September- Looking Back and Looking ForwardJuly is the beginning of our fiscal year, thus the time when we look back over accomplishments of the past year, and ahead to our goals for the coming year. I was amazed to realize that over 1000 people come in for programs and 125 connect with support services each week; double the numbers of five years ago. Accomplishments include completing a new strategic plan, forming a technology committee, getting the FreeB running during weekday hours, creating a new outreach publication, Prime Time, which will be inserted in Town Topics mid-September, completing the 2011 edition of the Resource Directory (available at both offices), and completing the Suzanne Patterson Building renovations (floor, sound and lights). The Capitol Steps event took our organization to a new level of fundraising and visibility in the community. You can read the full report on the website under “About Us.”
Goals for the new year include beginning to implement the strategic plan, completing a technology plan, obtaining new computers for all staff and classroom, a new Next Step website, an e-newsletter, implementing a bequests program, and meeting new fundraising targets, as well as the continuous quality improvement of programs and services that comes from the collective creativity of participants, staff and board.
I believe that one of the elements of a healthy organization is to periodically evaluate itself and think strategically about its future. PSRC board and staff dedicated themselves to this process over the past year. The new strategic plan was passed in May, and is posted on our website under “About Us.” Four of the strategic goals will be the focus of our attention this year.
Through listening sessions and evaluations, we learned that participants are highly satisfied with the programs and services offered. We thank you for that support and for your suggestions. PSRC reaffirmed its commitment to being the dynamic “go to place” for older adults, family caregivers and professionals for aging related issues, as well as being a primary center for building community in the diverse Princeton area. Our volunteers and collaborative partners have been essential to our success.
It quickly became apparent that technology was a key issue to address. Technology is evolving so rapidly and is so much more complex, affecting many aspects of our work. A coordinator of computer classes was appointed, who will organize classes throughout the year. A technology committee was formed to consider options and create a technology plan, including obtaining new hardware and software for both staff and the classroom, creating uniform policies and procedures, training staff and responding to emerging opportunities. This committee will continue its hard work in the coming year. A goal for the near future is to begin to implement an e-newsletter and social media presence.
Everyone in the aging field is discussing how to address the needs of the new generation of Boomers now reaching retirement age. It is clear that Boomers view themselves and this stage of life differently than the older generations we continue to serve. They want to be active, engaged and want an individualized plan with input. PSRC will continue to develop the Evergreen Forum, Next Step: Engaged Retirement and Encore Careers, and Caregiver programs as outreach opportunities to people in this generation. At the same time, we remain committed to offering a wide range of programs and services that appeal to the growing and diverse population we serve. We welcome your suggestions and leadership of programs and activities. The strategic decision was made
to accommodate our expansion by offering more programs in other locations and at other times rather than seeking to expand our physical plant.
The board will be focusing on governance issues, ensuring that the Board is using best practices, and engaging the many talents of board members for the organization.
The foundation for all of this is fiscal sustainability. PSRC initiated a Human Capital campaign to support and retain our primary asset, the staff. The Capitol Steps fundraiser was a huge success and will be repeated this year, attracting new people to our community. There will be several development activities to continue to build this fund, increase the endowment and support the operating budget. Especially in these challenging times, support from private sources is essential for sustainability.
We hope that you will actively participate in all of these aspects of PSRC’s growth in the next five years.
Susan W. Hoskins LCSW