Columbia Association: Five-Year Strategic Planning Process (last revision 5/1/2019)

Planning for the future

Columbia Association, under the guidance of its Board of Directors, develops a strategic plan every five years that identifies goals and initiatives and sets the direction for CA for the next five years and beyond. The current strategic plan began in fiscal year 2014 and culminated with the close of fiscal year 2019 on April 30.

We began the strategic planning process for FY2020-24 in fall 2018, hiring a consultant to help guide CA through the process of creating a new plan. His comments on CA’s FY2014-19 strategic plan are available here. We are currently in the phase of the process where a draft mission statement, vision statement, and strategic goals have been developed and are being provided to the community for feedback.

Our community has already served as an important resource during earlier stages of this process. We gathered input from a wide range of perspectives, surveying thousands of residents as well as our employees. Additionally, we held focus groups with village chairs, advisory committees, and other local stakeholders and leaders. A summary of those responses is available here.


  • CA’s Board of Directors met with CA’s senior leadership team for strategic planning sessions on March 9 and March 30, discussing the considerable input already collected from the community and drafting the mission, vision and strategic goals. Residents were able to provide input at the CA Board of Directors meeting on April 25.
  • Further input will be welcomed during Resident Speakout at the CA Board of Directors work session on Thursday, May 9. If you are unable to attend, we are also gathering input on our draft mission, vision and goals using the comment box below. Community members also may share their comments with their representative on CA’s Board of Directors.
  • It is anticipated that after further discussion by CA’s Board of Directors at the work session noted above, the board will vote on the strategic plan on Thursday, May 23.

We have crafted an initial version of the FY2020-24 strategic plan. An excerpt is below; to read the report with the overview, please click here.

DRAFT Mission

We inspire and engage our diverse community by providing programs, services, and amenities that foster a unique sense of place and enhance quality of life.

DRAFT Vision

CA creates and supports solutions to meet the evolving needs of a dynamic and inclusive community.

Preliminary Strategic Goals

With community feedback on the original goals as presented and further discussion between the Board of Directors and Senior Leadership, CA is posting revised goals for review and comment. These revisions are pertinent to these strategic priorities and goals as of 5/1/2019.

Each goal represents an “umbrella” target statement (WHAT we want to accomplish and WHY) under which multiple clear, definable and measurable objectives (HOW we plan to achieve the goal) can be grouped. Some objectives have been drafted for some of the goals and others are yet to be developed in the coming weeks.


Strategic Priority: Identity

Goal: Significantly improve CA’s recognition as a valued partner in enriching quality of life and community connections.

Strategic Priority: Resource Sustainability

Goal: Considering the input of the community, CA will implement a system for evaluation of facilities and assets to maintain resource sustainability.

Objective 1: System will be available by 2021.
Objective 2: System will be used to determine usage, margin, maintenance requirements and projected future needs.
Objective 3: Input will include:

    • Zero-based budget review
    • Salary study
    • Comparison with other comparative (relative to income and services) organizations
    • A 5-year capital plan
    • 10-year economic plan
    • Input from:
      • Community via survey and website
      • Advisory committees
      • Village boards
      • Staff

Strategic Priority: Environmental Stewardship

Goal: Advance Columbia’s role as a recognized leader in environmental sustainability in Maryland.

Objective 1: Maintain and advance CA’s climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.
Objective 2: Improve the quality of streams, ponds, and lakes in Columbia.
Objective 3: Advance sustainable land use practices.
Objective 4: Educate and connect citizens to CA’s open spaces.

Strategic Priority: Leadership Development

Goal: Increase participation among a culturally and professionally diverse community to serve in leadership roles on the CA Board of Directors and community groups.

Strategic Priority: Advocacy

Goal: CA will advocate on issues that are key to Columbia’s future as a unique, diverse, planned community to ensure that stakeholders have a voice in decision-making.

The next drafts of these goals will be assessed for key metrics along with the identification of objectives needed to accomplish the goals.



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