SSDP Organizational Objectives: July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016


SSDP students, alumni, staff and board at our annual Strategy Summit in Washington, DC.

Movement Building

Strengthening the network.

We will expand our network with active presence on 290 campuses — including 175 established chapters as well as interim chapters and Ambassadors — with 4,000 active members in the United States.

We will continue to develop and grow the SSDP Alumni Association program, more strongly connecting students to Alumni members, keeping Alumni engaged as advocates, and developing Alumni as philanthropists. Membership will grow to more than 200 members, resulting in a total of $33,648 in annual income.

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 Campaign program will strategically leverage drug policy initiatives, leading to a 100% increase in the number of active campuses, 800% increase in the number of students we communicate with, and 300% increase in number of chapter members & Ambassadors by December 2016 in targeted states.

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.

Noting that SSDP will be sponsoring Model UNGASS at the Drug Policy Reform Conference in November 2015 near Washington, DC, we will support local chapters in hosting regional conferences during the Fall 2015 semester when the opportunity is appropriate.

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

We will successfully execute SSDP2016 Conference in April 2016  in Washington DC with at least 500 attendees.

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

Creating safe spaces and fostering diversity.

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

Education and Advocacy

Pushing the policy envelope & speaking truth to power.

We will provide our membership with timely opportunities to take action on state and federal legislation, meet with elected officials or decision makers concerning drug policy reform, and provide 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, and chapters will educate their communities or campuses about harm reduction policies, practices, and services.

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, human rights, racial justice, civil rights, and their constitutional rights.

We will provide students with training in the three pathways of chapter building, policy change, and training and education through:

  • Skills-building workshops with a total of 500 attendees
  • One on one support by outreach staff to 500 students
  • Keeping resources/educational materials up to date and making them more easily accessible and navigable.

We will mentor and guide our students through the leadership pipeline by providing training and resources in chapter building, community organizing, and leadership skills development.

We will connect our students and alumni with opportunities for professional development, including volunteer opportunities and employment with allied organizations, through the Career Services Program and distribution of information about compelling opportunities.

We will effectively utilize our special consultative status with the United Nations to ensure that the youth voice of the drug policy reform movement is represented at the 2016 UNGASS, through the Fall 2015 Model UNGASS event, and at other UN events where drug policy is a central topic.

We will continue to facilitate active youth participation at relevant 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 improve our strong, unified, and professional brand and all team members will endeavor to adhere to brand principles. Our website will remain functional and content will be up to date.

Our online presence will continue to grow: Facebook posts will reach an average 10,000 users

  • Our website will receive more than 190,000 unique visitors and 390,000 pageviews,
  • Additionally, our total YouTube views will surpass 2.3 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) earns 75 Points by engaging in a campaign to change at least one drug policy at the campus, local, state level, federal, or international level through activities such as lobbying, submitting letters to the editor, passing student government resolutions, changing a policy, and submitting a case study on a policy change campaign;

(2) earns 50 Points through educational activities such as hosting educational events, hosting film screenings or debates, distributing educational materials, and engaging in direct service volunteering.

(3) earns 75 Points through chapter-building activities such as attending leadership trainings, hosting regular chapter meetings,, recruiting and training officers, tabling on campus, and building/maintaining relationships with other organizations on campus.

SSDP Ambassadors will be considered high-quality when they earn 20 points each semester through similar activities.

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.

Organizational Development

Cultivating meaningful donor relationships. (January – December 2015)

Evidence of nurtured relationships with our donor network will include:

  • major individual gifts will be received in excess of $408,500, a $$222,280  increase over 2014;
  • foundation grants will be received in excess of $173,000 and will include two foundation grantors who have never given to SSDP before or not given in the last 5 years;
  • conference income (including sponsorships) and other income (including merchandise and fee-based activities) will exceed $52,700; and
  • other gifts will exceed $55,925 through strategic fundraising drives;  and our monthly giving program will enroll more than 50 new donors.

Effectively managing our finances.

Donor files will be up-to-date.

Each member of the Board of Directors and Trustees shall meet minimum fundraising requirements.

We will seek to incorporate best practices in fundraising, including maintaining diversity among our sources of funding.

Managing to change the world.

SSDP will be well managed.

The Boards of Directors and Trustees will hold themselves 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 boards.

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.

SSDP 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.

SSDP 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?