SA2020 was first developed as a vision for the future of San Antonio between September 2010 and March 2011. Nearly 6,000 people attended public meetings and filled out surveys to develop big picture goals that would help define the kind of city we wanted to be. You can see each area and our progress here.
What we ultimately did was take SA2020, a beautiful, big picture vision, and figure out how to work with the community to make sure those big goals came true. SA2020 became a nonprofit, incorporated in 2012 with a 501(c)3 designation in 2013. SA2020, the nonprofit, serves as the catalyst for the vision – an objective caretaker and facilitator that promotes and inspires action, aligning efforts and holding our community accountable to the goals we set for ourselves.
Since 2012 that has been the basis of SA2020’s organizational work: to objectively inform the public on San Antonio’s progress and provide clear opportunities for involvement. 136 organizations have partnered with SA2020. More than 130,000 people engage with SA2020 annually. More than 15 collaborative working groups, including ones that address teen pregnancy, healthcare access, and early childhood have collaborated with us to achieve our community goals. Further, we work with CI:Now to maintain a data dashboard to show our community progress and provide calls to action.
Within our big vision, San Antonians prioritized more than 50 indicators. Each of these indicators had a goal to help measure whether we were making progress toward our vision. And, as of our latest report, released in January 2017, 39% of the goals we set for our community have been met, exceeded, or are on track to be met by 2020.
The last year for SA2020 has been one of reinvigoration. Here’s what SA2020, the nonprofit organization, has been up to in the past year:
We finalized a strategic plan that takes our organization beyond the year 2020.
“Wait…what??!? But your name is SA2020! How can you possibly exist after 2020?!?” Because while our collective goals are through the year 2020, we are the only agency in San Antonio and Bexar County who is transparently reporting on population level indicators, celebrating progress and highlighting challenges, then connecting and aligning efforts in the areas that need the most help, and we think that needs to continue. In fact, people from DC, Arizona, Tennessee, England, Washington, Nebraska, Michigan, and Los Angeles have called to get our playbook. We are doing something other cities aspire to do. San Antonio is leading the way.
We were contracted by the City of San Antonio to help identify community indicators for the SA Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan.
“Wait…I thought you and SA Tomorrow were the same?!?!” Nope. Three plans—Comprehensive, Sustainability, and Multimodal Transportation—provide the blueprint for smart growth in San Antonio. And, according to our community data, that’s exactly where we need the City to act with urgency. This master plan–known as SA Tomorrow–directly addresses one third of the original SA2020 vision, including infrastructure, neighborhood connectivity, transportation, and sustainability. All of these could be positively shifted by the implementation of the SA Tomorrow plans. Without the SA Tomorrow plans, our collective vision for the year 2020 cannot be achieved. So while SA2020 and SA Tomorrow have names that sound similar and are certainly complementary, the differences are worth noting. SA Tomorrow is a plan that will help guide the City in implementing some of the top priorities you set when you helped design the vision for our community in the year 2020. SA2020 is a nonprofit that is committed to reporting on progress and aligning efforts–including those like SA Tomorrow–towards our collective vision.
We were funded by The Kresge Foundation to help show how nonprofits play a critical role in a city’s growth and opportunity.
In fact, with this funding, we hired a Partnership Manager and have helped align the outcomes of 136 area partners to community results. The SA2020 vision provides high-level community conditions with a focus on broader, societal outcomes. SA2020, the nonprofit, uses this high-level approach to identify overarching challenges and successes, then dives vertically to identify program measures or efforts that could contribute to an explanation.
And since we’re working with so many local organizations, we have also begun the process of aligning six major local funders toward community indicators. If we were all aligning our work toward the results prioritized by our community, we could show the pieces we contribute individually and the impact we create collectively.
We released an annual report showing a snapshot of our community’s progress.
We are committed to transparency and accountability. As such, each year, we release an annual report, highlighting successes and challenges. We believe this helps us make better decisions, create stronger strategies, and coordinate our efforts. We will release our next report on January 19, 2018. Save the date. In the meantime, feel free to check out the progress at SA2020.org/progress or read the report at SA2020.org/reports.
One of the things we think is key to our work is identifying gaps and working to fill them. Nowhere was there a one-stop resource that provided high-level data and quick references for voting in San Antonio, so we collaborated with local partners and launched ilovesanantonio.org and meencantasanantonio.org. Our target audience was a voter between the ages of 18 and 35, and that was exactly who was using our website. It just so happens that this age group also nearly doubled their turnout in May’s municipal election.
We have big goals for our organization in the future: partner expansion, a partner impact report, a new and improved data dashboard, citywide alignment around your vision, and even a revisit of the entire plan. And we can’t do any of it without you. We’re seven years into this, so chip in $7 (or $20 if you’re feeling particularly giving). We are data-informed at SA2020, but, more importantly, we are people-powered. Join us, won’t you?