SSDP Organizational Objectives

July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020

We’re currently waiting for strategy summit, which was delayed due to COVID-19, to be completed before updating this for the new fiscal year.

Come back soon to see our updated objectives! 

Movement Building

Strengthening the Network

  • We will support 4,500 students and young people for sensible drug policy in at least 34 countries, including 50 US states and 2 US administrative districts, who collaborate, communicate, share resources with, and coach each other.
  • The SSDP Alumni Association program will engage 260 Alumni members by connecting active members to Alumni members through the mentorship program, keeping Alumni engaged as advocates, and developing Alumni as philanthropists.
  • We will provide meaningful, region-specific resources and support to our global network and seek out opportunities to elevate international SSDP members.
  • Global Fellows will develop new resources to meet the needs of our global network and help us connect with drug policy movements and allies in areas where we have an existing, growing, or new presence.
  • Chapters will be encouraged to engage and activate non-student young adults through explicitly creating non-student membership opportunities within their chapters, addressing unjust drug policies in school districts and communities, and tabling at local cultural events.
  • We — staff and members — will actively seek out opportunities for collaboration with allies from across the political spectrum including policy reform groups and nontraditional allies, campus-based and otherwise, to expand our impact and link our work to intersectional movements for justice, health, and human rights.
  • We will seize compelling opportunities to address external audiences concerning drug policy reform and to engage in public dialogues.
  • We will actively engage our stakeholders through regular, meaningful, and carefully curated contact.

Movement Building

Bringing People Together

  • We will create and distribute event planning resources to support our network to host local and regional training, advocacy, or educational events.
  • Our staff will utilize professional best practices in event planning, execution, and evaluation.
  • The SSDP2020 Conference + Lobby Day in Spring 2020 will provide at least 350 attendees with meaningful programming developed by members, an environment that promotes safety and well-being, and opportunities to form and strengthen interchapter and intergenerational bonds.
  • We will connect donors, alumni, active members, and advisors by hosting networking receptions in major cities and supporting members in hosting networking and fundraising events.

Movement Building

Building an Inclusive Movement

  • We will create welcoming, open, and safe spaces for all participants in our global movement to ensure the perspectives of directly impacted individuals are centered and represented. We will provide recognition of individuals’ lived experiences, i.e. first-hand accounts and impressions of life as a member of marginalized groups around the world.
  • We will identify and seek to break down barriers preventing marginalized individuals from participating in SSDP events, actions, organizing and advocacy work.
  • We will strive to ensure SSDP events, including conferences, provide a welcoming environment for current and potential members. We will be intentional about making SSDP events and spaces accessible to people who are disabled.
  • SSDP Staff and Board will hold ourselves accountable to dismantling structural racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression through addressing bigotry and discrimination within our network and the movement at large.
  • The Intersectionality Committee will create, compile, and share resources to support a multi-partial, multicultural, ideologically diverse network at all levels of organizing.
  • The Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Working Group will expand SSDP’s engagement with historically Black colleges and universities in the United States and support more African American students and young people in the SSDP network.

Advancing Policy Reform & Speaking Truth to Power

  • We will provide training, mentorship, and resources to change campus and local policies and empower our membership with timely opportunities to take action on legislation, rulemaking, and calls for input, including meeting with elected officials and decision makers.
  • Members and staff will generate thousands of communications to government officials and decision makers.
  • We will get electoral candidates and public officials On the Record through bird dogging at public events, letter writing, and digital engagement, recording and publicizing their stance on drug policy and intersectional issues.
  • Our staff will facilitate interactions with municipal, state, national, and international offices to build and maintain relationships with decision makers and empower the voices of current and future young adult organizers.
  • We will encourage our members to participate in direct actions in their local areas through connecting members to actions hosted by other organizations as well as guiding and supporting members in hosting their own direct actions.
  • With input from members, staff will publish and maintain data on campus drug policies in the Campus Policy Gradebook and serve as expert resources on these issues.
  • We will send timely alerts to the network regarding major legislative developments and action opportunities via text message, email and social media.
  • We will track conversion rates from communication platforms to the action center and within the action center to better understand and activate our network’s potential for mobilization.
  • We will drive 2,000 new visitors to our action center site (200/month during active months).
  • We will double our number of digital advocates.

Education & Advocacy

Educating and Empowering Young People

We will provide students and young people with a rich variety of activities to undertake in three change-making pathways: 1) movement building, including recruitment, leadership training, skills-building, and community organizing; 2) education, including peer education; and 3) advocacy, including changing policies and practices on campus, locally, state- or province-wide, nationally, and at the United Nations. We will do this work through an intersectional lens centered in harm reduction and public health, international drug policy, human rights, racial justice, civil rights, and constitutional rights.

We will provide students with training in the three pathways of movement building, advocacy, and education through:

  • Conducting skills-building workshops with a total of 500 attendees,
  • Providing more than 1000 one-on-one coaching sessions to student members, and
  • Providing a platform for accessible, navigable, and up-to-date resources and educational materials for students and by students addressing the most urgent drug policy and intersectional issues.
  • We will connect members with opportunities for professional development including volunteer opportunities and employment with allied organizations.
  • We will effectively leverage our United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) consultative status with the United Nations to mobilize members in global drug policy reform and raise the youth voice at UN events where drug policy is relevant.
  • We will collaborate with other international youth-led organizations to amplify the youth voice on drug policy reform on a global scale, both inside and outside the United Nations.
  • We will facilitate active youth participation at drug policy conferences and events and SSDP participation in related conferences and events which are not specific to drug policy.
    The Just Say Know peer education program will promote open and honest dialogue around drug use, drug policy, and drug culture.

  • The Director of Drug Education will record and/or deliver live at least 13 Just Say Know Training Curriculum webinars
  • 10 new SSDP Just Say Know Educators will be trained and certified
  • 50 students and young people will engage with the Just Say Know training curriculum
  • SSDP certified Just Say Know educators will deliver 20 formal Just Say Know modules or other Just Say Know Education lessons to their peers and/or those in their community and provide informal drug education, harm reduction, and other Just Say Know related knowledge to their peers
  • SSDP certified Just Say Know educators will collaborate with their campus health promotion, wellness, counseling, or other related departments to disseminate Just Say Know knowledge and education to their campus community
  • SSDP members will assist the Director of Drug Education in developing 2 new Just Say Know modules or curriculum lessons
  • The Director of Drug Education and SSDP certified Just Say Know educators will disseminate harm reduction and drug education information within and beyond our network utilizing a variety of strategies, platforms, and formats

Education & Advocacy

Highlighting Members and Their Work

We will highlight the lives and work of students and young people 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 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 and encourage chapters to do the same by equipping them with the SSDP style guide.

Our online presence will continue to grow and we will validate its impact through data-driven processes:

  • Our website will receive more than 75,000 unique visitors and 150,000 pageviews,
  • Each month our Facebook presence will grow faster than pages similar to ours. Average engagement rates will exceed 7% over program year,
  • Our total YouTube views will surpass 3.2 million, and
  • Twitter followers will grow to over 40,000 and we will tweet every other day,
  • Instagram followers will grow to over 10,000.

Education & Advocacy

Defining High-impact Activists and Chapters

Overall, a majority of our chapters will be high-impact, meaning the chapter earns a quarterly average of 50 CAT Points or achieves two of the three following benchmarks:

(1) earns 20 CAT Points by engaging in a campaign to change at least one drug policy at the campus, local, state, national, 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 20 CAT Points through educational activities such as hosting Just Say Know and other educational events, hosting film screenings or debates, distributing educational materials, and engaging in direct service volunteering.

(3) earns 20 CAT Points through chapter-building activities such as attending leadership training, hosting regular chapter meetings, recruiting and training officers, tabling on campus, and building/maintaining relationships with other organizations on campus.


Organizational Development

Cultivating Meaningful Donor Relationships

Evidence of nurtured relationships with our donor network will include:

  • individual and corporate gifts received in excess of $578,000;
  • foundation grants received in excess of $100,000 and will include at least one foundation grantor who has never given to SSDP before or not given in the last 5 years;
  • conference and event income exceeding $25,000;
  • sale of product exceeding $5,000;
  • in-kind donations exceeding $5,000;
  • recruitment of at least 2 donors at the Esteemed Trustees giving level of $25,000 or more and retention of 75% of Esteemed Trustees; and
  • an increased donor retention rate of 60%.
  • we will recruit at least 2 donors at the Esteemed Trustees giving level of $25,000 or more and retain 75% of Esteemed Trustees.

Our monthly giving program will:

  • maintain at least 90% of donors in active status;
  • grow to 235 total donors by year end;
  • generate more than $90,000 in support; and
  • upgrade 25% of Alumni donors who are giving less than $25 monthly to Sensible Supporters ($25/month), 10% of Sensible Supporters to Sensible Sustainers ($100/month), and 10% of Sensible Sustainers to Sensible Sponsors ($250)Engage chapters in recruiting new monthly donors

Donor, member, and supporter files will be up-to-date and maintained according to best practices for privacy and security.

The Board of Directors shall meet their fundraising commitments which will include a strategy for fundraising from their chapters.

Each member of the staff shall meet their fundraising commitments.

We will incorporate best practices in fundraising including maintaining diversity among our sources of funding and applying an ethical social justice grassroots framework to our fundraising.

The Development Director will create an annual strategic fundraising plan, update progress monthly, and analyze the results to inform planning and activities.

Organizational Development

Effectively Managing Our Finances

  • Reporting will be up-to-date, including semi-monthly balance reports, quarterly profit and loss and budget-to-actual reports, and other information required to maintain excellent fiscal health.
  • Expenditures will be carefully managed and decisions about expenditures will include analysis accounting for hard costs, staff time, and the value of the opportunity.
  • Opportunities to save through discounts and in-kind support will be sought out, and all staff will responsibly manage finances and spending according to nonprofit best practices and with an eye for efficiency.

Organizational Development

Managing to Change the World

  • SSDP will be well-managed.
  • The Directors of the Board will hold themselves accountable for carrying out their responsibilities and will conduct annual reviews of the conflict of interest policy.
  • Board and staff will actively ensure compliance with government regulations and industry best practices, invest in keeping in organizational good standing, and seek to understand and mitigate liabilities.
  • Staff will feel appreciated and 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 fair, 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 promptly respond to the Board of Directors according to their appropriate roles.
  • Staff will quantify organizational accomplishments and make every effort to capture and maintain institutional knowledge.
  • Conflicting priorities will be addressed and readjusted as needed.
  • Staff will improve their professional abilities and proactively seek new opportunities for growth, participating in at least two professional development opportunities annually.
  • 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.

Organizational Development

Staying Sensible

  • Our organization will prioritize stability and maintain a high standard of quality, ensuring that expansion and contraction are managed responsibly when they occur.
  • Staff and board members will actively communicate concerns in an open manner, and decision makers will empower critical dialogue.
  • 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, self-care, compassion, and consistency.

Will you join us to end the War on Drugs today?