A Step in the Right Direction: Donated IT Helps Create Walkable Communities
Feet First is an organization that promotes walkable communities across Washington State. It helps people create better places to live, learn, shop, work, and play. The organization provides a pedestrian voice in discussions with government agencies, developers, and community groups.
By meeting with community members, it is able to discuss options for improving walking conditions in their neighborhoods. Feet First also offers a variety of community engagement tools, including walk maps and walking audits. It works with local schools to organize walking school buses and to lay out safe walking routes to school. The organization includes a core group of staff board members and volunteers.
In February 2009, Feet First undertook a two-day strategic planning forum. Engaging its community board and staff, the group was able to solidify the organization's new mission, vision, values, goals, and actions. To grow, Feet First adopted a strategic plan. However it did not have a system in place to measure quantitatively whether or not it was on track with the goals outlined in its plan.
Using Microsoft Excel, a team was able to build a balanced scorecard for Feet First. This scorecard measured the organization's goals with financial learning, growth, stakeholders, and internal process. With Excel, Feet First can create a quick visual representation of how the organization is doing in these sections. At any time, staff can pull up a snapshot of the progress of each goal. It is now much easier to see which areas it needs to focus on, and it has been able to improve its efforts and share its achievements with supporters.