The Vision

                ... “unlimited opportunities for blacks in the accounting and related business professions” in order to “ensure our seat at the table.”




           NABA’s Strategic Plan Framework (SPF) was complete in April, 2015 and adopted in June of 2015. The SPF served as a guide for the association’s FY16 activities and was formalized later in FY16 as Vision2020 (“the Vision”) to guide the association’s priorities.

           View the Vision's timeline and NABA's core strategy documents by clicking the Green links below. To learn more about NABA's accomplishments, current projects and future plans related to the Vision, scroll down to the read the latest update from the NABA headquarters team by clicking the Blue links.

Developed in 2014-2015. Finalized and adopted, June 2015.

Developed in late 2015. Endorsed by Board, March 2016.

(updated 09/30/17)

  Planning, Purpose, and Progress
…NABA's Vision at the half-way mark

Most successful organizations have some type of strategic plan. They have an idea of where they want to go and a framework for how they are going to get there. Organizations with a sophisticated strategy need nimble and responsive plans to meet the organization’s needs across multiple levels. An organization whose success may be hinged on its ability to pivot when changes can be seen on the horizon need more of a Strategic Framework style of a plan where the Vision and the Goals are long reaching and clear, but stays at the 30,000-foot level, enabling those charged with executing the plan to shift from one strategy to another, try different tactics, and keep the focus on the “what” (meeting the goals) versus the “how” (strategies and tactics).

NABA’s Roadmap
In 2014, NABA partnered with Deloitte for assistance with developing a five-year strategic framework that positioned NABA for its continued evolution into a dynamic and impactful association focused on the needs of the profession and its members alike. NABA’s Strategic Plan Framework (SPF) was complete in April, 2015 and adopted in June of 2015 at the Q4 Board meeting. The SPF immediately served as a guide for the association’s FY16 activities and was formalized later in FY16 as Vision2020 (“the Vision”) to guide the association’s priorities.
[Click here to read more...]

Defining the Vision
While the association has a Mission and, over the years, has adopted purpose and value statements, the boldest outcome of the SPF development process was the vision for “unlimited opportunities for blacks in the accounting and related business professions” in order to “ensure our seat at the table.” To accomplish this, five strategic priorities were identified and ultimately incorporated into four overarching goals that support the Vision. In the framework of Vision2020, those four goals are Sustainability, Awareness, Action, and Connection.

Operationalizing the Plan
The four goals referenced above align with the four functional areas of NABA’s organizational structure: Operations, Communications, Programs, and Membership. NABA restructured the association’s departments and staff into these core areas as part of the Vision2020 implementation. Strategies and tactics are developed each year at the staff level, as the Vision and Goals remain constant over time. National HQ staff work together, across departmental lines to execute the strategies and tactics. NABA also relies on our dedicated members to volunteer their time and skills to assist with execution.

Vision2020 – Purpose and Progress
Through the development of each goal’s objectives, NABA ensured a focus on the needs of each of our primary stakeholder groups – Pipeline, Professionals and Partners – who are critical to our success as an association. The formal goals and objectives of Vision2020 are available at along with details about the activities related to each goal. To put it in everyday terms, it may be helpful to share the purpose or “intent” behind each as well. From the start of the implementation, there was an acknowledgement that, in order to effectively deliver on the Awareness, Action, and Connection goals, a priority focus would need to be placed on Sustainability, although considerable progress has been made in the other areas as well. As we approach the halfway mark of the initial plan’s lifecycle, it is an opportune time to also share the progress NABA has made in each area. Click each of the four headers below to learn more about NABA's accomplishments, current projects and future plans related to the Vision.

The PURPOSE of this goal was to address the strategic priorities of Organizational Effectiveness and Financial Sustainability (see SPF). Focusing on both internal (HQ) and external (affiliate) infrastructure improvements, it also incorporates the Branding priority of aligning NABA at the Chapter, Regional and National levels. Centralizing branding and other functional activities with HQ would relieve NABA’s volunteer leaders from burdensome administrative tasks, enabling them to focus on value-added, mission-focused activities.

The PROGRESS made in operational areas, even when substantial, are rarely obvious to those who are not on the “inside.” The evidence of this progress is more often seen through the increased attention that can now be spent in other areas, because operational efficiencies have allowed time and attention to be spent on more visible activities in other areas. As an example, moving from an annual membership dues cycle to an anniversary cycle may not sound significant, and the implementation involving multiple system changes and integrations was a short-term operational burden, but the long-term benefits to the members, making it easier to join and renew, is evidenced by the 13% growth experienced the first full year after implementation.

Here are some of the other examples of operational successes from behind the scenes and what you can expect to see in the future under the Sustainability umbrella.
  • Restructured staffing model to better support and achieve goals
  • Implemented project management system to increase cross communication and efficiency
  • Shifted to rolling membership dues cycle to meet individual member needs and partner demand
  • Enhanced membership platform to improve chapter leader access value
  • Improved CPE management process procedures to better support chapter events
  • Increased HQ support at all regional student conferences
  • Expanded convention registration platform to automate partner invoicing and speaker session submissions
  • Developed seven chapter leader toolkits to ease the administrative burden on NABA volunteers

 In Progress
  • Building centralized website platform for chapters to streamline NABA brand and reduce burden on volunteer Leaders
  • Creating NABA hosted document repository for Chapters to collect, retain, share information
  • Implement Professional Chapter Affiliation Agreement (PCAA) to formalize legal relationship between chapters and HQ and align organizational governance structure

On the Schedule
  • Develop exclusive online chapter leader training programs; simplified web-based SCREP/Compliance reporting for chapters
  • Create formal Student Chapter recognition process
  • Develop a comprehensive NABA HQ support model for Regional Student Conferences
This aspirational goal serves the PURPOSE of positioning NABA as an Advocate & Thought Leader in the diversity and inclusion space. Starting with simply bringing more Awareness to NABA and our mission and finishing as a powerful voice for best practices in diversity recruiting, retention strategies and advancement. Impact would be driven and validated through published research, industry statistics, and demographic studies, ultimately shifting the diversity and inclusion conversation from theory to impact. At its most basic level, the Awareness goal is further reinforcement of the Branding priority and the need for the association to communicate as “One-NABA” at every level. This speaks to the need for increased internal (member facing) communication and awareness as much as external (public facing).

The PROGRESS made in the communications area has been substantially on the member facing side (new web tools, newsletters, webcasts, etc.) with several strong steps on the public facing side (press releases, strategic partnerships, research partnerships, etc.). Below are some specific examples of successes in the Communications area as well as activities on the horizon.

  • Produced series of electronic communications, press releases and webpages focused to bring attention to professional accomplishments of NABA members
  • Developed new NABA Partnership Guide Portfolio (digital and print) to provide in-depth information about new programs and engagement opportunities
  • Created custom student messaging driving second highest attendance by students at Convention in seven years (282)
  • Launched new Student Roadmap newsletter driving awareness of student accomplishments, perspectives and programs
  • Designed new Monthly Entrepreneur email providing a snapshot of trending topics for entrepreneurs in accounting and finance
  • Launched new Chapter Leader newsletter – a special publication to keep NABA's volunteer leaders engaged and informed
  • Produced first NABA Infographic to communicate Convention result, attendee demographics and post-event feedback
  • Partnered with the Center for Accounting Education (CAE) at Howard University's School of Business to survey NABA members in assessing the success of diversity-related efforts established over the last ten years
  • Engaging with Corporate Partners at quarterly Board meeting and Spring retreat to collect feedback about workplace issues and opportunities for NABA to provide solutions
  • Developing strategy to reestablish relationship with DOF (Division of Firms)
  • Entered in strategic partnership with the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) to bring greater awareness to the certification
  • Engaging with university faculty to develop task force addressing pipeline issues
  • Drafting comprehensive organizational communications strategy to drive messaging across all programs and levels
  • Dreating NABA chapter branding guide to drive consistency in construct and messaging
  • Develop communications and messaging templates for all chapter and region communication mediums
  • Create an online repository for diversity demographics and statistics to establish NABA’s role as a valued source of information to the public.
The PURPOSE of this goal is to provide year-round Programs, tools and resources, preparing members for leadership and advancement. The key focus is to strengthen members’ ability and confidence to take Action and control of their career and individual Leadership Development.

The PROGRESS made in the programs area has been primarily in the area new online learning that NABA launched earlier this year and several new live events in development for year-round programming. There has also been a focus on program expansion and building increased awareness for existing programming, both at the national and local levels. Specific examples of program successes are detailed below as well as future initiatives in the pipeline.
  • Entered into partnership with AICPA to expand NABA’s ACAP program
  • Debuted new Partnership Preview Event for corporate partners in FY17 which increased participation at FY18 Partnership Preview Event driving requests for a second partnership preview event in FY18
  • Launched new NABA eLearning platform to deliver branded webinars through partnership with BLI
  • Developed new NABA Events communication bringing national attention to local Chapter programming to drive higher awareness and engagement
  • Launched new Monthly Career Center email delivering career and job hunting tools
  • Developed comprehensive new Partnership Participation Toolkit to provide higher level of training and engagement for partners Preparing to attend the Convention
  • Entered into exclusive partnership with nationally recognized ethics expert to offer NABA branded content and programming opportunities
  • Launching new year-round programming (WONN Summit, Men of NABA, Evenings in the C-Suite) to bring value to members and opportunities to partners more than once a year while decreasing dependence on the annual convention
  • Discussions with CPA exam preparation providers to develop comprehensive learning opportunities for members at various levels
  • Develop a framework for technical excellence for aspiring leaders in accounting and finance
  • Work with partners to identify skill gaps that NABA can develop programs to enhance member competencies
  • Engage faculty to help develop best practice resources for attracting students to University accounting programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels
Incorporating elements of both the Leadership Development and Branding priorities, the PURPOSE of this goal is to create an essential “NABA Experience” where members build and leverage strong professional networks that not only serve to advance their career but also advocate the NABA mission.

The largest marker for PROGRESS in the membership area is through the unprecedented growth NABA’s experienced the last two years. To a great degree this is a result of the successes in the Action and Awareness areas by creating member valued programs and communicating the benefits of those programs to the members. All of which was made possible by first focusing on the infrastructure priorities under Sustainability. There have also been efforts to develop targeted communications for member retention and reengage long-term inactive members.
  • Experienced 13.1% growth from FY16 to FY17 (national average for nonprofit associations is 3 to 5%) leading to record-high membership level of 7257 members in the month of September 2017
  • 12.6% increase in participation at signature networking events at 2017 Convention
  • Chartered 13 new Chapters in FY 16 / FY 17
  • Increased National Scholarships by 9.1% from FY16 to FY17
  • Membership emails to long-term expired members resulted in over 250 reactivated members

In Progress
  • Creating targeted outreach campaign to graduating seniors promoting NABA’s CPI program
  • Developing digital platform for virtual networking across chapters and disciplines

  On the Schedule
  • Work with Chapters to measure effectiveness of HQ marketing efforts for local networking events to drive continued growth
  • Build additional time into Convention schedule for networking opportunities