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Strategic Framework

The Yakima Valley Community Foundation uses an “adaptive” planning philosophy. The difference is subtle:  A traditional strategic plan assumes there are technical solutions to community problems and that a single organization can change community conditions. Adaptive strategies assume today’s problems require collaboration, experimentation, and learning. In other words, finding solutions to tough social challenges will require curiosity, commitment, partnership, and perseverance.

We have adopted a metaphor for thinking about this shift in approach. Imagine the differences between a map and a compass. Maps are fixed at a point in time, limited to the information available when created. While useful, they lack "real-time" information from fellow travelers and critical local knowledge. In contrast, a compass allows a traveler to determine direction, take bearings, sight, and detour when confronted with obstacles. Used in real-time from a precise location, it is essential when confronting an unknown and complex environment. It makes it possible for the traveler to "ground truth" his bearings and select the right path forward. 

Critical to developing a path or direction is the input from those who will be impacted by our work and decisions.  Philanthropy is rapidly changing and one significant change we've made is recognizing the importance of listening to our community and elevating the voices of those frequently left out or left behind.

Our compass is the Strategic Framework. It makes explicit the vision, mission, values, and goals that will guide us in all we do. While specific goals and strategies will evolve over time, we expect this framework to be in place for many years. It will guide us as we build out detailed work plans for each year. Finally and importantly, to assure our Foundation stays focused and accountable, our Board of Directors regularly evaluates progress and the organization’s alignment with its vision, mission, and values.

Mission Vision Value Proposition Values Goal 1 Goal 2 Goal 3 Goal 4


To connect people, resources and ideas so people and communities thrive.


A community leader in education, civic vitality, and health supporting equitable access to opportunity with special attention to those who are frequently left out and left behind.

Value Proposition

We are uniquely positioned to aggregate and grow private and public resources to improve life in the Valley.


Results. Capability. Excellence. Transparency. Collaboration. Inclusion.

Goal 1

Sustain a visionary organization

The Foundation plays a trusted role identifying and responding to the challenges and opportunities facing the Valley. Our donors, partners, grantees and the general public expect the highest level of professionalism, stewardship and integrity from our staff and board. We will take all necessary steps to deliver on those expectations, ensuring the Foundation remains a trusted and valuable voice for the community, on sound financial footing long into the future.

Goal 2

Focus on education, health and wellness

We believe that by focusing our resources in specific areas of interest we will be more effective. The Foundation and its donors have a strong commitment to advance access to quality education and increase attainment, which we view as an important measure of thriving communities. Dramatic changes in the state's health care system creates important new opportunities for the Foundation to continue its legacy in health and wellness. Community and civic engagement is the “glue” that sustains the effectiveness of our strategic investments.

Goal 3

Increase and align resources for the benefit of our community

The Foundation is committed to inspiring and attracting financial resources, intellectual expertise and citizen engagement to deal with the most pressing issues in the Valley. We want to continue building on that core competency and to reach new donors, as well as new philanthropic and public partners.

Goal 4

Build a cohesive community

The Foundation strives to break down barriers and bring nonprofit organizations, community members and other stakeholders together to address critical issues in the Valley. We want to increase civic vitality and collaboration because we believe it will improve the likelihood of developing enduring solutions for issues facing the Valley. The Foundation plays a unique role because it can listen to all parts of the community, collect data, share information broadly and engage expert thought partners.


111 University Parkway, Suite 102
Yakima, WA 98901


Phone: 509-457-7616
Fax: 509-457-7625
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