Strategic Planning Teamwork

We are proud to present the Boise River Enhancement Network Strategic Plan that will guide BREN’s activities over the next five years! Dozens of volunteers helped write the Strategic Plan based on information collected from BREN members and partners.


To develop the Strategic Plan, the Boise River Enhancement Network (BREN) engaged in a year-long process that followed Strategic Planning in Nonprofits (SPiN) methods developed by the Washington Nonprofits Institute. The SPiN process divides the strategic planning into the following six (6) phases:

  • PREPARE. BREN established a Strategic Planning Committee in November 2019 and hosted a kickoff meeting with the Coordinating Team (CT) and Board of Directors in February 2020 to identify key issues and opportunities for BREN.
  • LISTEN. BREN obtained stakeholder feedback (via surveys and interviews) and performed a nonprofit health check-up and SWOT Analysis from March to June 2020.
  • ENVISION. BREN conducted a Mission Assessment survey that was taken by the CT and Board members in July 2020.
  • PLAN. BREN compiled all the information gathered from the Prepare, Listen and Envision Phases and prepared a Stakeholder Feedback & Internal Assessment report. CT and Board members then attended an all-day Strategic Planning retreat on August 29, 2020 to identify strategic priorities.
  • EXECUTE. BREN is now in the Execute Phase, where we announce our Strategic Plan to members (like you!) and develop an annual Work Plan that aligns with the Strategic Plan
  • EVALUATE. BREN will the track the progress of our Work Plan at every CT meeting. BREN will also prepare an Annual Report to share our progress with BREN members.


Perhaps the most meaningful information was gathered from the surveys and interviews with BREN members and other stakeholders.

Key findings from the online survey taken by 122 participants include the following:

  • Most BREN members are also volunteers (47%) and donors (39%), suggesting a high level of commitment to BREN in the form of giving of time and money.
  • BREN members have a broad range of interests that include public service, citizen science, and professional involvement in the Boise River.
  • BREN members have a high level of satisfaction and are actively involved in the projects and educational programs sponsored by BREN.
  • Overall, BREN’s services and educational programs are highly regarded and members have positive interactions with BREN.

Some major themes from stakeholder interviews are:

  • We are viewed as locals who are passionate about our regard for the Boise River.
  • We are different than other 501(c)(3) non-profits in that our sole focus is a single natural resource (i.e. the Boise River). This is something almost everyone can rally around.
  • BREN is an advocate, but not partisan. We should remain both.
  • Perhaps our most important roles are to advise and educate the public, staff of local governments, and decision makers.
  • We are known by most to be volunteers, citizen scientists, and natural resource professionals.
  • We are regarded as very professional in our dealings with others, and easy to work with.
  • The Boise River Enhancement Plan is well respected for both its content and presentation.
  • People want to do “good”, but often don’t know what that is for the river. BREN informs them of what it means to do “good” and helps them learn how best to do it.
  • BREN has taught both staff of local governments and independent contractors how to better do their work related to the river.
  • BREN is a young organization and as it matures should focus on fund raising to hire full time staff.

Our vision is a healthy Boise River that enriches the quality of life of those who live in the watershed and inspires people to care for it. We believe this Strategic Plan takes us closer to that vision. Thanks to everyone who participated in this strategic planning process and to all our members for making BREN a success!

Read the Strategic Plan Blog – Plan for a Healthy river