Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation

Operationalizing the Future of AVLF

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Case Study

Operationalizing the Future of AVLF

As Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (AVLF) looked ahead to its 40th Anniversary and the transition of the current Executive Director in 2020, the organization felt it was time to refresh their strategic plan and ensure that the operational infrastructure was in place to respond to the growing needs of the community and the increased demand for their services in the coming years.


Purpose, Vision & Values , Business Model Design , Workplace Performance & Wellness , Teams, Technology & Culture , Campaign & Program Design

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About this Project

Looking to the Future

In keeping with AVLF’s desire for an inclusive and transparent process, the 2020 Strategic Plan was developed with the full participation of staff members, Executive Director, Deputy Director, board, and junior board members in meetings and workshops held over the course of five days.

Through a dynamic and iterative process that first identified, then built on the guiding principles of AVLF, a clear and concise roadmap to achieve the long term vision and fulfill the organizational mission was developed.

With such a large and diverse stakeholder group, the key to success was developing a common understanding of the challenges, opportunities, and change forces affecting the organization. By engaging each group in the process we were able to bring focus and alignment between organizational leaders, board, and staff members.

Building on its past success and looking to the future, with a comprehensive three-year plan that is easy to understand, communicate, and measure AVLF is well positioned to execute its inspirational mission and achieve its most aspirational objectives for Atlantans.

The Process

Achieving a Long Term Vision

The North Star

  • Mission, Purpose, Vision & Values
    Organizational success lies at the intersection of values derived from deeply held beliefs, a strong connection to purpose, and an inspiring objective. By grounding the AVLF 2020 Strategic Plan in a clear set of shared values we ensured that a firm and sustaining foundation for successful execution was in place.

  • Three Year Objectives and One Year Priorities
    After establishing the foundational elements and envisioning an aspirational future, the planning horizon shifted to a three year time frame. Setting the objectives for future programs and considering the current state, the organizational capabilities to achieve the goals were identified. Actions to develop these capabilities defined the three year and one year strategic priorities.

  • Setting an Organizational Rhythm
    The final step towards readying the plan for operational execution was to link the one year priorities to a quarterly roadmap. By combining this roadmap with an organizational rhythm of meetings and communication tactics to drive ownership, we equipped the team with the tools needed to stay focused on achieving its goals throughout the year.

  • Strategic Human Resources Management
    Having developed the 2020 Strategic Plan, the focus then shifted to ensuring that the human resources systems could support its successful deployment. Working closely with leadership, board, and staff, we identified ways to develop the existing team and to raise the organizational skill level through a number of key hires.

  • Board Effectiveness and Engagement
    The AVLF Board of Directors plays a critical part in achieving the organization’s outcomes by bringing a wide range of skills to oversight, fundraising, and day-to-day operations. By assessing board structure and processes, we clarified the role of the board and identified a number of ways to enhance its effectiveness and engagement as the organization strives towards its strategic objectives.

Set Up to Achieve More

The quality of the people and the work just floored us.

We engaged Briteweb to integrate a strategic planning process focused largely on operational growth with the development of a new brand strategy and communications plan – not an easy lift! Briteweb exceeded our expectations. From the thoughtful selection of who would lead each process and their impressive project management skills, to their insightful recommendations and final products, the quality of the people and the work just floored us. And not unrelated, we simply had a blast working with them! Tellingly, we have several more projects currently in the works or planned with Briteweb’s amazing team.

— Michael Lucas, Deputy Director, AVLF

Discover how AVLF creates safe and stable homes and families by inspiring the fight for equal justice.

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