Learning from the Future: A Resource for Planning Ahead

The Economic Scenario Planning (ESP) model is designed to help community foundations of any size and shape create five-year forecasts and plan for multiple scenarios. Community foundations using the model cite important benefits, often revising goals or making operating model changes as a result. The stories that follow demonstrate how using the ESP model helps to:

  • Integrate perspectives to create a common plan.
  • Provide a reality check for future goals.
  • Structure a process to facilitate board discussions about the future.
  • Catalyze a new call to action.
  • Track progress towards goals.

Stories from five different community foundations highlight differences in motivations for using the model, the way they see the future, and the decisions they are making. However, one benefit is common throughout – having a picture of the future grounded in data helps them create or change the dialogue about what defines sustainability for their foundation in the months and years to come.


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