Since the Pro Bono Center last performed an overall programmatic evaluation and strategic planning process in 1992, the landscape of the District’s legal profession has changed dramatically, and budget cuts and shortages in funding have hit already limited-resource social services programs hard. The Pro Bono Center’s internal structures also changed substantially, including a significant growth in programs and services, shifting priorities, and new leadership. New programs and services include the creation of the Community Economic Development (CED) Project and the associated Community Economic Development Advisory Committee, court-based resource centers, and an increase in volunteer outreach efforts.
To better understand the impact of these trends, the Strategic Assessment Task Force was divided into six working groups to further specify the stakeholders and information-gathering methods. The Pro Bono Center also engaged MMP Associates to facilitate the process.
The strategic assessment process aimed to better understand:
- The degree of satisfaction with the Pro Bono Center’s services.
- The Pro Bono Center’s strengths and areas of development.
- Perceptions and opinions of the brand and visibility of the Pro Bono program.
- Means to strengthen the Pro Bono Center’s financial sustainability.
- External factors affecting the Pro Bono Center’s work.
Feedback on these questions was collected from a comprehensive list of stakeholders. The methods included individual interviews, focus group participation, and electronic surveys. Unless otherwise noted, responses were kept confidential and Pro Bono Center staff did not take part in the activity.
Common themes emerged across all groups of stakeholders from the data gathered by the task force. From these themes a list of strategic priorities and objectives were developed, reviewed, and approved.
The duration of the strategic assessment process was from September 2014 through May 2015. A final report was completed in May 2015. The report is available upon request. Please contact Lise Adams for more information.
By the Numbers