When Mission Capital CEO Madge Vasquez teased a new three-year strategic plan at the organization’s June Board Summit, Veronda Durden already knew it worked.
“Madge and I just had a connection,” said Durden, Any Baby Can’s president/CEO. “I feel like Mission Capital has really reached out to me with a willingness to come alongside and support our organization.”
Durden’s goal – to reflect internally the families they serve – is central to Mission Capital’s new focus on equipping mission-driven leaders, organizations and networks to advance equity and opportunity.
“Based on what I’ve heard in my year-long listening tour, too many central Texans face significant barriers to opportunity because of race, ZIP code, gender, abilities, sexual identity and income inequality,” Vasquez said. “These are systemic barriers and inequities that our new strategic plan intends to help nonprofits address.”
New mission, new focus
The 2019-2022 strategic plan focuses on four key levers of change.
- Enhance effectiveness – Equip change agents to embrace practices that lead to lasting impact.
- Promote innovation – Open doors to innovative tools and adaptive strategies that strengthen performance and resilience.
- Influence systems change – Engage with strategic community collaboratives and advocate for the role everyone can play in tackling systemic problems.
- Advance equity and inclusion – Support the development of a diverse, inclusive social sector that holds equity central and works to address systemic barriers.
The plan is a natural next step, Vasquez said. Having started as Greenlights to support organizational effectiveness, Mission Capital later merged with Innovation+ and Social Venture Partners. Vasquez devoted her first year at the helm (2018-2019) to letting nonprofits know Mission Capital still offered its core legacy services – capacity building, succession planning, etc. – as well as programs to move nonprofits beyond the grant cycle to sustainability.
“Now, we’re ready to focus on creating systemic change to advance equity and inclusion,” Vasquez said.
“We recognized early that advancing equity would require us to reconsider, reevaluate and even fundamentally change how we were doing things. We had to shift our mental models of nonprofit effectiveness and how we work with the community.”
Vasquez said Mission Capital takes an active yet modest role in the nonprofit community.
“Mission Capital historically has been a gathering of nonprofits. We’re now connecting sectors, looking for new voices, perspectives and collaborations to build a broader, more inclusive tent. We want to put our shoulder behind the folks who are working in the equity space,” she said. “Ours is kind of quiet, backbone work that undergirds other people’s purpose and mission.”