After five years of implementing Spectrum Nonprofit Services’ strategic direction, Lutheran Social Services of Indiana (LSSI) reconnected with Spectrum Nonprofit to refresh its strategy with the goal of bolstering its revenue. Following the close of the refresh process, Spectrum Nonprofit and LSSI maintain an ongoing implementation coaching relationship.
Lutheran Social Services of Indiana (LSSI) is a social services organization in Fort Wayne, Indiana that works to empower families as they endeavor to overcome their most pressing challenges. To do so, LSSI provides access to mental health services based within the tenets of the Lutheran faith, literacy and financial education programs, and employment services.
With families in Fort Wayne continuing to experience the effects of substance abuse and other mental health challenges, LSSI recognized that its work was far from over. At the same time, Angie Moellering, LSSI’s president & CEO, knew that in order to continue achieving impact, the organization would need to revisit its revenue strategy and capitalize on opportunities to further sustain the organization’s programs.
Spectrum Nonprofit and LSSI are no strangers to each other, having partnered together in 2013 on a strategy project where LSSI walked away with an intended impact statement, which has withstood the test of time, and a living Matrix Map that is updated on an annual basis. Spectrum Nonprofit and LSSI have maintained contact since our first engagement and have developed a deep working relationship.
Spectrum Nonprofit and LSSI began our second engagement by revisiting the organization’s intended impact statement to assess the relevance of the 2013 statement to the organization’s desires for its community. Having decided that their statement was as true today as it was when it was first crafted many years ago, we turned our attention to the organization’s Matrix Map.
To start, we had several discussions with LSSI to understand the current revenue generation capacity of their programs and learn of their goals for a future revenue strategy. Spectrum Nonprofit then updated the current programming on both impact and profitability, and facilitated board discussions about opportunities for investment to strengthen revenue and sustainability. The end result was a forward-looking map that depicted a reduction in subsidized income and an increase in organizational profitability.
To achieve these revenue goals, we devised a strategy that would leverage the revenue potential of a fee-for-service model and invest in additional capacity for managing individual donors and government grants. Combined, these two efforts would reduce LSSI’s reliance on foundation funding. We developed four strategic priorities and a business model statement complementary to the intended impact statement to support the organization’s revenue goals within a three-year timeline.
As fate would have it, 2020 became a momentously disruptive year. While COVID-19 proved to be a strenuous disruptor for nonprofits across the United States, the flexibility of LSSI’s strategic direction gave the organization a framework to evaluate and make decisions that best supported Fort Wayne’s families throughout the pandemic while remaining true to the organization’s mission and intended impact. Furthermore, the adaptive nature of the organization’s priorities allowed LSSI the flexibility to pivot between responding to the demands of COVID-19 and providing the necessary support and implementing its original priorities, without derailing the objective of the three-year plan.
Spectrum Nonprofit continues to provide ongoing coaching to support LSSI’s implementation efforts and ensures that the organization remains true to its goals and strategic direction.
“You have to create space to work on strategy. It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day. Having these touch points with Spectrum allows us to focus on our strategy and implementation.”Angie MoelleringPresident & CEO, Lutheran Social Services of Indiana