FMC is Planning for the Future! And We Want Your Input.
Posted On: May 30, 2019
Dear FMC Members,
Our field is one of constant change. The needs of farmers market operators are always in flux and as the only national voice for farmers markets, it is important that our work reflects the changing landscape. With that in mind, one task the FMC board has set for me as Interim Executive Director is to develop a five year Strategic Plan to chart a course for the organization’s future in a manner that promotes transparency and inclusion.
Building off work done last year, we began the initial process in January, and are making progress towards a complete written plan by July. As work on the plan continues, I wanted to take this opportunity to update FMC members on the four phase process we’re using to guide the plan’s development:
Phase One: Information Gathering
Phase One is designed to elicit feedback using two questionnaires sent to key FMC stakeholders. The first was for FMC staff and board to provide feedback on the overall state of the organization as well as its day-to-day operations. The second broader set of questions is intended to solicit input about the future of the organization (and what we need to get there) from a subset of FMC members, donors, partners, and other key stakeholders. The first questionnaire has been completed — the strategic planning committee is currently consolidating and analysing the results. The second is well under way, with responses due by the end of May, putting us on track to complete Phase One by early June.
Phase Two: Discussion
Phase Two is designed to delve deeper into key topics about FMC’s future identified during the first phase through conversations with FMC staff and board and among FMC membership. Engagement from our members during this phase is incredibly important to us. This is an opportunity to ensure that we are on the right track with our plan. Our dates for meetings with membership are Wednesday, June 19th at 1pm (Eastern time) and Tuesday, June 25th at 2:30pm (Eastern time). Links to register will be provided shortly, as well as emailed to FMC members.
Phase Three: Creation of a Strategic Plan Document
Phase Three is the creation of a written plan for FMC consisting of an organizational assessment and review of processes, as well as identifying organizational goals and strategies to achieve them. Once a draft plan is created we will solicit feedback from members before finalizing the plan.
Phase Four: Implementation
The final phase of the process will be implementation. FMC staff and board will utilize the final plan to guide our work over the next 5 years. Part of the implementation phase will be to utilize milestones, internal evaluation, and check-ins with members to assess our success at implementing the plan along the way. We want to ensure that the strategic plan serves as the helpful guide that we intend it to be.
Already this process has been eye opening and rewarding. A great deal of thought has gone into both the designing of the process, and the feedback we are getting from our members and constituents has been invaluable to guiding us. I look forward to the direction that the finished plan will provide to me and our staff to better serve the farmers market field, and build a stronger coalition as we move into the future.
Ben Feldman, Executive Director