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Clients Jenny Germann and Kate Zimmerman with their mentor Margot Hoerner
SCORE Success Story: Manheim Township Education Foundation

Manheim Township Education Foundation

Location: Lancaster, Pennsylvania
How SCORE helped.

Strategic planning is an essential tool for every small business. It is also a critical process for all community benefit organizations. An organization's strategic plan acts as a blueprint, a plan, and a focus on the agency's direction. "It generates an explicit understanding of an organization's mission, strategy and organizational values among staff, board members and external constituencies," according to Michael Allison and Jude Kaye, authors of "Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations."

Looking Toward the Future

The Manheim Township Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making the educational experience of all Manheim Township School students exceptional. They provide educators, administrators, and school-related groups with resources for innovative educational programs that benefit the Manheim Township School District. They fill the gap in a world where the "face of public education is changing; budget cuts are forcing school districts to eliminate programs, teachers, and amenities in the classroom." 

In late 2020 the Manheim Township Education Foundation board began work on a new Strategic Plan. Led by Executive Director Jenny Germann and Board Chair Kate Zimmerman, the group was working to achieve a forward-focused vision to successfully lead the organization to meet strategic goals in the years ahead. Both women agreed that the process would benefit from the input of an experienced outside consultant. 

"The Manheim Township Educational Foundation was about to embark on a strategic planning process, and I felt it would be beneficial to have someone to guide us. I had heard wonderful things about SCORE mentor Margot Hoerner from board members and leadership at the Bench Mark Program who I admire greatly, so I reached out." 
     - Kate Zimmerman, MTEF Board Chair 

Offering a Long-Term Strategy for Growth & Success

The strategic planning process serves many functions, but the most important is keeping all leadership and staff on track and focused on the future. SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon mentor Margot Hoerner has a great deal of experience working with clients on their strategic plans and considers it an essential exercise.
"Once a business or organization is up and running and on solid footing, it is important to develop a long-term strategy for growth and future success; otherwise, the organization can become stagnant and develop a status quo of results. SCORE mentors are available to not only help clients get up and running, but we have a vested interest in seeing them thrive for many years."
     - Margot Hoerner, SCORE volunteer mentor

Margot and MTEF Executive Director Jenny Germann met privately and then with the Executive Committee to gather thoughts and input on the plan. They worked together to create a stakeholder survey to identify what people value from the Foundation and what they would like to see from MTEF.  Margot led a discussion with the full Manheim Township Educational Foundation Board to dig into survey results and later led a SWOT session to identify the Foundation's priorities moving forward.


"We worked through the draft at our September Board meeting and finalized and approved it at our November Board meeting.  Margot was so helpful in bringing a thoughtful perspective from someone who knew the Foundation but was not currently on the Board. She was able to navigate some complicated discussions and pin down our strengths and weaknesses and our potential growth."
      - Jenny Germann, MTEF Executive Director

Allowing the Board and the stakeholders to have buy-in for the plan creates ownership and a stake in its success. Executive Director Jenny Germann believes that allowing the Board to review the stakeholder survey and go through the SWOT process was the most beneficial to create a plan forward.  

"Margot came prepared with templates and customizable documents that took most of the guesswork out of the strategic planning process. I was thrilled to learn that she had once served on the Board of the Manheim Township Educational Foundation and had children who had gone through the school system. Margot provided us with a manageable framework from the beginning. She was mindful of our small team and encouraged us to work within our capacity. Margot helped us hold our first strategic retreat. She guided us in surveying our community and stakeholders. She left us with a customized working document that all we have to do is follow for the next three years and update as appropriate."
     - Kate Zimmerman, MTEF Board Chair

Make Your Next Strategic Move Forward

"It was an honor to work with the Manheim Township Educational Foundation. Ironically, I was on this Board 12 years ago and part of its infancy. It is exciting to see how far they have come and a pleasure to help them design a Strategic Plan for the next three years. They are making such a difference in the lives of the schools and students' education. The partnership that we shared was wonderful, and I look forward to celebrating their future success stories."
     _ Margot Hoerner, SCORE volunteer mentor

"It was truly a pleasure to work with Margot through this process. The MTEF Board of Directors and staff are excited to have a formal plan to follow over the next three years, and Margot and SCORE were key to getting that accomplished. We are so grateful to have had this opportunity!"
     - Jenny Germann, MTEF Executive Director




My mentors
Headshot of Margot Hoerner
Margot Hoerner

I can help you develop a strategic plan for your business or non-profit. I can guide you on how to...

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115 East King Street
Lancaster, PA 17602
(717) 397-3092

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Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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