District Civic Labs 2020 Strategy

Last update: May 1, 2020

Hey, what’s this?

This is a high level strategy that District Civic Labs has developed to guide our growth and engagement with the community in 2020. We’re making it available because we would love to hear feedback on how to make it better, how to think about next year, and anything else that comes to mind.

Over our first three years, District Civic Labs has focused on trying out a few small but important ideas: building an approach to shared financial infrastructure for community organizations, pooling of in-kind donations, and light-weight ways to support knowledge sharing and collaboration across technology for social good organizations in DC. With a whole lot of patience and good will from our first few partner organizations - Code for DC, Tech:Rebalanced, and DC FemTech - we’ve learned a lot about how to do those small things reasonably well.

That being said, it’s time for District Labs to mature a bit. This year we’re hoping to take a very intentional approach to solidifying the good things about what we’ve done so far and growing in a sustainable and thoughtful way.

Solidifying what we’ve done so far

In 2020 we’ll spend some time on the inglorious but important work of formalizing our processes and looking for ways to make them more efficient and consistent. As an organization whose job it is to keep costs and administrative burden down for everyone, this is our bread and butter.

Our goals

  • Make administration easier for repeated tasks
  • Build confidence that we’re being compliant and competent
  • Support recruiting and onboarding new projects
  • Provide transparency to projects, the board, and the public

What we’ll do

  • Refresh our partnership agreements and align to an annual cycle
  • Create and implement a cost structure for partners
  • Create a fundraising package
  • Work with an accountant
  • Collect data on existing finances
  • Create reliable documents for tracking partner finances
  • Review AWS setup with an AWS expert and identify potential improvements

Expanding our reach

When a lot of people hear the word “expand” they think of growth: more members, larger budgets, etc. That is not our main goal in 2020. For 2020, expanding our reach is about making sure that more communities are represented among our partners, on our Board, and in the work we are supporting. District Civic Labs should be a resource for every community in DC and we hope to make progress toward that goal this year.

Our goals

  • Identify opportunities for inclusive growth
  • Be more representative of the city

What we’ll do

  • Add at least two new members to the board
  • Formalize annual board meetings, revise and shore up bylaws and processes for compliance with them
  • Add at least one new partner
  • Propose one shared pitch with another community organization
  • Host one cross-partner get-together
  • Create a press list for our partners to use