Organizational Development and Strategic Planning: Shasta Disabled Sports USA

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Boyd, Donna
Master of Leadership Development
Shasta Disabled Sports USA is a small regional organization that facilitates adventure sports activities for people with disabilities. In existence since 2005, programs have grown steadily to almost 500 user days in 2008 in the combined summer and winter programs. Unfortunately, organizational development has not kept up with program growth and at this time Shasta DSUSA faces several challenges that argue for improved organizational management. Holding fun and high quality outdoor adventures as the essence of the mission, Shasta DSUSA can serve clients best by embracing a business model that supports program focus within a framework of financial health and organizational sustainability. This study begins the transition to a more effective organization. While it was anticipated that long-range goals would be set and a strategic plan developed to meet those goals, this investigation has identified barriers that must be addressed prior to planning completion. Instead, recommendations for organizational stabilization and the creation of a framework for future planning have been the outcomes of this work. Several deficiencies were found in the financial and governances practices such that in some cases Shasta DSUSA is in violation of federal and state regulation and in others merely in violation of their own bylaws. The organization has not institutionalized best practices for board ethics, financial oversight, and working with people with disabilities, Additionally, fundraising has been opportunistic rather than based in goal setting and sound planning. Recommendations have been made to support improvements in these areas. Successes were identified in terms of mission delivery. Personal interviews with clients, volunteers, and board members reflect great satisfaction with the events and activities. Additionally, clients and volunteers reported positive impacts to their lives from participation in Shasta DSUSA programs, which is consistent with the outside research reported in this study. Thus, recommendations for program improvements center on better management of volunteer assets and streamlining and standardizing event coordination efforts. Although implementation of the recommended changes will serve to stabilize the organization, continuing board collaboration towards a future vision will be required to continue the work of this study in building a sustainable and stable Shasta DSUSA. The outcomes of research in this study confirm that Shasta DSUSA offers a valuable service to people with disabilities and to the general community. To continue that service is the most compelling argument for organizational change,