SSDP Organizational Objectives: July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015


SSDP staff, board, students and alumni at our annual strategy summit.

SSDP staff, board, students and alumni at our annual strategy summit.


Strengthening the network.

We will expand our network with presence on 250 campuses — including 150 established chapters as well as interim chapters and Ambassadors — with 3,000 active members in the United States.

We will develop and pilot a formal SSDP Alumni Association program that will more strongly connect students to Alumni members, keep Alumni engaged as advocates, and develop Alumni as philanthropists.

The SSDP Ambassador program will provide a meaningful opportunity for individual students to support and participate in SSDP even if there is no chapter on campus.

Our Campus Coordinator project will strategically leverage marijuana-related initiatives to further the goals of SSDP.

We will provide resources and support to our international chapter network.

We — staff and members — will collaborate with allies from across the political spectrum and non-drug policy reform groups to spread our message of reform.

We will actively engage our supporter base through regular, meaningful, and carefully curated contact.

We will seize compelling opportunities to address audiences concerning drug policy reform and to engage in public debates.

Bringing people together.

Our staff will utilize professional best practices in event planning, execution and evaluation.

We will work with local chapters and Alumni Association members to host regional conferences–each attended by an average of 50 participants–in 6 locations during the Spring 2015 semester.

We will facilitate, in collaboration with allies,  two statewide training opportunities to further legislative reform.

We will successfully execute SSDP2014 Conference + Lobby Day in September in Washington DC with 500 attendees.

We will connect donors, alumni, and student members through networking receptions in major cities.

Creating safe spaces and fostering diversity.

We will create a welcoming, open, and safe space for all stakeholders, including those that stand in conflict on other issues, and work to ensure that a wide range of perspectives are represented. We will actively seek out opportunities for collaboration with other organizations, including non-drug policy reform groups and those beyond our traditional allies.

The Outreach, Recruitment and Diversity Committee will create and/or compile resources to assist chapters navigating diversity issues on their campuses, which staff will make accessible to chapters.

We will also make every attempt to ensure that SSDP-sponsored events, including conferences, provide a non-threatening environment for all of our members and potential members and strive to provide recognition of all lived experiences.


Pushing the policy envelope and speaking truth to power.

We will provide our membership with timely opportunities to take action on state and federal legislation and resources to change campus and local policies.

Through our online action center, we will generate thousands of communications to government officials.

Our staff will publish and maintain data on campus drug policies and Call 911 Good Samaritan policies to serve as expert resources on these issues.

Fifty percent of chapters will educate their communities or campuses about harm reduction policies, practices, and services.

A majority of our chapters will meet with an elected or appointed official concerning drug policy reform.

Our members will provide oral or written testimony on behalf of SSDP before local, state or federal legislative or regulatory bodies at least 15 times.

Educating and empowering students.

We will provide students with a rich menu of activities to undertake and resources to support them, including changing marijuana and other drug prohibition policies to be more sensible and less punitive, promoting harm reduction/overdose prevention practices, providing evidence-based drug education, and teaching students about international drug policy, racial justice, civil rights, human rights and their constitutional rights.

At least 250 students will participate in at least one interactive skills-building workshop activity.

Additionally, 500 students will receive one-on-one support provided by our outreach staff.

We will mentor and guide our students through the leadership pipeline and encourage them to volunteer or work for state-level drug policy reform campaigns or related direct service agencies.

We will connect our students and alumni with opportunities for professional development, including employment with allied organizations, through a newly created Career Services program.

We will effectively utilize our special consultative status with the United Nations to ensure that the drug policy reform movement is represented in General Assembly meetings and other related UN events.

We will continue to facilitate active youth participation at critical conferences and events, such as the Drug Policy Alliance’s biennial Reform Conference.

Highlighting our students and their work.

We will highlight our students and their work through effective storytelling to donors, alumni, and the public — improving depth of data collected — and in hundreds of media reports, letters to the editor, and op-eds including referring media to student members as often as possible.

We will present a strong, unified, and professional brand to the public. Our website will remain functional and content will be up to date.

Our online presence will continue to grow, our Facebook likes will exceed 54,000.

Our website will receive more than 145,000 unique visitors and 315,000 pageviews.

Additionally, our total YouTube views will surpass 2.1 million, and Twitter followers will grow to over 22,000.

Defining high-quality activists and chapters.

Overall, a majority of our chapters will be high-quality, meaning the chapter:

(1) is engaging in a campaign to change at least one drug policy at the campus, local, state level, federal, or international level;
(2) hosts at least two public educational events per year, at least one of which is co-hosted with another campus group;
(3) recruits and trains at least one officer each semester;

and fulfills at least half of the following criteria:

(1) proactively sends SSDP headquarters their chapter information, such as rosters, at least once per semester;

(2) recruits at least five students each semester;

(3) hosts chapter meetings at least once per month;

(4) elects a chapter member to student government;

(5) provides harm reduction training and/or information to their community;

(6) conducts tabling outreach every semester;

(7) attends at least one SSDP national or regional event per year;

(8) maintains an online network (such as a Facebook group) for the SSDP chapter;

(9) successfully manages its affairs through effective communication and delegation; and

(10) builds meaningful relationships with at least three other campus organizations, faculty, and/or administrators.


A majority of our SSDP Ambassadors will be high-quality, meaning they fulfill at least 3 of the following criteria:

(1) recruits someone on campus to establish a chapter;

(2) distributes SSDP materials (i.e. through tabling);

(3) tracks and shares information on state/local legislation;

(4) identifies campus policies to be changed;

(5) assists staff with resource development;

(6) submits content for the blog;

(7) participates in local/state policy change campaigns led by allies;

(8) connects with allies on campus; or

(9) organizes campus events and/or general interest meetings.

AMPLIFYing our message.
Through a partnership between SSDP and the music community (the AMPLIFY project), SSDP students will reach out at concerts and music festivals to recruit new supporters, provide on-site harm reduction, and educate the public about harm reduction policies, practices, and services.


Cultivating meaningful donor relationships. (January – December 2014) 

Evidence of nurtured relationships with our donor network will include:

  • major individual gifts will be received in excess of $215,700, a $23,000 increase over 2013;
  • foundation grants will be received in excess of $219,000 and will include two foundation grantors who have never given to SSDP before or not given in the last 5 years;
  • sponsorship, event, and conference income will exceed $65,000, a $63,000 increase over 2013; and
  • other gifts will exceed $60,000 through strategic fundraising drives including “back to school” and “graduation” and our monthly giving program, which will enroll more than 50 new donors representing an approximate $35,000 increase over 2013.

Donor files will regularly be up-to-date.

Each of our board members will give or raise at least $1,000 per year.

We will diversify our sources of funding.

Managing to change the world.

We will be well managed.

The board of directors will hold itself accountable for carrying out their responsibilities.

Board and staff will actively ensure compliance with government regulations and industry best practices. We will invest in keeping SSDP free from liability and in organizational good standing.

Staff will feel appreciated and will be fairly compensated.

Staff will be given regular and prompt feedback about their performance, both regarding what they do well and where they need to improve.

Additionally, staff members performance will be formally reviewed annually and salary will be assessed at that time;  salaries and benefits will be competitive with organizations of similar size and scope and will reward excellence.

Expectations will be clearly set and understood and deadlines normally met.

Staff will proactively communicate with and respond promptly to the board.

Staff will quantify organizational accomplishments.

Conflicting priorities will be addressed and readjusted as needed.

Staff will seek to improve their professional abilities and proactively seek new opportunities for growth, participating in at least two professional development opportunities annually.

SSDP’s supporter data will be up to date.

We will provide a robust and meaningful internship experience, by ensuring interns have ownership over projects, regular feedback, and access to unique opportunities outside of the day-to-day functions of the organization.

We will make every effort to capture and maintain institutional knowledge.

Staying sensible. 

Our organization will prioritize stability, ensuring that when expansion does occur, it is managed responsibly.

Our staff will embody a culture of excellence that emphasizes going above and beyond to reflect the following core values: efficiency, transparency, humility, optimism, inclusiveness, light-heartedness, diligence, objectivity, compassion, and consistency.

Will you join with us in ending the War on Drugs by joining the Sensible Society today?