Lean, mean plan for the future of The Charlotte News

Here at The Charlotte News, we’ve been busy making big plans, specifically, a brand-new, five-year strategic plan. We have a new mission and a new vision, and we’re pretty excited. We think you will be onboard, too.

We started work on this plan in the spring and wrapped it up just three weeks ago. And while we worked on that, we also published papers and email newsletters (on schedule), kept our website humming, gratefully received donations and sold ads.

In short, we both worked on the new plan and kept the presses rolling.

Why should you be interested? We hope you will share the optimism that we feel, and agree that your independent, nonprofit community paper is on a positive, upward trajectory, as we near our 65th year.

How did we get this done? We might not have if it weren’t for board member Bill Regan, who led the process. He kicked things off by interviewing board members, staff, advisors and Charlotte residents, to learn about what they viewed as the paper’s strengths and weaknesses, and where they saw opportunities and threats.

More meetings and debates ensued with the staff, the board and our advisors. The final five-year plan was adopted by the board at our Nov. 10 meeting. Our strategic plan provides a framework for our work for the next five years and includes new mission and vision statements, and a summary of our values, goals and objectives.

For example, the new mission of The Charlotte News is to engage and inform Charlotte and nearby communities by:

  • Publishing rigorous, in-depth reporting on town affairs.
  • Providing a home for stories from our neighbors and friends.
  • Reporting on how other towns have addressed challenges similar to our own.

Our vision for the future:

  •  The Charlotte News is the first place people turn for news about the town, is informative and entertaining and is indispensable to community life.
  • The Charlotte News is a well-governed, financially sustainable and efficiently managed organization.
  • Charlotte is an even more attractive place to live and a better governed and stronger community.

Overall, it’s a lean, mean document of just two pages, available on our website.

Now the real work starts — using the framework provided by our strategic plan to set priorities for next year, to establish metrics to track our progress, and most important, to make sure that our strategic plan is a living document, referred to frequently for guidance and focus.

None of this happens without you. As a nonprofit newspaper (and website!) the future of The Charlotte News really is in your hands. Your year-end gift will help ensure that we have the funds we need to bring you the paper you deserve. It’s quick and easy. Make your tax-deductible gift on our website or if you’re more of a pen-and-paper person, send your check to P.O. Box 251, Charlotte, VT 05445.

Whether you donate online or mail a check, all gifts of up to $1,000 will be matched by our NewsMatch grant. When you give $10, we receive $20; give $50 and we receive $100, and so on.

Thanks so much for considering The Charlotte News as part of your year-end giving … and thanks also to the dozens of readers who have already made their gifts.