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Strategic Planning and Community Engagement for Nonprofits

Strategic planning is a huge undertaking for any nonprofit. When the Brandywine Health Foundation began to work on a new plan, they knew that community engagement would play a big role. After all, community engagement for nonprofits is essential. Therefore, they decided to host a series of town hall meetings. Then, the community could have a voice. And the foundation could learn what mattered most.

First, to work along with their own staff, the foundation assembled a creative team. They engaged Yolanda Gaskins of Gaskins Media Works to write, create messaging and design strategy. I was responsible for everything visual. Together, we produced a campaign called #Let’sTalkCoatesville. I designed a graphic look that worked with the foundation brand. Then, I made flyers and invitations to each town hall meeting. The foundation used the graphics in print and social media to publicize each event. Each gathering focused on a different area – family, environment, money. Yolanda wrote e-newsletters to keep the community informed during the campaign. The information gathered and the relationships formed were invaluable.

Sharing the New Strategic Plan

Next, when the plan was done, I designed an executive summary geared to community partners. I also designed a simpler brochure. Both contain the new vision and mission as well as core activities and guiding principles. Also, both identify the new strategic priorities and goals. The executive summary includes tactics. It also includes a letter from Vanessa B. Briggs, the foundation’s President and CEO and Jason D. Alexander, the board chair. Both pieces use clear language and clear graphics in clean layouts. Donors, government leaders, funders and community members – all got the information they needed.

“Image and brand is the cornerstone to the creditability of any organization. Being intentional about including a well-versed creative team as part of Brandywine Health Foundation’s strategic plan proved to be quite successful. Twistnshout’s clean, clear graphic design made it easy to engage the community during the strategic planning process and captures the essence of our future direction, states Vanessa B. Briggs, President and CEO, Brandywine Health Foundation.

This was terrific teamwork! Everyone got to do what they do best. The foundation reinforced its relationship with the community. And the process showed how important community engagement is for nonprofits.

I love collaborating this way. If you’re thinking of putting a team together, let’s chat!

For more about the Brandywine Health Foundation’s innovative approach to strategic planning, see this article in Social Innovations Journal.


Visual communications to support a new strategic plan and its community engagement process


Brandywine Health Foundation


Concept development for a campaign to support a new strategic plan and its community engagement process. Design coordinated collateral including:

  • Flyers
  • Invitations
  • Executive summary
  • Brochure
  • Social media graphics

Is your organization changing direction? Developing a new strategic plan that needs to be professionally presented to a variety of audiences? Get in touch to see how we can work together.