and implement a member communication program. Ongoing, Growth and Promotion Committee, Publications Committee, Executive Director and staff.

Program 3. Improve programs and services in response to survey feedback. Growth and Promotion Committee, Publications Committee, Executive Director and staff to report on survey results at Board Meeting following survey.


Strategy A. Identify related Organizations and establish relations with similar-minded organizations and develop cooperative strategy for win-win relationships.

Program 1. Identify prospective similar-minded organizations for presentation to the DEC 2004 EXCOMM Meeting — Executive Director.

Program 2. Establish Chairman to Chairman contact in certain cases to develop proposals, to report to EXCOM — ongoing.

Program 3. Establish Executive Director to Executive Director contact in other cases to evaluate options for report to EXCOM — ongoing.


Strategy A. Carry out a capital campaign.

Program 1. Finalize Capital Campaign Plan and Initiatives by 1 July — SSA Foundation Trustees.

Program 2. Start Quiet Time solicitations by 1 September— SSA Foundation Trustees.

Draft 06.15.04


The following is a description of the SSA planning, budgeting and performance review process as understood and drafted by the Ad Hoc Planning Committee at the Chicago IV meeting. It is recommended the EXCOM review and finalize this process as part of the operating planning.

Month Activity Description
FEBRUARY WINTER BOARD MEETING Board approves final budget for current fiscal year. Board receives reports of previous fiscal year. Board conducts performance review of programs. Board suggests input to revisions of Strategic Plan.
MAY PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING Planning Committee meets to review environment, performances, Board inputs, develops recommended changes to the Strategic Plan to guide next three fiscal year's planning and next fiscal year's budget. (This also might be done by the Executive Committee itself at next meeting). Recommendations passed to EXCOM.
JUNE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING EXCOM meets, conducts mid-fiscal year program review, reviews inputs from Planning Committee, finalizes Strategic Plan update.
SEPTEMBER BUDGET AND FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING BFC reviews first cut at budget submitted by staff, compares with Strategic Plan update from EXCOM, reviews financial status. Makes recommendations to staff for budget update for presentation at Fall Board Meeting.
OCTOBER FALL BOARD MEETING Board approves Strategic Plan update for next fiscal year. Reviews planned budget for next fiscal year, conducts staff performance evaluation.
DECEMBER EXCOM MEETING EXCOM meets, conducts final budget review and signoff for next fiscal year for confirmation at Winter Board Meeting, performs staff compensation adjustment based on Director performance evaluation review.

Posted: 7/17/2007