From Projects to Presence: Musicians without Borders Strategic Plan

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1 From Projects to Presence: Musicians without Borders Strategic Plan Approved by the Supervisory Board of Musicians without Borders October 14, 2013 Laura Hassler, Executive Board and Director, October 2013 Peace is not something you wish for: it s something you make, something you do, something you are and something you give away. John Lennon This is a plan for strategic development for Musicians without Borders Foundation for the coming three years. Based on MwB s successful project work, the plan explores three areas of development, intended to raise MwB s profile and capacity. It builds on the organic growth of the organization to formulate a plan for growth that uses our experience and expertise while building on fundraising and communications strategies that are already in place and strengthening cooperation within our own network. Bearing in mind the difficulty of predicting the many factors contributing to the health and growth of any organization dependent on external sources of income, particularly in times of global financial crisis, we nonetheless believe that the ideas outlined in this plan provide a chance not only for Musicians without Borders to survive through the rest of the decade, but also for it to begin to realize its greatest goal: to build a worldwide movement of musicians working for peace. Mission Statement Musicians without Borders uses the power of music to bridge divides, strengthen communities and heal the wounds of war. Vision Musicians without Borders develops and implements music projects that contribute to healing and reconciliation in the context of war and armed conflict. Musicians without Borders works in close collaboration with partner organizations and local musicians, anchoring projects firmly in the communities they serve. Financial and organizational sustainability are central in our projects design to ensure long-lasting impact. Musicians without Borders develops models based on successful projects to be adapted and replicated in post-conflict areas around the world. Core Principles Musicians without Borders is guided by its Statement of Principles, as adopted by its Board of Supervisors in Core principles include: Respect for human rights, tolerance and multiculturalism; 1

2 Inclusion of all, empowerment of girls and women, youth, minorities and the disenfranchised; Impartiality in political or other conflicts and divides; The belief in the value of a culture of nonviolence, including the rights of oppressed peoples to strive for equality and human rights through nonviolent means; The belief in the power of music to connect, reconcile and heal. Goals For the period , Musicians without Borders defines the following goals: To continue development and implementation of current projects in the Balkans, the Middle East and Central East Africa, working toward long-term sustainability and local ownership; To expand the organization s outreach and impact by developing the capacity to deliver Service Projects ; To raise the organization s international profile and fundraising capacity through increased use of social media and on-line fundraising and communications; To maximize use of available talents and skills by structuring increased cooperation with sister organization Musicians without Borders UK; and by increasing communication and cooperation among MwB field and office personnel. Detailed goals and strategies are outlined below. 1. Continue current projects Each of the current projects, most of which are sustained through government related and foundation funding, has its own growth and development plan, gradually transferring project leadership to local ownership and moving into an advisory capacity as Musicians without Borders. Project managers, with support of MwB office staff, coordinate the fundraising and communications for the projects. While we do not foresee increasing the number of long-term MwB projects in the period , we do expect to continue the successful line set out thusfar and to use lessons learned in these projects to inform our growth strategy for the coming years. 2. Expansion through service projects MwB is a project organization. While we do many other things organize conferences amd concerts, collect and recycle instruments, raise awareness through various media our strength and core identity lie in our direct, grass-roots project work. In 14 years of existence, we have successfully developed and implemented many projects. Currently, MwB runs five 2

3 long-term projects in three (post) conflict regions and one in the UK for refugee/ torturesurvivors, all in partnership with local organizations. In each of these projects, MwB is the lead partner and project owner: assessment, design, fundraising, implementation and reporting are all in our hands. High quality projects require huge investments of time and energy and longterm commitment for sustainability. While we would like to expand to include other regions and target groups, increasing our project load with our current capacity is not an option. Service projects offer a way to expand our reach without increasing the burden on the organization. We have unique and useful expertise to offer other organizations that are interested in the use of music to build community, increase resilience, deal with trauma and contribute to reconciliation, dialogue and healing. A service project differs from MwB s current projects in the following ways: the partner organization is responsible for providing the conditions for the action (funding, organization, local logistics, reporting); MwB designs a program suited to the local needs in collaboration with the partner; MwB provides trainers, advisors and needed materials. Budgets include sufficient funding for MwB s own preparation, design and communications tasks; MwB is not ultimately responsible for fundraising, project administration, reporting or the project s long-term sustainability. Current Situation: tried-and-tested training program for children s community music workshop leaders, including printed and on-line manuals; experience in training local youth in project organization, financial administration, fundraising, communications; several successful project models, good documentation, five experienced project managers, circa 15 experienced trainers and several useful ancillary tools; rock music curriculum developed in Mitrovica and; an outline for a rock school rollout, defining various types of shorter and long-term rock music projects for urban youth in divided cities. Three such partnerships are now in development. The partners are stable organizations, already established and working in the respective regions. All proposed service projects could be delivered by MwB in the near future, and could be used to develop new tools or resources for future service projects. The three partnerships in development: 3

4 Northern Ireland: partnership with Culturlann Culturlann is an Irish language and cultural center in Derry-Londonderry, based in its own 3- story building including theater, practice rooms, offices, meeting rooms and cafeteria. Culturlaan has secured funding to purchase an adjacent property to be used as a community music training center. Culturlann wants to engage MwB as partner to set up its training program, aimed at cross-community music work in a city still divided by an old conflict. A successful pilot in May 2013 ( Singing the Bridge, a festival of community music and music therapy) convinced both partners of the value of a long-term collaboration. Tanzania: partnership with FEMI FEMI is a private Dutch development foundation, with development projects with its own local partners in Asia, Africa and South America; in addition it donates some funds to other organizations, including (since 2010) Musicians without Borders. At FEMI s invitation, MwB developed a proposal for a music workshop leadership training program for FEMI s partner organization in Tanzania. The local partner has approved the plan and committed to providing logistical support., while FEMI would provide the funding. The year-long project, intended for 2014, would involve trainers and talented trainees from MwB s Rwanda Youth Music project. Timor-Leste: partnership with Many Hands International Many Hands International is an Australian based not-for-profit organization working in Timor- Leste, a country recovering from a brutal occupation and a war that killed one third of the population. Many Hands International strives to reconnect and rebuild society through culture; they have approached MwB with a request for trainings, targeting children, youth and adults. We are discussing a month-long MwB Training Program, in July-August 2014 in which a minimum of 6 MwB trainers would work with approximately 70 Timorese trainees from 35 villages. Goal: Develop 1-3 service projects in 2014 as pilots Develop tools needed for long-term service project program Long-term needs for service project delivery MwB core training skills defined and documented add nonviolence theory and skills to standard trainer's profile facilities for sharing knowledge (e.g. Facebook forum, trainers meetings) Training of Trainers- more trainers 4

5 Training Coordinator- permanent staff position Develop security policy for MwB trainers and field personnel Develop written training guidelines (like workshop leaders manual) for 1. women; 2. urban youth- rock music schools/ rap projects; 3 traumatized adults; 4. men (e.g. war veterans) Strategies to achieve results: 2014: Form Working Group to Develop Service Project Program Continue exploring/ developing 3 current pilots with partners Organize Training of Trainers On-line MwB trainer s exchange Security plan for Timor-Leste project Develop missing materials 2015: Develop training models Training of Trainers (annual training) Promotional materials Monitoring/ Evaluation protocols for service projects Mid evaluation of program; needs assessment 2016: Training of Trainers Program evaluation (internal, with partners, external) Planning new period Production/ revision of materials Acquisition new service projects 3. Development- Building the on-line community On-line communication offers the possibility of increasing our (individual) donor community exponentially. A greater proportion of unallocated income (as opposed to project-related grants) would give Musicians without Borders a more stable financial base and a decreased dependency on government-related grants and policies, while allowing for more strategic choices (i.e. pilot projects, investment in professional staff, development of resources, etc). 5

6 Current Situation: In 2012, approximately 20% of our total income was unallocated, mostly based on donations from individuals and private foundations. In the first 6 months of 2013, after first steps in improving our on-line fundraising, we have increased that figure to EUR 35% of total funds raised within this period. The new website is donor-friendly; several options for donations (also international). The new data base is tailor-made to our needs; most functions for processing donations are fully automated. Our communications team, a mix of office staff, consultant and free-lancers, works well together. Goal: Increase the proportion of unallocated funding by 10% per year for the next 3 years. Strategies to achieve results 2014 Use June 21- World Music Day- campaign to build on-line network through musicians and ensembles, links to other websites, Facebook; Community Online Music Network: sign-ups, sharing of knowledge, ideas and resources; Continue and expand Share the Music on-line campaign; Build list through own on-line newsletter; Produce own show-reel to showcase MwB projects and mission; Measure results per strategy to choose focus for Add on-line communications expert to MwB staff; Expand on-line presence, using most productive strategy from 2014; Produce one short professional video to promote through Youtube; Evaluation of results; design of follow-up To be decided, based on results of

7 4. Strengthen Internal Cooperation to Increase Impact Musicians without Borders staff is geographically spread, with the Director and fundraising/ administrative staff based in the and key program personnel located in the Balkans, the Middle East, Rwanda and the UK. While originally each project manager was uniquely occupied with his/her own project, communication has increased in the past 2 years, thanks to increased use of internet tools, especially Skype, and also the annual MwB organization-wide gatherings, which make use of holiday visits by project managers to the. This has already resulted in increased cooperation and helpful contributions toward organizational growth. Also 2013 saw a draft agreement between Musicians without Borders international headquarters in the and Musicians without Borders UK on structuring and increasing collaboration between the two organizations to mutual benefit. Current Situation: MwB project management personnel are located in: Belgrade (1x), Bethlehem (1x), Jerusalem (1x), Manchester (1x), Vienna (1x), Kigali (1x), Breda (1x). Local project personnel from partner organizations are based in: Mitrovica (2x), Mostar (2x), Bethlehem (1x), Tuzla (1x), Kigali (1x). An annual Musicians without Borders strategy meeting is held in the at the end of December, usually attended by at least 3 project managers, several board members, director, several -based trainers, several office staff, consultants and professional volunteers. The MwB international office and MwB UK have collaborated loosely in fundraising and project implementation (MwB UK providing trainers for 2 MwB projects). As of September 2013, the websites of the two organizations have been integrated; data bases are in process of being integrated. Goal: An organizational form for structured dialogue and exchange among MwB key players. Strategies to achieve results: 2014: Plan and implement project managers/ staff strategy meeting (in person if budget available, otherwise on line) Create internal on-line forum Develop shared fundraising plan with MwB UK Plan and implement year-end organizational strategy meeting 2015: Project managers/ staff/ MwB UK strategy meeting in with all MwB project managers present (ca. June) 7

8 Regular on-line meetings including local project personnel (regional/ or per subject) Year-end meeting: review developments of implementation strategic plan ; revise of continue as planned 2016: Project manager/ staff/ MwB UK strategy meeting; include local management personnel as far as possible (budget) Draft new strategic plan Year-end meeting to discuss, review, revise, adopt plan 8

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