Your Mission, if You Choose to Accept it: Evaluating Planning as a Preventative Approach to Nonprofit Mission Creep in a Visual Arts Context
Mission creep, or deviation from an organization’s stated mission, is a problem that affects nonprofit visual arts organizations at the most basic level. However, the sensitive nature of mission misalignment means that it is difficult to conduct research on the causes of mission creep. Anecdotal evidence suggests that organizational planning that focuses on an organization’s impact within its community is more likely to result in programming that successfully meets its mission and serves its stakeholders, thus avoiding mission creep.
This strategy, which I’ve termed adaptive impact planning, prepares an organization to make decisions that are in line with their missions and their founding intent. The American Alliance of Museums should more actively encourage planning, in order to create a positive association with conversations about mission, and should seek out quantitative data regarding the relationship between planning and mission success in order to determine what has helped organizations like The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles to successfully navigate mission management while others have failed to remain faithful to their mission statements
Download the full PDF of my thesis here.
Read a quick take on the process, which has been refined through
Building a solution for The Arc of Greater Loudoun County to collect pledged donations. The Arc’s annual fundraising event, Shocktober, includes a partner program called the Trail of Terror. Shocktober visitors are referred to businesses included on the Trail. Each business provides a discount to customers and donates a portion of the proceeds back to The Arc.
This report outlines a web app we designed to keep track of those visits so The Arc can more effectively collect the appropriate funds.
Techniques and processes:
- Conducted background research and wrote a literature review about cross-sector partnerships between nonprofit and for profit entities
- Established design goals and considerations based on our client brief
- Conducted moderated paper prototype testing with rapid re-iteration
- Conducted moderated and unmoderated technical prototype , employing Axure
- Wrote the following sections: Relevant Background Research, Cross-Sector Partnerships, Design Considerations, The Technical Prototype, Final Recommendations
- Created paper prototypes, conducted moderated testing
- Built technical prototype in Axure, conducted moderated testing and unmoderated testing
- Designed and formatted report
User testing for the Housing Authority of Baltimore City website. Research was done collaboratively with Matthew Branch and Jaqueline Iyamah. I was specifically responsible for the Visual Clarity and Employing PDFs findings, as well as all of the Resources for Next Steps and Summary of Recommendations sections.
This project was a full evaluation and proposed redesign for the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s Center for Information Technology Services. Research and writing was done collaboratively with Monique Jenkins and Zoe Skinner.
The paper below outlines our full process, in roughly chronological order, in an effort to clarify our thinking and demonstrate its basis in research. You can also view a PDF of our final presentation.
Techniques and processes:
The report below goes into further detail, but some elements of our research and ideation process include:
- Conducted content inventory, incorporating Google Analytics data
- Conducted competitive analysis
- Conducted heuristic evaluation based on Jakob Nielsen’s 10 general principles for interaction design, employing the UX Check Google Chrome plugin
- Built site maps in Gloomaps
- Built wireframes in Axure
- Developed user personas
- Developed task-based journey maps
- Performed card sort testing, employing OptimalSort
- Performed tree testing, employing OptimalSort
Each member of my team had hands on each of these tasks at some point and I am proficient in all of the software listed above.
- Proposed the concept our final navigation, discussed in SECTION 10 through SECTION 14, which we subsequently fleshed out together
- Developed criteria for competitive analysis and selected competitors
- Wrote SECTION 4 | Competitive Analysis, SECTION 6 | Preliminary Site Map and Wire Frames, SECTION 10 | Modified Site Map, and SECTION 13 | Summary of Recommendations
- Designed and formatted the report and developed the info graphics for the heuristic evaluation and the competitive analysis (Appendices B and C)