Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy

CONSULTING AREA: Strategic Planning

Mary and Sara put into place a comprehensive schedule and worked closely with staff and board members. They were excellent at listening to different points of view and incorporating them into the process. It is hard to describe the innate ability that both Mary and Sara have to facilitate an inclusive discussion, handle differing points of view, and synthesize comments into actionable steps. I think the entire board felt included and able to share their opinions.

– Kathy Stevens, Executive Director, MCAEL


The Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy strengthens the countywide adult English literacy network to support a thriving community and effective workforce. MCAEL worked with Capacity Partners for six months to develop the strategic plan.

Key Challenges

MCAEL needed to both confirm their core work and values and to set goals that put their organization on a growth trajectory.

Services Provided

Mary Robinson and Sara Watkins facilitated the process which was carefully constructed to balance board and staff time. The process created space to include historical data, best practices, and in depth discussions among board members. Also, since the coalition model is integral to the work that MCAEL does, the planning process involved input from stakeholders and two advisory groups and included a survey to get feedback from internal and external stakeholders to guide the Board’s planning.


They now have a solid strategic plan they can share with funders and constituents that defines their organization and shows what they plan to do. The strategic plan is the foundation for all of their annual planning.