2015 Strategic Planning Process

In December 2015, Cedar Riverside NRP presented their strategic plan and proposed a plan modification of $255,000 of NRP funds to the community at the 2015 Annual Meeting. The plan modification successfully passed a public neighborhood vote and a new chapter of opportunities for the West Bank community was initiated. 

The Opportunities

  • How can CRNRP be a more effective and transparent manager of NRP funds for the community?

  • How can CRNRP leverage community assets and NRP funds to build the capacity of the organization to attract new resources and conduct programs that will benefit the community now and in the future?


The Challenges

  • City of Minneapolis is putting pressure on NRP orgs to put their money into programs and they specifically encouraged CRNRP to focus its energy on 2-3 priorities in order to be effective with those programs.

  • The NRP program is no longer funded so whatever funds remain are the only funds available, absent bringing in outside resources.


The Response

CRNRP leadership engaged in a strategic planning process that:

  • Improves and makes adjustments to the committee and engagement structure to align with current organizational and community priorities and ensures the accountable and transparent use of NRP funds.

  • Values community knowledge, wisdom, and experience by encouraging increased collaboration with community members and other neighborhood groups to develop strategies and deliver programs that address community priorities.

  • Charts a path of organizational growth and capacity building for the next three years that brings in new revenues and human resources to leverage NRP funds and neighborhood assets to benefit the West Bank community.

  • Identifies 3 key areas to focus capacity building efforts: early childhood education, immigrant wealth and asset building with a focus on women, and safety.



  • After extensive community engagement with more than 500 community members, CHANCE, and the West Bank Community Coalition, in fall of 2012 CRNRP secured neighborhood approval for its Phase II Action Plan that identifies a number of neighborhood priorities.

  • Collaborative studies conducted by CRNRP and the University of Minnesota CURA and CHANCE programs in 2013 included another extensive community engagement process with more than 100 residents and community leaders that raised up early childhood education and immigrant wealth building with a focus on women as priority issues for the West Bank. (Early childhood education study and immigrant women wealth and asset building study.)

  • CRNRP announces in 2014 Annual Report and at annual meeting in December 2014 that program priorities for 2015 will be early childhood education and immigrant wealth and asset building.

  • In summer of 2015 CRNRP hired Elena Gaarder, a consultant with 20 years of community development experience, to lead the planning process.

  • CRNRP then held meetings to ask the community and its board of directors to review and rank their top choices among the priorities listed in the Phase II Action Plan.

  • Consultant conducted stakeholder interviews and led board discussions to gather input on significant organizational, community, and external trends.

  • Consultant drafted, CRNRP Board reviewed, then voted to approve to the strategic plan in September 2015.



  • CRNRP approved a revised mission statement.

  • CRNRP identified its core values and strategic direction to guide its work over the next three years.

  • CRNRP revised its committee structure to leverage knowledge and wisdom in the community by encouraging other groups to help us address issues that they are better suited to handle.

  • CRNRP drafted a work plan to accomplish its objectives.



The mission of the Cedar Riverside Neighborhood Revitalization Program is to support residents and stakeholders of the West Bank neighborhood by providing culturally appropriate tools and resources that promote civic engagement, leadership development, and equitable access to economic and educational opportunities for all its constituents.

Core Values

  1. CRNRP will work in partnership with residents, business owners, institutional partners and other nonprofit organizations to fulfill the strategies outlined in the CRNRP Phase II Plan.

  2. Activities where NRP Phase II funds can be leveraged and address a gap in resources should be a priority for implementation.

  3. CRNRP will continue to engage all residents and stakeholders, but will focus programmatic efforts to ensure equitable economic and educational outcomes for immigrant families in the neighborhood.

  4. CRNRP will continue to work across sectors and cultures to address safety and quality of life issues in the community and build social connections.

  5. CRNRP works to create systems change, promote equity in the distribution of resources and related policies and to ensure positive economic outcomes for the Cedar Riverside Neighborhood.


Strategic Direction

Over the next three years, CRNRP will continue in its role as the organization responsible for managing the NRP resources on behalf of the community, but will expand its capacity to operate programs in three key areas:

  1. Building wealth and assets for immigrant families, with a focus on women;

  2. Ensuring school success for youth by increasing early childhood education resources in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood; and

  3. Increasing safety and social connections by strengthening relationships among residents, businesses, students, stakeholders and police. 


In addition to the above, CRNRP will also support efforts to address community identified priorities in the following areas:

  •  Expanded or improved programs and services for youth and elders.

  • Expanded or improved outdoor green spaces and other community spaces.

  • Establishing arts and culture as a focal point for building social and civic connections between various groups in the community.

  • Supporting a vibrant business community that meets the needs of the neighborhood.

  • Ensuring safe, decent and affordable housing for all residents.

  • Providing leadership development opportunities


Proposed Modification and Allocations

CRNRP board on November 16 voted to approve the following plan modification and on December 15th the community approved the plan as well. The reallocation moved a total of $255,000 from the sale of townhomes to these strategies:

  • $35,000 to support increasing early childhood education resources on the West Bank.

  • $40,000 to support an immigrant wealth and asset building program with an emphasis on women.

  • $180,000 for implementation and operations funding to support management of all programs, execution of our strategic plan and all CRNRP communications, outreach and engagement activities for the next two years (2016-2017). 

$125,785 remains in our housing allocation to finance home improvements and offer down payment assistance at 0% interest. This is unchanged and is not affected by the plan modification request.

There is still $229,519 remaining from the town home sales to support a variety of community priorities.

In addition to directly supporting programs, management, and our strategic plan, the plan modification allows us to leverage NRP funds to solicit $135,500 of additional programs funds in these amounts:

  • $68,000 for early childhood education

  • $40,000 for women’s wealth

  • $7,500 for an expanded safety walks program

  • $20,000 for bus shelter improvements


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