SCRA Strategic Plan


Society for Community Research and Action 2016-2018 Strategic Plan 

This strategic plan seeks to position SCRA to be a premier destination membership organization for community psychology students and professionals. It focuses on strengthening the internal capacities of the organization to support the valuable work of our members and partners across the domains of research, education, practice and policy. Ultimately, this plan aims to further SCRA’s progress toward its vision, namely:

The Society for Community Research and Action will have a strong, global impact on enhancing well-being and promoting social justice for all people by fostering collaboration where there is division and empowerment where there is oppression.

The major area of focus in this plan is on the strategic priorities and associated set of recommendations.

Figure 1.  SCRA Strategic Framework

 SCRA Strategic Framework

This figure illustrates the frame of the strategic plan. SCRA and its members contribute directly to the mission and vision of the organization through four (4) domains of activity (research, education, practice and policy).  The impact of these four domains rests on the presence of a set of critical process factors[1] and five (5) strategic priorities.  The values of SCRA are foundational to the strategic framework and inform the way we go about our work. As capacities are improved across the five strategic priority areas, SCRA is better able to support the activities (research, education, practice, and policy) of our members and partners. This, in turn, elevates SCRA’s global impact.

   Spring Forward: From Good to Great

5  Strategic Priorities 

A strategic priority is an area of focus determined to be essential to meeting the strategic direction of an organization.  Historically, SCRA has not had a clear, explicit set of strategic priorities. The strategic plan presents five (5) strategic priority areas:

Strategic Priorities

These strategic priorities are inextricably linked and interdependent. The viability of one depends on the viability of all the others. As such, the recommendations for one priority area are made in consideration of the other priority areas and their associated recommendations. Among the five priority areas, Operations (Priority 1) and Finance (Priority 2) are foundational. Priorities 1 & 2 directly impact the ability of SCRA to grow, engage and provide value to its members (Priority 3), to help develop and strengthen educational programs (Priority 4), and to raise the visibility of community psychology (Priority 5).

Strategic Direction

Where Do We Want To Be In 3-Years and How Do We Get There?

Through an iterative process of soliciting SCRA member and leadership input, reviewing past meeting minutes, reports and strategic planning documents, and team-based discussions, the Strategic Planning Team developed the five strategic priorities, as well as a set of goals, objectives, and recommendations for each of the five areas. The set of recommendations was then distilled through a three-step rating process to pare down and prioritize the strategies. During the 2016 Mid-Winter Meeting, the SCRA Executive Committee reviewed, deliberated, and refined the set of strategic recommendations.  Twelve strategies were approved for implementation starting in 2016, and five additional strategies are scheduled to be re-visited during the 2017 Mid-Winter Meeting (MWM). This plan will focus on the 12 strategies that will be implemented during 2016-2017.  Implementation of the strategic plan will be coordinated with relevant SCRA activities and constituencies as much as feasible.  Goals and objectives for each strategic priority, as well as the 12 strategies that correspond to these priorities are presented below.

   Strategic Priorities and Associated Goals and Objectives

Priority 1. Operations (organizational effectiveness)

Goal: SCRA is culturally, structurally and functionally organized for optimal performance

Objective 1.1: Empower leadership of SCRA to ensure organizational effectiveness and sustainability. 

Objective 1.2: Increase Accountability

Objective 1.3: Enhance Institutional Memory and Continuity and Leadership

Priority 2. Finance (financial sustainability)

Goal:  Increase focus on revenue to continue the important work of SCRA and that of its members

Objective 2.1.  Increase revenue through vigorous membership recruitment and retention.

Objective 2.2.  Increase revenue through profitable SCRA Conference

Objective 2.3.  Develop long-term plan for revenue growth with a budget to accompany that plan.

Priority 3. Membership (member growth, engagement and value)

Goal: A growing, vibrant membership actively benefitting from belonging to SCRA

Objective 3.1. Enhance organizational capacity to improve membership growth, engagement and value

Objective 3.2. Increase the number of members

Objective 3.3. Engage more members in SCRA activities

Objective 3.4. Build the value of belonging to SCRA

Priority 4. Education (professional sustainability)

Goal:  Community psychology educational programs are robust and growing in number

Objective 4.1. Establish a system of data collection, management and analysis that supports education in community psychology

Objective 4.2. Increase the number of undergraduate and graduate students who learn about and engage with the field of community psychology via higher education opportunities.

Objective 4.3. Strengthen existing undergraduate and graduate programs

Objective 4.4. Foster/support efforts to create new programs

Priority 5.   Visibility (professional presence)

Goal: SCRA and community psychology are widely known

Objective 5.1. Improve external communication (branding, information dissemination)

Objective 5.2. Strengthen collaborations with APA and other professional organizations

   Implementation Strategies: Progress and Next Steps

Strategy 1: Operations - Consolidate and make more efficient EC decision-making and related communication processes.  (Presidential Stream and Executive Director)


  • Policy for approving P&P changes developed and approved
  • Policy for annual budget procedures developed and approved
  • Guidelines for approving sponsorships external to SCRA developed and approved
  • Policy for approving formal partnerships/collaborations developed and approved
  • Biennial Hybrid Model developed and approved
  • Restructured and implemented new EC meeting structure to focus more on strategic planning
  • Revised and consolidated procedures for all mini-grant programs
  • Restructured staffing, created new part-time positions (Administrative Assistant, Outreach Specialist), and terminated work with AMC Source

Next Steps:

  • Revise student grant process
  • Develop staff evaluation process

Strategy 2: Finances - Create a long-term (3-5 year) revenue plan focused on low effort, high impact strategies.  


  • Draft plan developed, including an analysis of donation patterns among SCRA members

Next Steps:

  • Determine what committee/group will be responsible for fully developing the draft plan and prioritizing and implementing the strategies.

Strategy 3: Membership - Improve tracking and monitoring of membership, member engagement, and the value members get from belonging to SCRA. (Membership Engagement and Professional Development Committee, Members at Large)


  • Moved from using an outside company to manage our database to managing it in-house for greater control, more flexibility and better understanding of our members
  • Developed a draft membership plan
  • Revised membership application, including gender categories, and implemented new form
  • Early Career Survey distributed
  • Created new Membership Engagement and Professional Development Committee, and revised MAL Roles to focus more on membership and professional development
  • Revised Leadership Development Fellow (LDF) program to enhance leadership mentoring and opportunities for development and engagement of diverse members
  • Created Student Membership Circle to encourage, increase, and recognize student members and programs

Next Steps:

  • Complete membership plan including operationalization of terms
  • Implement plan and tracking system
  • Analyze membership data to specifically answer questions regarding the effectiveness of prior membership initiatives
  • Establish the Membership Engagement and Professional Development Committee and fully develop Membership Engagement and Professional Development Plans

Strategy 4: Education (Member Data) - Develop processes and capacities to collect data from membership on a regular basis, and to assess key indicators of CP education. (Council on Education)


  • COE survey of graduate programs in community psychology administered in 2016, planned for 2018.  This survey will include current offerings and interests in development and/or expansion of undergraduate courses/concentrations/ degrees.

Strategy 5: Education - Council of Education to develop a detailed plan for increasing the number of students who learn about and engage in CP via undergraduate, masters, and doctoral education. (Council on Education)


  • Transitioned COE from a member driven council to a coordinating role for a broader set of activities led by a larger number of SCRA members.
  • The Social Media Subcommittee of the COE works to increase the number of undergraduate and graduate students who learn about and engage with the field of community psychology via higher education opportunities.
  • Convened meeting of community psychology master’s and doctoral program directors at the 2017 Biennial to review plans and progress to date and provide input for enhancing SCRA and COE

Next Steps:

  • Coordinate a master community psychology lecture that can be posted online.  
  • Coordinate a community psychology module that can be distributed to textbook publisher/s
  • Examine other websites to assess their descriptions of community psychology –provide recommendations.

Strategy 6: Education (Scholarship & Doctoral Training) - Strengthen, support, and promote scholarship and related training.  Take into account advancing and promoting doctoral training. (Research Council)


  • Proposal for a Research Council was developed and approved; Chair elected; recruitment of members has begun; meeting at Biennial 2017

Next Steps:

  • Establish the Council, develop guidelines and agenda

Strategy 7: Visibility (TCP) - Re-design TCP to better meet the interests and needs of SCRA members and the field.  (TCP Editors, Outreach Specialist)


  • A plan has been developed for integrating TCP with a new e-newsletter and (See Strategy 10 for progress on website)
  • Meeting with Interest Group Chairs at Biennial 2017 to foster TCP participation

      Next Steps:

  • Publish the first e-newsletter in Fall, 2017

Strategy 8: Visibility (Identity) - Develop an integrative identity for community psychology that takes into account the range of programs and disciplines in which the field is taught and practiced, and scholarship is produced.


  • A document with potential vision and mission statements for the field of community psychology has been drafted
  • A process for creating an inclusive and generalizable identity for CP has been drafted

Next Steps:

  • Engage in process for creating an inclusive and generalizable identity for CP
  • Develop a strategy for the best methods for communicating that vision through the website, e-newsletter, and other outlets.

Strategy 9: Visibility (Collaborations) - Develop strong collaborative actions with other like-minded organizations to further the strategic priorities of SCRA


  • Policy for approving formal partnerships/collaborations developed and approved
  • Formal partnerships have been developed and approved with:
    • Global Alliance for Behavioral Health & Social Justice
    • The Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice
    • B-Stigma Free

Next Steps:

  • Develop a system for identifying, tracking and supporting collaborative initiatives, relationships, and partnerships


Strategy 10: Visibility (Website)- Enhance the visibility and accessibility of the SCRA website for internal and external communications. (Visibility and Engagement Committee; Outreach Specialist)


  • Purchased the domain names and
  • Developed a plan for a new, outward facing website to promote the field of community psychology
  • Developed and circulated an RFP for the development of the new website
  • Approved and hired a firm to design our website
  • Hired a new Outreach Communications Specialist who has:
    • Developed an “Entry Point” form to guide members who wish to develop an outward facing piece for the new website/e-newsletter
    • Collaborated on 3 “Entry Point” pieces with members, including using the new form
    • Sent out emails to over 50 past SCRA award winners inviting them to use the form and collaborate with the Outreach Coordinator to submit their work for the new website
  • Approved Community Psychology tagline -- Community Psychology: Social Justice Through Collaborative Research and Action
  • Approved Community Psychology logo

Next Steps:

  • Review and approve a preview of the website design
  • Continue to build out the new website and develop content
  • Develop and implement editorial processes for approving content for the new website/e-newsletter
  • Take the new website online as soon as we have around 100 pieces of content
  • Contract to implement SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts (Winter 2018)
  • Highlight regional activities and support Regional Coordinators on website
  • Publicize mini-grant summaries/successes on SCRA website and TCP


SCRA Strategic Plan 2016-2018