Established in 1966, Amici Camping Charity sends children from financially challenged families to partner summer camps for two to four week stays. Central to their program is the belief that a multi-year model, where children have an opportunity to return to camp year after year, provides greater and longer lasting benefits in terms of lifelong friendships and life skills development than one-off camping experiences.
In spring 2012, Camp Amici approached Endeavour for assistance in developing a strategic plan that would allow Amici to double in size over the next three to five years. This request was in response to the increased demands for the summer camp program and the realisation that the organization was quickly outgrowing its current grassroots operating model and organizational structure, while their funding model remained volunteer-driven.
“We couldn’t be happier with the structure that the Endeavour plan provided us with.”
The Endeavour team identified three major goals that continue to be relevant to the organization today:
- To evolve a long-term, sustainable funding model;
- To optimize the charity’s organizational structure to support program growth; and
- To enhance a targeted strategic communication plan.
A SWOT analysis was conducted and recommendations were made to support each goal. Endeavour recommended the hiring of a development coordinator and an additional program person, devised a strategy to reach segmented groups so Amici could tailor engagement messages to different types of donors, and created a 120-day plan to help track progress in the execution of the strategic plan.
“It’s very helpful to have a list of priorities (segmented) in different buckets to review whereas before we had more of a laundry list.”
The Endeavour team provided Amici with their first ever strategic plan in September 2012 for the years 2013-2016. Amici reported that since their Endeavour consultation they have stayed on track and have even exceeded their goals. Amici enrolled more than 250 campers by 2016 – their 50th anniversary. The Board has changed from an operational board to a strategic thinking board. The number of agency staff has grown from two full-time staff in 2012 to 4.5. The consultation also helped Amici to see what was unique in the programs they offered that could be shared with others, including potential donors.
The consultation resulted in increased organizational confidence, professional status, and a new willingness to work with outside partners.
“It opened our eyes as to the value of a fresh perspective.”