Arlington For Justice
Arlington For Justice
In 2021, Spitfire began partnering with Arlington for Justice (A4J), a Black-centered, volunteer-run 501(c)3 working to bring a new era of public safety to its neighborhoods by seeking reform of Arlington’s criminal justice system. Located in Arlington, Virginia, A4J fights for investing in the strength of Arlington’s families and the future of its children by addressing issues related to addiction and mental health treatment, the criminalization of children, and over-policing Black communities and communities of color. A4J came to Spitfire because it wanted to develop a strategic plan that would give the organization direction.
At the onset of this work in March 2021, Spitfire met with A4J’s steering committee to conduct a kickoff call, materials review, and comparative analysis ahead of stakeholder interviews. After Spitfire conducted the stakeholder interviews and subsequent monthly workshop sessions, we evaluated the roles of current members, assessed how A4J could be most effective through a recommended governance structure, provided counsel on paid staff and volunteer capacity, and helped A4J identify fundraising and programmatic goals through 2024. Spitfire also performed a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis and presented findings to help A4J better understand its assets and challenges. We then evaluated its current mission, vision, and values to see if they met A4J’s current and future plans.
Using this information, we drafted a three-year strategic plan that included insights on A4J’s leadership structure, collaboration guidance, SMARTIE objectives (strategic, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound, inclusive, and equitable) to help A4J maintain focus and clarity and sharpen its impact. The strategic plan outlined four interrelated categories: governance, fundraising, operations, and programming. With Spitfire’s counsel, A4J successfully increased its social media outreach and amplification of programming on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. A4J was better positioned for media coverage and partnering with peer organizations to maximize its advocacy. The organization now has a plan in place for the next three years.