strategic plan

Approved and Adopted by CHBA Board on September 16, 2017

Prepared by the Ad Hoc Strategic Planning Committee:
Hon. Adam Espinosa
Amanda Gonzalez
Ruthie Mackey
Hon. Cynthia Mares
Annie Mart
Kathryn Starnella

The CHBA is excited to share with you the Strategic Plan that the Board adopted at its September meeting. This Plan is the product of a year-long effort by the Ad Hoc Strategic Planning Committee. We welcome your involvement in implementing this plan, whether through your active membership or as a future leader of the CHBA. Thank you for your support.


Dear CHBA Members and Friends,

Over the last forty years, the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association has served as a vital resource for the Hispanic community in a variety of ways. The CHBA has helped increase the number of Hispanic attorneys in Colorado, endorsed Hispanic attorney appointments to the municipal, state, and federal bench, participated in significant legal and legislative issues affecting the local and national Hispanic community, created formal and informal mentorship opportunities for Hispanic law students and attorneys, and provided numerous opportunities for pro bono legal services to Colorado Hispanics in need. The organization continues to engage in these and other efforts.

With this rich history in mind, the CHBA’s Board of Directors sought to use the organization’s fortieth anniversary as an opportunity to reflect on the organization’s future and how it can become an even more vital resource for its members and our community. To accomplish this task, 2016 President Arnulfo Hernandez convened an ad hoc Strategic Planning Committee. The Committee continued its work into 2017, soliciting input from CHBA’s membership and Board regarding the organization’s strengths and weaknesses.

Through the Committee’s efforts, a Strategic Plan took shape. A draft was emailed to the organization’s membership for review and comment in December 2016. Further revisions were made in throughout 2017, and the Committee circulated a final draft to the Board at the September 16, 2017, Board meeting. The Board adopted this version of the Strategic Plan in full.

The Strategic Plan identifies five growth areas to enhance CHBA’s ability to serve you and Colorado’s Hispanic community:
1. Leadership/Board Accountability
2. Fundraising
3. Infrastructure
4. Membership Outreach/Engagement
5. Community Outreach

The CHBA Board of Directors will implement action steps to realize the Plan’s goals. On a quarterly basis, the CHBA Executive Committee will assess progress made, and identify areas for improvement. As time passes, the CHBA’s needs and issues will inevitably change. Therefore, this Plan may be amended as needed, with Board approval.

I welcome your involvement in implementation efforts, whether through your active membership or as a future leader of the CHBA. You are vital to realizing this Plan’s potential. Here’s to CHBA’s future, and here’s to you, our membership.

Ruth N. Mackey
2017 President
Colorado Hispanic Bar Association

CHBA Strategic Plan

Mission Statement: The Colorado Hispanic Bar Association’s Mission is to serve Colorado and promote justice by advancing Hispanic interests and issues in the legal profession, and by seeking equal protection for the Hispanic community before the law.

Objectives: The Colorado Hispanic Bar Association will fulfill its Mission by striving to achieve objectives defined by the Board of Directors.

Strategic Goals:          
1. Leadership/Board Accountability
2. Fundraising
3. Infrastructure
4. Membership Outreach/Engagement
5. Community Outreach

1.         Leadership/Board Accountability

Goal Statement: Motivate CHBA leadership (including executive committee, committee chairs, and at-large board members) to stay active and accountable throughout the year by requiring planning and implementation of structured programs and projects on an annual basis.

Context: The CHBA is a 501(c)(6) membership organization without employees, and runs on the volunteer efforts of its leaders and active members.  Because most CHBA leaders and members maintain full-time employment elsewhere, CHBA initiatives often fall to the wayside, and the organization’s programs, projects, and members suffer.  Concerns include: lack of responsiveness; lack of follow-through; and lack of commitment to the work that a CHBA leadership position requires.

The CHBA lacks institutionalized programs and projects that it can run on a regular or semi-regular basis.  Instead, the organization’s initiatives tend to change annually, with the influx of new executive committee leadership.  Thus, new committee chairs enter their roles without set responsibilities.  A lineup of regular programs and/or projects, decided in advance and assigned to particular committees, could serve the dual purpose of adding structure to the CHBA’s leadership positions and consistently benefitting CHBA’s membership. 

The organization also lacks clearly defined roles for committee chairs and at-large board members.  Because each year kicks off with a complex budget meeting, used to set up programs and projects, it is imperative that each leader knows his or her role, so that he or she may appropriately engage in this process.  “Job” descriptions for these positions, including past programs and projects for each, could guide new leaders in their roles and responsibilities. 

Finally, the CHBA lacks any sort of reporting mechanism to offer to its membership to demonstrate its activities on behalf of the membership and the Latino/a community at large.  Consequently, membership remains uninformed about the board’s activities, and the board may even remain uninformed about the executive committee’s activities.  An annual report, detailing the board’s work on behalf of the organization and the community, could keep membership informed of what the organization does, and what it has to offer.

2.         Fundraising

Goal Statement:  Strengthen and diversity fundraising opportunities to improve CHBA’s financial viability and to increase its visibility and service to the community.

Context:  Fundraising efforts for the CHBA consists of the following:  (1) the annual banquet held in January of each year; and (2) membership dues.  In some years, the annual banquet included a silent auction, which was always successful and provided funds directed to the CHBA foundation for scholarships.  The amount of collected membership dues varies each year and many CHBA “members” are delinquent on their dues.  The CHBA allocates the funds raised for general operating expenses, CLE’s, scholarships, legal workshops, charitable contributions and events sponsored by the different committees.  Consequently, the amount of money raised by the CHBA affects the level of activity by and for its members and the community it serves.  

3.         Infrastructure

Goal Statement:  Identify, solidify, and centralize CHBA’s institutional knowledge. 

Context:  The CHBA is a volunteer organization; unlike many other non-profit organizations, it does not have any paid staff members.  It also lacks a centralized office space.  Consequently, all communications and revenue are directed to or through the CHBA’s web site, a P.O. Box, or CHBA’s leaders.  Each time the CHBA’s Executive Committee and Board turns over, information and knowledge is misplaced or lost.  Much time is spent on trying to locate or recreate the information.

Similarly, the CHBA lacks a centralized database that is easily accessible by the organization’s leaders who are looking for donor information or CHBA documents. Without a centralized database(s), the leadership lacks any meaningful way to analyze the composition of CHBA’s donor base in order to more effectively engage that base.  Additionally, CHBA lacks the tools, expertise, or resources to effectively develop and mine the membership database available through Wild Apricot.  CHBA has very little data on its membership regarding law schools attended, areas of practice, length of practice, etc.

Finally, the CHBA lacks centralized space for saving its institutional knowledge and memorializing board and officer duties.  New board members and officers spend much time trying to define the scope of their positions or discover the duties of their positions after they have started their term.

4.         Membership Outreach/Engagement

Goal Statement: Recruitment, retention, and development of members throughout all regions in Colorado by developing sustainable, consistent, and meaningful membership events and opportunities.

Context:  CHBA has come to be viewed as a Denver metro-centric organization.  Additionally, unlike with prior generations of attorneys, law school graduates entering the profession no longer view bar association membership as a requirement; therefore, membership recruitment of law school graduates and more junior attorneys has become more difficult.  Finally, many members and potential members are not aware of CHBA’s many initiatives, partnerships, activities, and contributions to the community.

5.         Community Outreach

Context: The CHBA should strengthen its efforts to strategically partner with those organizations that target the Hispanic community.  Former CHBA members and other people often ask, “What does the CHBA do?”  We want to have more events like backing the notario fraud bill and to be on the forefront with our community on issues that affect them the most, while not engaging in partisan politics. Additionally, there are many non-profits that do great work for our community that could use the visibility and support a strengthened CHBA can provide.  Inherently the other goals (infrastructure, membership, etc.) make this one more possible.

Goal statement: To be a community leader as an organization and one that the community looks to and trusts. To develop network of organizations that have a pulse on the Hispanic community so as to partner with and be “in the know” of what our community needs from us. To have engaged with two organizations and have put on two events in the next year, that are different and with new organizations we have not partnered with before.

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