News for Donor Advisors

Helping to Develop Our City’s Next 10-Year Strategic Plan

Here at the Foundation, we’re committed to providing insights on emerging local trends, research and analysis on complex issues, and information on areas of opportunity to help donors better formulate their giving decisions.

Our ability to serve as a hub for community knowledge happens through a variety of ways. We’re talking with local nonprofits on a regular basis to understand and measure new and changing demands for service. We’re collaborating with community leaders to help address some of our area’s most pressing challenges (at present, think affordable housing and childcare). And we’re working to convene community-led conversations that bring together diverse voices and broad experiences.

We believe in the importance of this work because, in order to create a community where individuals and families can thrive, we first need to know what’s working, what’s not, and where the gaps are. To that end, we’re excited to step forward with a leadership investment in the development of the city’s next 10-year strategic plan.

A recent grant from the Community Foundation will support a new, community-centered planning process designed to capture and gauge public opinion on quality of life issues such as public safety, education, workforce, housing, arts and recreation and more.

Through online surveys, listening sessions, community roundtables, pop-up events, and interviews, the planning process will aim to capture the community’s opinion of Sioux Falls today, as well as its hopes and dreams for the Sioux Falls of tomorrow.

Results will be assembled into a summary document outlining the community’s input and priorities. From there, possible initiatives and implementation plans will be explored, with the final result being a new strategic plan community leaders and funders can use to drive Sioux Falls forward over the next decade.

The effort is led by Forward Sioux Falls, the Community Foundation, the City of Sioux Falls, Sioux Empire United Way, and the Sioux Falls School District. RDG Planning & Design will facilitate the planning process.

This effort compliments other planning projects focusing on parks, health, and downtown, but is unique in that is shaped by the voice of the people. The Foundation has supported similar projects, branded Sioux Falls Tomorrow, conducted in 1994, 2004, and 2014 — each of which gave way to important progress. Goals outlined in Sioux Falls Tomorrow 2014 ultimately led to the creation of two important programs: Sioux Falls Hope Coalition, which works to connect all children to high quality preschool programs, regardless of need, and Network of Care, a coordinated social service system that uses data and analysis to provide needed services to individuals and families.

We especially love the format of this effort because it’s designed to hear from everyone in our community. We’re honored to support this process because we believe it will provide a space for residents to talk about what’s good in our area, and where we can improve. The result will provide a blueprint to rally around as we move forward together. If you’d like to learn more about the process, I’m happy to visit with you.

Photo: "Arc at Dusk" by Paul Schiller.