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.


Amended Bylaws; Slate for the 2017-2018 DCA Board of Directors

As part of our strategic plan work, and with legal counsel provided through the Pro Bono Partnership, the DCA has drafted amended bylaws, for your consideration.  For comparison purposes, we are posting our existing bylaws as well.     

The bylaws have been updated to reflect current state statutes governing non-profits, and will provide needed flexibility for minor changes in our operations – such as the structure of our various board committees.

The amended bylaws retain the requirement that the DCA membership approve the proposed board of directors slate at each year’s annual meeting, as well as vote on fundamental changes to the organization.

A member vote on the proposed amended bylaws, as well as the board of directors slate, will take place at our annual meeting on Thursday, May 25th, 9:30 am, and will precede the presentation from our guest speakers: David Genovese and Penny Glassmeyer.


The DCA provides a unique community home in a welcoming setting, with stimulating learning and outreach experiences for the enrichment of the community. Within this site you will find information about our history and multifaceted mission, programs and activities that are open to the public, DCA groups, renting our historic home for your event, and our college scholarship program. Should you require more information, please contact us.

In the event of inclement weather, we will typically follow any closing decisions of the Darien Public Schools.