Penny Forward 2024 – 2026 Strategy

The following strategic plan was created in collaboration with over 50 members of the blind community in September 2023. It was adopted by the Penny Forward board and unveiled to members and supporters on October 18, 2023.

1.1     Mission

Penny Forward is a nonprofit organization founded and led by blind people. Through education, mentoring, and mutual support, we help each other learn to confidently navigate the complicated landscape of personal finance.

1.2     Vision

Penny Forward envisions a world where blind people are financially secure, have the financial capability to confidently weather hard times, take advantage of life-changing opportunities, and more powerfully impact causes they care deeply about.

1.3     Guiding principles

  1. Inclusivity: We create an environment where inclusivity is not just a buzzword, but a fundamental commitment. We champion accessibility and diversity within our workplace and beyond. To Penny Forward, “Blind” includes all levels of blindness and/or all people who possess diverse physical and sensory abilities.
  2. Empowerment: We believe in the capabilities and talents of blind individuals, recognizing our potential to attain financial security through gainful employment or entrepreneurial endeavors
  3. Equity: We help to build a more equitable economic landscape by collaborating with organizations led by individuals from the blind, disability, and minority communities.
  4. Focus: We dedicate our efforts to initiatives that fulfill unmet needs of our community, amplify our impact, and create diverse revenue streams.
  5. Innovation: We meet people where they are by embracing fearless experimentation, exploring uncharted territories, and pioneering novel educational approaches.
  6. Community: We believe none of us should journey alone. Our strength emanates from the relationships we build and the space we create to learn from each other.

1.4     Goals

  1. Reputable Education, Programs, and Offerings: Create in-house, and collaborate with partners to produce engaging and accessible content that strengthens the financial independence of blind people and demonstrates our capabilities.
  2. Strong Brand and Communications: Collaborate with partners to increase awareness of Penny Forward and create opportunities for our community to meaningfully engage in our work.
  3. Long-term Growth and Success: Build the capacity of Penny Forward to ensure our funding, partnerships, volunteers, and staff are poised to support the goals and initiatives of the organization.

1.5     Goal Action Plans

1.5.1       Goal 1: Reputable Education, Programs, and Offerings (Content Team). Create in-house, and collaborate with partners to produce, engaging and accessible content that strengthens the financial independence of blind people and demonstrates our capabilities.

ActionWho’s InvolvedMeasure of Success
Ensure universal member access to all contentContent action teamTwo team members have reviewed the content.Satisfaction surveys indicate member satisfaction
Comprehend requirements and contentOperations action teamConduct an annual membership survey.Analyze social media metrics.Incorporate a ‘How did you hear about us?’ question on the membership form to collect data for improved member insights
Set a consistent content creation schedule to address member needsOperation and Content action teamsDeliver four courses annually, aligning with current course completion data
Diversify content offerings to encompass audio and video formats, where materials are narrated and discussed, accommodating various learning stylesContent action teamProduce three videos for each course, based on positive findings from YouTube analytics 
Create a toolkit to showcase the capabilities and achievements of the blind communityCommunications action teamInclude three testimonials.Showcase assistive technology.Articulate a compelling call to action with its significance.  
Diversify content beyond web-based deliveryOperations and content action teamsAnalyze existing podcast data to determine whether the podcast attracts individuals to Penny Forward or if Penny Forward directs people to the podcast.Identify strategies to reach potential members who are not yet aware of Penny Forward, potentially through increased podcast traffic.Assess whether heightened podcast engagement leads to a rise in website visits
Elevate content quality by hosting a monthly high-level discussion featuring topics like ‘Investing 102,’ ‘Investing 2.0,’ ‘Stock Tips,’ etc., with active participation from subject matter expertsContent action teamIntroduce new offerings by Q3 – 2024, leading to higher attendance and positive evaluations reflecting enhanced learning outcomes
Introduce exclusive, formal, small group coaching sessions with accredited presentersContent action teamLaunch new offerings in Q4 – 2024, resulting in higher attendance and positive evaluations

1.5.2       Goal 2: Strong Brand and Communications (Communications Team). Collaborate with partners to Increase awareness of Penny Forward and create opportunities for our community to meaningfully engage in our work.

ActionWho’s InvolvedMeasure of Success
Develop and execute an outreach strategy to establish connections with schools and agencies that support blind individuals. Additionally, identify organizations involved in promoting financial literacy for the blind and visually impairedOperations and Communications action teamsIdentify agency contacts.Arrange and participate in at least 20 meetings annually with these agencies.Establish initial contact with every agency director by the end of 2024
Enhance direct engagement with summer and youth/adult camps and programsContent and communications action teamsEach year, identify a minimum of two programs and request participation
Distribute a public newsletter via email and through NFB NewslineContent and communications action teamsPublish monthly with a focus on expanding readership and raising awareness
Amplify visibility and actively participate in pertinent national conferences and state conventionsOperations and communications action teamsAttend 12 events annually
Strengthen our participation in financial education organizations targeting other minority groupsCommunications action teamEstablish connections with a minimum of two organizations every quarter
Enhance our influence and engagement on social mediaCommunications action teamInitiate a minimum of one interaction per month with new social media groups and influencers.Aim to gain 500 additional Facebook followers each year.Secure 500 subscribers to the public newsletter by the end of 2024
Promote through advertisements or contribute content to radio reading services and radio stations catering to blind listenersCommunications action teamPlace advertisements or content on three radio stations to air six times daily

1.5.3       Goal 3: Long-term Growth and Success (Finance & Operations Team). Build the capacity of Penny Forward to ensure our funding, partnerships, volunteers, and staff are poised to support the goals and initiatives of the organization.

ActionWho’s InvolvedMeasure of Success
Attain a diverse and stable funding baseOperations and communications action teamsObtain 75% of our funding through grants. Our annual operations budget goals are as follows:2024 – $150K2025 – $300K2026 – $500K.”
Shift towards establishing paid staff, and away from, volunteer positionsOperations action teamAppoint a full-time CEO by Q1 2024The CEO will lead the recruitment of additional staff members, ensuring roles are aligned with content delivery, communications, technology, and funding efforts, with the target of completing this by 2026.
Establish a stakeholder advisory committeeOperations and Communications action teamsConstitute the committee by 2024, ensuring it represents a microcosm of pertinent stakeholders
Enhance the Board’s composition and its overall influenceBoard, operations, and communications action teamsImplement a board responsibilities document by 2024.Conduct annual board training sessions
Expand and diversify the Board to broaden organizational opportunitiesBoard, operations, and communications action teamsEnsure the Board reflects the diversity of our membership.Shift from a working model to a governance model by 2025Aim to have 30 actively engaged board members by 2026