Strategic Planning

Apply for Strategic Planning Services

“We are an infant organization with an overwhelming level of demands for our limited resources. The Alliance’s facilitation of our strategic planning process led to the development of clear, concise goals and objectives, which have brought focus to the allocation of our efforts.”
-Jeff Stephens, Consider Biking (Columbus, OH)


The Alliance for Biking & Walking offers assistance on a contract basis to advocacy organizations in creating a Whole System Strategic Plan. In 2009, Alliance staff worked with two organizations, including Consider Biking, to develop strategic plans as part of a pilot project. In 2010, the Alliance received a grant from New Belgium Brewing Company to increase our Strategic Planning offerings and offset the cost to Alliance member organizations. Through a competitive process, four organizations were chosen to receive this transformational opportunity in 2010: San Diego Bicycle Coalition, East Bay Bicycle Coalition, Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition and the Bicycle Alliance of Washington.

Due to the success of the program, the Alliance is now accepting applications for two additional member organizations to receive assistance creating a Whole System Strategic Plan in 2011. The Alliance will accept inquiry applications through Monday, January 31, 2011 from interested organizations. Thanks to the generous support of New Belgium Brewing Company, all costs for this contract will be covered (an estimated $5,000 value), except for the travel costs of Alliance staff.

Our Approach to Strategic Planning

As a bicycle or pedestrian advocacy group, your organization interacts with a variety of stakeholders and interest groups. The success of your organization depends on understanding and addressing your stakeholders’ needs. The Whole System Strategic Planning approach creates an opportunity for your organization’s stakeholders to come together to establish a shared, clear, and compelling multi-year vision. The process helps participants craft a set of short-term and long-term actions to achieve their goals. The results include increased buy-in from the stakeholders, clearly defined and prioritized actions for moving forward, and energized commitment to the organization’s future.

Whole System Strategic Planning offers a new approach to the process of creating a strategic plan for your organization. As opposed to the traditional, top-down method of strategic planning, the Whole System approach brings together staff, board, members, and other stakeholders to create a comprehensive and inclusive plan that addresses the needs and concerns of all parties.

Based on the principles of Whole Scale Change®, developed by Kathleen Dannemiller and Dannemiller Tyson Associates, the Whole System Strategic Planning Process offers several advantages to our organizations:

  • An increased awareness of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to the organization’s success;
  • A compelling, thoughtful, and innovative strategy for the future of the organization;
  • An increase in staff, board, volunteers, funders, and other stakeholders commitment to the organization’s strategy;
  • Concrete and measurable action plans for implementing the organization’s strategy; and,
  • A culture that encourages your stakeholders to take initiative, team together, and have pride in the organization’s strategy.

Guiding our strategic planning with Alliance organizations are the theories of Whole System Transformation and the DVF Model. Using this theoretical background, the Alliance helps organizations implement initiatives that are successful and appealing to its stakeholders. In turn, stakeholders who have participated in designing the transformation have a personal stake in the success of the organization, seek long-term solutions to problem-solving, and have a deeper level of involvement with the organization’s strategic transformation, mission, and goals.

Click here for a video examining one example of Whole System Strategic Planning.
Click here for a one-page overview for conducting strategic planning for your organization.

Who Should Apply

  • Is your organization struggling due to lack of a compelling or widely held vision by your board, staff, members, or other stakeholders?
  • Are you looking for ways to increase your volunteers or membership?
  • Are you looking to diversify your membership or to engage new audiences in your work?
  • Are you looking to revisit your current strategy so that you can build a more inclusive and engaged membership?

If you answered “Yes” to any of the above questions, then apply for Strategic Planning Assistance from the Alliance in 2011. You must be an Alliance member in good standing to be selected for this opportunity. If you have questions about your Alliance membership, please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Application and Selection Process

The selection process for this opportunity is administered in three phases: inquiry, interview, and contracting.


  • If you are interested in exploring this opportunity, please submit an inquiry application by Monday, January 31, 2011. Click hereto download the application.
  • Submit your completed application to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Your subject line should read: “Strategic Planning Inquiry Application-[your organization’s name]”
  • If you have questions, contact Mike at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for immediate feedback. Please do NOT wait until the last minute for guidance. There is high interest in this competitive program and getting an early start will greatly benefit your application’s standing.


  • Selected applicants will be invited to a phone interview.
  • Interview topics will include what the organization hopes to achieve with strategic planning, values held by the leadership of the organization, assessment of the organization’s readiness to proceed with strategic planning, the Alliance’s strategic planning process, and other key topics.
  • Interviews will be conducted by February 22, 2011, and applicants will be notified of their status by February 28, 2011.


  • Organizations selected for the 2011 Whole System Strategic Planning summits will receive a contract request by February 28, 2011, from the Alliance for Biking & Walking, outlining:
    • The process that will be used to conduct the strategic planning;
    • Background, stakeholders, strengths, and weaknesses of the organization;
    • The purpose and outcomes that will guide the transformation of the organization through this process;
    • And, if required, a detailed break-down of any costs that will be required of the organization (such as reimbursement for travel).
  • Organizations will be expected to work with the Alliance to iron out details and return the signed contract by March 9, 2011.

Looking for More Information?

Please contact, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), with any questions about applying for or contracting with the Alliance for strategic planning services.


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