That was one of the legendary Yogi Berra’s many great quotes, and it has particular resonance in the nonprofit arena. For organizations seeking to make a difference in the world, having a clear idea of who you are, what you are trying to accomplish, and how you will know if you are making progress is essential to long-term success.
The CBF has taken that adage to heart over the course of its 70-year history. The CBF’s long-term plan is a comprehensive blueprint that has been developed and honed by the CBF board over the course of several strategic planning processes over the past twenty years. The plan sets the CBF’s shorter and longer-term goals, lays out our specific strategies for achieving these goals, and identifies how we evaluate our progress.
In short, the plan puts the proverbial meat on the bones of the CBF’s mission to bring the legal community together to improve access to justice for people in need and make the legal system more fair and efficient for everyone.
Through grants, advocacy, pro bono, and partnerships, the CBF carries out this mission by mobilizing the legal community to:
- Increase access to free and affordable legal assistance for people in need, and
- Make the courts and legal system more user-friendly, fair and accessible for people without lawyers.
The CBF is committed to making this plan a living document to guide our work, regularly evaluating progress towards our goals and engaging in a comprehensive strategic planning process at least once every five years, most recently in 2016.
The CBF’s periodic board planning processes are an opportunity to review and further hone the CBF long-term plans and to set shorter-term objectives that reflect current realities in the community. In our most recent planning process, the CBF board committed to double down on being a force for innovation in access to justice and to use the CBF’s 70th Anniversary this year as a springboard towards the future.
While we still have a very long way to go to get there (i.e., the CBF’s ultimate goal of equal access to justice), we have a clear vision of where we are going for a long time to come. And thanks to the strong support of our legal community and the CBF’s many dedicated partners, we are making real strides towards getting there and are well-positioned to make any even greater impact in the years to come.