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In 2010, the Board and staff of the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio (YOSA) made a commitment to serve musically talented youth regardless of economic status, ethnicity, or the part of town in which they lived. The YOSA team dug deep and took a hard look at the organization.

The Board and staff took the necessary time and steps to reimagine an organization committed to equity and access – opening up the program to all high school students possessing talent, rather than confining enrollment. Four years later, they renewed that commitment and put annual operational plans in place to fulfill their vision.

YOSA – like most nonprofit organizations – were deeply impacted by the pandemic beginning in 2020. They needed to evaluate current economies of scale and determine how to set themselves apart without compromising their purpose. YOSA once again had to reimagine its future while maintaining its commitment to access and equity in the arts.

YOSA turned to the Cielo Strategy Group team to embark on a full strategic planning process. They needed to look inward while maintaining an outward perspective, exploring the possibilities for future growth and sustainability. Through a strategic planning process, the board and staff wrestled with questions like:

  • How do we prepare operationally for expanding our physical space?
  • How do we leverage San Antonio’s growth to YOSA’s benefit?
  • How do we market ourselves as offering something different, unique, educational, yet fun in a very crowded space?
  • How do we remain a premier orchestral experience for youth across San Antonio post COVID-19?
  • How do we secure the adequate resources to achieve our Mission and Vision?

Together, we helped the organization dig deeper into who they are and what they do.

Our strategic planning process with YOSA included focus groups, individual interviews, surveys, and a comprehensive materials review. We worked with the Board and staff in an extensive process that culminated in a five-year written strategic plan.

What we create is an actionable plan – not intended to be shelved – that includes strategic priorities with supporting goals and activities. The plan outlines key measures, a timeline of activities, and budget implications. In order to measure success, Cielo Strategy Group provides an annual operational planning tool and a dashboard.

  • The Cielo Strategy Group team brings a passion for strengthening nonprofits to their work, and it is evident in their every detail – from their outstanding customer service, to their impeccable follow-through, to the way they engage with residents, board and staff – I just can’t say enough good things. They are professional, knowledgeable, and genuinely dedicated to creating a sustainable organization. I am forever grateful to them.

    Thrive Youth Center
  • The Bay City ISD School Board and staff could not have been more enthusiastic about the marketing plan that Cielo Strategy Group developed for us. We are extremely excited to see what we can do with the tools you've given us. Thank you so much for making my job easier."

    Bay City ISD
  • Thank you so much, Cielo Strategy Group for creating capacity within our organization now and for the future. You guided us, coached us, encouraged us, and taught us how to execute ideas that had always felt like far-off dreams. You didn’t come in and point out our weaknesses – you celebrated our strengths, and then, you met us where we were and gave us actionable steps to strengthen our board governance, fundraising, communications, storytelling, and operations. We are stronger because of you!

    Girls on the Run Bexar County
  • The Cielo team has been a trusted partner strengthening our organization from the inside out. After facilitating our initial organizational assessment process, they identified key areas we needed to focus on that would move our mission forward. They didn’t just give us a report with recommendations, they jumped in and created the infrastructure we needed to help us operate more effectively – from basic Board governance documents and processes to a staff and volunteer handbook, to operational planning and goal-setting. They have coached me to become a better leader. As we celebrated our ten-year anniversary, we accepted a transformational gift to purchase our own land and build upon our vision. We could not have done this without “getting our house in order”, which is what Cielo Strategy Group did for us.

    South Texas Juvenile Diabetes Association
  • The Cielo team has been instrumental in helping the Weslaco Museum rebuild for the future. As a new Executive Director, I am thankful for their unwavering commitment. They provided our organization with the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” – enabling us to focus on our vision and mission. They have helped the Weslaco Museum grow our member base, streamline our website, strengthen our board, and our overall vision for the future.

    Weslaco Museum
  • Cielo Strategy Group is part of our Clinic family. With our long standing partnership, I have relied on their team as a steady support system – responding to our needs and flexing with us. They have elevated our storytelling and communications, guided us through annual fund development plans, designed and project managed annual appeal mailings, coached us through grant proposals, facilitated Board sessions and a strategic planning process. They push us toward excellence and don’t settle for less.

    San Antonio Christian Dental Clinic