Working with over 50 individuals, WolfBrown assisted the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in developing a strategic plan for education and community engagement. The tasks included reviewing existing NJSO programs, examining the activities of other orchestras in the areas education and community engagement, interviewing key stakeholders and field leaders, surveying leadership of selected New Jersey counties to assess their music education and community engagement needs, and working with musicians, board, and staff in a collaborative manner to shape a plan for the future. After reframing the mission statement and guiding principles, the final report came up with five key proposals including expanding the “pipeline” for young musical talent; broadening the base of partnerships; aligning marketing, development, and program planning; making professional development for musicians a priority; and elevating the profile of NJSO programs with local communities, funders, and elected officials. Detailed action steps, timelines and budgets were developed for each of the proposals.

Based on the success of a planning process for its education and community engagement programs conducted by WolfBrown, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra rehired the firm to lead an organizational strategic planning process. Beginning with a presentation to board, staff, and musicians on audience trends in the symphony orchestra field, WolfBrown conducted follow-up interviews with key trustees, musicians, staff, the Music Director, and funders to gather information on issues facing the institution. A “framing” situation paper based on these interviews led to a board retreat to consider the key issues, challenges, and opportunities. After the retreat and based on the discussion, the consultants produced a “plan framework” laying out mission, vision, values, and goals, and outlining a detailed process for developing the rest of the plan. This involved work with several task forces to deal with such areas as artistic matters, marketing, fund raising, and infrastructure. The work from the task forces evolved into detailed action steps, timelines, and budgets, and eventually to the the completion of the strategic plan itself. The plan was reviewed by musicians, staff, and board and approved at a final board retreat.

Consultants: Dr. Thomas Wolf, Jane Culbert, Alan Brown, Dr. Dennie Palmer Wolf
Year Complete: 2012