We’re Listening: CSF Strategic Plan Update
                                                                                   June 19, 2019

All children deserve to feel safe, cared for, and given opportunities to develop their talents and skills to grow up to be successful. That means communities, like ours, must ensure that children and youth have the support and resources they need to achieve their full potential.

At St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund (CSF), we know that the most effective way to create more opportunities for children and youth to thrive is to collaborate with community partners like yourself, and we’re grateful for all of you who have given your time and shared your thoughts with us.

Over the past year, Consilience Group, CSF’s strategic plan consultant, has used a variety of research methods to help CSF analyze its current state as well as identify future opportunities for growth and impact. Beginning in late fall 2018, Consilience Group interviewed over a dozen community leaders; held three separate focus groups with students, parents and caregivers, and student support services staff; conducted community cafes with regional funders, providers and community leaders; and collected feedback from a community survey. We wanted to share the initial findings with you . Please take a few minutes to review this information as it was the basis for the development of our strategic goals. In addition, we want to thank you for your feedback.

Your feedback is already having an impact on improvements we’re making here at CSF. There are some things we’ve already done like aligning the Core funding cycle with the school year. There are things we’re continuing to work on like collaboration with regional funders. For 2020-2022 Core, we worked with St. Louis MHB and the United Way of Greater St. Louis to establish standardized outcome measures at CSF, and we’re continuing to work together in other areas. Most importantly there are things we’re planning on doing like pursing high-impact, long-term investment strategies that align with community need as well as exploring alternate funding models to improve access and capacity.

Through the development of the strategic plan, CSF has been exploring our role both in government and in philanthropy in the wider context of the St. Louis community through continued conversations. This is a multi-phase, ongoing process, and we want to continue to keep an open dialogue. Please feel to reach out to me at any time with any ideas or concerns you have. We are particularly interested in incorporating perspectives from the community as we develop funding priorities and future funding cycles.

Tonight, the CSF board will be briefed on the rough draft of the strategic plan. In addition to the CSF board, we want to gather feedback from you about our strategic direction. We will be hosting a series of focus groups later this summer, so tune in for more information about dates and locations. In addition, staff continue to work on implementation plans, as well as a process for tracking and monitoring our progress. We’re excited to share this part of the plan with you, and we’ll keep you updated as things continue to progress.

Thank you for your support!