Sanctuary for Families

Building a Roadmap for Growth

Service Type
Client Type
Issue Area
Justice, Youth and Families
Standing up against gender-based violence

Sanctuary for Families pioneers effective strategies for serving survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and gender violence in New York City. With an eye toward the future, Sanctuary engaged Bennett Midland to support the development of a five-year strategic plan to guide the growth of the organization, deepen its impact, and inform the direction of its advocacy work.

Strategic planning unfolds in four phases


Why are we undertaking this plan at this time and what do we hope to achieve?


What facts do we need to know to inform our choices?


What are our priorities for the next five years and why?


How do we best accomplish our chosen path?

Paving the way forward

To shape the direction of a five-year strategy, Bennett Midland facilitated a structured planning process. With confirmation of the priority questions for focus, we gathered robust facts about the organization’s strengths and limitations, its current service offerings, funding streams, and explored trends in the field. We relied on the deep involvement of key stakeholders inside and outside the organization—including board members, executive leadership, clients, and partners in government, philanthropy, and social services—to collect a range of perspectives about promising opportunities and risks. We reviewed internal materials to understand impact, looked to other organizations to inspire new ideas, and synthesized our findings to prompt incisive debate and actionable strategic decision-making with the leadership team.

Throughout the engagement, we worked iteratively and collaboratively with Sanctuary’s strategic planning committee to unpack our findings, surface and discuss themes, and resolve key questions about the organization’s strategic direction. We supported the committee by facilitating productive discussion, offering recommendations for action, and documenting key decisions in real time. We presented a range of strategic opportunities—each of which represented a viable direction for the organization—and helped the strategic planning committee identify which to pursue.

At the conclusion of the engagement, Bennett Midland consolidated the strategic planning committee’s decisions into an actionable, five-year strategic plan. The plan included a roadmap for implementation that detailed the short- and long-term priorities for Sanctuary for Families, the key activities required to achieve these goals, responsible parties, resources required, and a timeline for concrete and attainable progress.

We’ve had plans in the past that sat in file drawers. This one literally has a roadmap to go forward.Lisa Mueller, Director of Development and Communication, Sanctuary for Families

Making families safer

Sanctuary for Families has swiftly acted on its implementation plan, establishing working groups and annual work flows to ensure the successful execution of each goal set out in the strategic plan. Our team at Bennett Midland was also retained to support the redesign of the client intake process, and has worked collaboratively with Sanctuary to develop a responsive, effective, and client-friendly intake experience.