2017 Strategic Plan Executive Summary

In early 2017 the Darien Community Association embarked on a strategic planning process to develop a roadmap for organizational development over the next three years. The plan is intended to drive positive change within the Darien Community Association while also embracing continuity. The plan provides a sharper focus to the DCA’s work in terms of both programming and financial strength.

Environmental Scan
The DCA’s environmental scan involved over 300 individuals including members, donors, board, staff, local partners and community leaders. Several themes arose from the interviews and survey. The DCA’s programming is well respected in the community and people love its historic house and grounds. The Thrift Shop is a large source of income and helps support the DCA mission, including significant scholarship funding to Darien High School graduates. With some gentle building updates and strengthening its marketing, the DCA may become a premier event and meeting space. In addition, the DCA should continue to build community partnerships and develop programs to attract a broader array of the community.

Vision Statement
The preferred place for all to gather, give and learn.

Mission Statement
Enriching our community in a welcoming, historic setting for lifelong learning, philanthropy, and enjoyment.

Core Operating Values
At the DCA we:

  • Encourage the joy of learning for all generations
  • Give back with gifts of time, resources, opportunities and fellowship
  • Share the beauty of our historic house and grounds
  • Strive for high standards in all we offer

In keeping with the findings in the environmental scan and in-depth conversations with the strategic planning team, the DCA will focus on the following five key areas in the next three years:

1. Marketing – To improve awareness and reach in order to build stronger community
attachment and participation.

2. Partnership and Collaborations – To expand and cultivate partnerships and
collaborations to strengthen our role as community leader and to further our

3. Human Resources – To recruit and retain the highest quality board members,
volunteers, and staff.

4. Programming – To create a profitable portfolio of quality programs that attracts a
broader audience.

5. Financial Sustainability – To secure resources to fully support the DCA’s annual
operating and capital needs.