A neighborhood community center, seriously affected by a major storm, wondered if it was the right time to begin utilizing its empty adjacent building along with incorporating new, optimal programming for its evolving community. A comprehensive community needs assessment as well as an examination of the financial sustainability of the organization was required.
OMG’s extensive assessment included:
- One-on-one confidential interviews with board members, staff, volunteers, community and local business leaders and community members who currently utilized the community center as well as those who do not.
- Data analysis of the income and population distribution of the catchment areas both pre- and post-storm.
- An examination of the potential to increase membership by engaging previously untapped, diverse groups from the new community.
- Researching similar organizations’ membership fee structures, current trends in fitness and wellness centers, educational opportunities in after-school programming etc.
- Preparing an operational cost analysis for new, innovative activities.
- The board was presented with the interviewees’ comments, categorized by subject, including board development, marketing, leadership, outcome measurement, diversity, and strategic alliances.
- A new facilities plan was developed which moved the fitness space into a new, state-of-the-art Wellness Center in the new building and which would include a rock climbing wall.
- The space occupied by the current gym facilities was freed up to provide new and fun science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) after-school programming.
- A marketing and sales plan was developed to increase membership.
The estimated fees resulting from increased membership and fees for additional after-school, summer camp and rock climbing activities were shown to exceed the new operational costs.