Chicago Audubon Society Strategic Plan 2019-2020

All communities in our region understand, value and protect birds, other wildlife and habitat.

Chicago Audubon Society connects people with birds and nature through educational programming, field trips, advocacy, stewardship and research.

Problem-solving, collaborative, science-based, welcoming, inclusive, enthusiastic about learning and teaching about birds and nature.

Long Term Outcomes
All our diverse communities have access to habitats that support birds.
All our diverse communities have access to educational experiences that foster an understanding of bird biology, identification and conservation.
All our diverse communities engage in activities that promote bird welfare and healthy habitat.
Diverse habitats in the CAS region support stable or increasing populations of nesting and migrating birds.
Public policies exist that reduce threats and protect habitat.

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Short Term Outcomes, Strategies, Resources

1. STO: By the end of 2020; Create opportunities for community bird education and volunteer stewardship in two new geographic areas of our region; engage 300 new people in bird education and 100 new people in stewardship.
Identify and partner with existing groups that will help us increase the diversity of our membership and participants in our bird walks and other programs.  
Hold two events in 2019 specifically targeted toward Chicago communities that are not CAS's traditional audience.
By 2020 increase field trips to diverse locations with different audiences and focus to at least 4 each year – trips with FOTFP for example
select new areas based on partnerships and opportunity
Schedule cooperative field trips with at least two other organizations each year
Connect with at least one non-nature oriented community organization in the target area
Partner with a public landowner, either CPD or FPCC
Partner with an organization that has a stewardship project that benefits birds and hold joint CAS workdays.
Hold 7 bird walks and 6 stewardship workdays each year.
Schedule presenters more representative of our diverse communities
Train new field trip leaders of a broader demographic (see below)
Partner with Illinois Young Birders (ILYB) and Openlands’ Birds in my Neighborhood (BIMN) to include interested students from BIMN program
CBCM project will align with objectives by:
continuing to provide opportunities for community members to engage in volunteer activities that raise awareness and contribute to bird conservation efforts

2. STO: Train at least 25 new birding field trip leaders, at least 15 of whom are people of color, and at least 10 of whom agree to lead field trip for CAS.
Strategies: offer field trip leader training to staff in local conservation organizations; partner with either CPD or FPCC on content of workshop.
Offer stipends for training to individuals from target neighborhood(s) (see #1)
Partner with Field Museum to include bird specimens as part of a program.
Partner with Field, Peggy, FPCC,  CPD or other for trainers

3. STO: CAS will participate in 6 advocacy campaigns that support local bird habitat or reduce local threats
Strategies: Pass Bird-friendly Design Ordinance in Chicago, in partnership with COS and CBCM
Use our Facebook Page and e-newsletter to promote local advocacy campaigns organized by grassroots groups, and write letters in support.
Recruit and train a volunteer to organize our national advocacy efforts
CBCM project will align with objectives by:
continuing to provide educational and media presentations along with building and agency consultations that will develop support and positive changes for bird safety in the urban environment
continuing outreach, advocacy and education about bird conservation through its hotline
Our strategies to do this will be continuing recruitment of volunteers and advancing our fundraising and grant opportunities.

4. STO: CAS expands membership and involvement of existing members and volunteers throughout our area in our activities by 20% 2020.
Strategies: Develop list of volunteer opportunities to promote via website, newsletter, news and Facebook page.
Recruit members at Birding American
Send our members a survey questionnaire to determine their interests and invite volunteers
Seek out board members with diverse strengths to support our strategic plan
Participate in volunteer fairs and online clearinghouses (Chicago Cares, Find Your Cause, Patagonia, etc.)
Partner with outdoor recreation efforts (such as Outerbelt)
Hold At least 2 field trips in 2019 that are not specifically bird focused

5. STO: Through CAS partnerships with other organizations, bird friendly habitats are increased and improved throughout our region… 20 acres at Camp Pine show improved structure; 25 households participate in our native plant sale.
Strategies: advertise workdays and bird monitoring at Camp Pine and participate in developing the management plan.
Use our Facebook Page and e-newsletter to promote workdays.
Develop simple guidelines for including a stewardship message in all field trips
A CAS volunteer will coordinate with Audubon Great Lakes on an annual native plant sale.

6. STO: Offer programs and activities that foster an understanding of bird biology, identification and conservation.
Strategies: Partner with The Forest Preserves of Cook County to organize a "Camping with the Birds" event at Camp Reinburg at Deer Grove Forest Preserve.  Ensure that invitations and publicity for this event include the groups that have been identified to help increase the diversity of CAS members and event participants.
Hold Birding America semi-annually and continue to expand attendance,
Increase public program meetings to 6 annually, including in cooperation with other organizations and at additional locations.
Offer at least 12 field trips each year.
Collaborate with Chicago Ornithological Society and Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum on a series that features the voices of women - the Compelling Voices speaker series

7. STO: Acknowledge contributions of individuals and organizations in Chicago area to our vision and mission
Strategies: Hold Awards Dinner
do more promotion of awards dinner
develop a press release that can be sent to local media markets near awardees’ homes.

8. STO: Community Science
Strategies: Spring Bird Count, Xmas Bird Count

9. STO: Increase revenue by 20% over our base level by the end of 2020.
Strategies: Pursue grants for STOs 1 and 2
Continue to mail Annual Appeal letter and augment with an online push for Giving Tuesday including a Facebook donate button
Seek out new customers for the Bird Seed Sale
Add new members as described above
Make a development plan by the end of 2019

10. STO: Our communications (Compass, Facebook, e-news and website) reflect our values and support our strategic plan.
Strategy: convene a committee that will develop a CAS communications plan that incorporates feedback from Compass, Facebook admins, webmaster, and board in 2019.