SMART Strategic Plan Initiative to Replace 2020 National Conference

To our entire SMART community:

The leadership of SMART Recovery USA has made the tough decision to forego our 2020 Annual National Conference in lieu of an in-depth strategic planning initiative we have already started. While our annual National Conference has always served as a means to develop and expand our networking and relationships with our SMART community, share ideas, exchange information, and recognize achievements; this year’s decision was based on SMART being at a critical juncture for the organization moving forward. It will be our primary focus to replace our current 5-Year Freedom From Addiction Strategic Plan that was adopted in 2017.

While we are proud of the mission growth and impact SMART Recovery achieved over its first 25 years of service (as was celebrated in 2019), the Board of Directors recognizes the importance of establishing the framework for our next 25 years. We look forward to working closely with a diverse mix of dedicated and committed SMART-minded individuals, volunteers, organizations, and stakeholders during several days of strategic planning. This meeting will help us refine the priorities, strategies, tactics, and objectives that will lay important groundwork for our future. We have already begun the process of gathering relevant information from many sources that will assist our Board, National Office staff, and many SMART volunteers and stakeholders as they devote significant time and energy to this undertaking.

The information being gathered that will serve as the foundation for strategic planning comes from many sources including:

  • Annual survey results from our 2019 Annual Survey. It is our objective to gather as many responses as is possible and we have opted to extend the deadline to March 14, 2020. Note: Surveys can still be submitted after this date but may not be included in our strategic planning initiative. Click here to respond to the survey.
  • Results compiled from a volunteer-oriented survey led by Melina Gilbert, our National Office Volunteer Outreach Coordinator.
  • Interviews from volunteers, both from in-person groups and online, and Regional Coordinators.
  • We are conducting focused S.O.A.R. (Strengths Weaknesses Aspirations and Results) sessions from various targeted workgroups including:
    • Our SMART Board of Directors
    • Our National Office staff and consultants
    • Our Regional Coordinators
    • Meeting volunteers who facilitate and support our face-to-face and online meetings and support resources (i.e., Message Board and Chat Room)
    • Many external and SMART minded stakeholders

All results and input will be reviewed and analyzed by all members of the core Strategic Planning Work Group, Board members, and all members able to join our May strategic planning meetings. Information will be reviewed and compiled with our independent strategic planning consultants/facilitators from SAMHSA’s Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale / Technical Assistance Center Strategy program (BRSS TACS). SMART Recovery is very grateful for the financial support we receive from SAMHSA to underwrite the costs of their consulting efforts.

In addition to their involvement with the strategic planning meeting itself, BRSS TACS will also provide further assistance in our developing a sustainable growth plan, broadening fundraising strategies, and establishing volunteer management best practices. At the conclusion of this effort, we will prepare a formal document that will present the relevant information that represents the details of our new 5-year strategic plan. This document will also be made available to our SMART community.

While we understand that our annual National Conference will be missed this year, we are confident that the hard work and efforts of many will result in a needed and updated strategic plan. We are confident that the outcome of this project will add tremendous value and support to all our focused priorities, strategic direction, and the operational work that lies ahead. Together, we will work to implement the objectives of the strategic plan to expand our SMART Recovery mission and impact across the world.

Thank you for your understanding and support of these planned and important changes.




Mark Ruth, Executive Director
National Office
SMART Recovery USA



Bill Greer, President
Board of Directors
SMART Recovery USA

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