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Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust, Inc.

 PO Box 7162
 Lowell, MA 01852
[P] (978) 934-0030
[F] (978) 454-7637
www.lowelllandtrust.org
[email protected]
Jane Calvin
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INCORPORATED: 1990
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 22-3070912

LAST UPDATED: 12/12/2017
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

Mission StatementMORE »

The Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust's mission is to improve the quality of life for the people of Lowell through the creation, conservation, and preservation of parks, open spaces and special places.

Mission Statement

The Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust's mission is to improve the quality of life for the people of Lowell through the creation, conservation, and preservation of parks, open spaces and special places.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2017 to June 30, 2018
Projected Income $341,596.00
Projected Expense $309,078.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Concord River Greenway
  • Environmental Education: Lowell Leaders in Stewardship
  • Land Protection
  • Spalding House/Historic Preservation
  • Urban Forestry

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

The Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust's mission is to improve the quality of life for the people of Lowell through the creation, conservation, and preservation of parks, open spaces and special places.

Background Statement

The Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust (LP&CT) was founded in 1990 by individuals that wanted to support conservation in their own backyard, the city of Lowell, MA. LP&CT offers a diverse array of programs and projects, all focused on promoting Lowell's natural resources and "creating positive change on the ground." LP&CT's three programmatic goals are:

1) offering educational programs to youth and adults about the city's natural resources, especially its rivers;

2) advocating for the protection of Lowell's special places; and

3) acquiring and protecting conservation lands where nature is left undisturbed.

We have developed credibility for tackling and accomplishing challenging projects. Over the past year, LP&CT programming reached over 2,800 people through 49 various educational programs, including 4,929 seat hours of programming for 333 youth. Our projects are visibly woven throughout the city, improving the quality of life, the aesthetics of the city, and stabilizing neighborhoods.

Our collaborative approach enables us to undertake positive projects and creative events that connect people with their local environment as a means of improving their quality of life. Our programming engages people in the out-of-doors in ways that promote creativity (eco film series), provide recreation (property walks, Concord River Greenway), offer opportunities to enhance their own health, and engages their mind (youth programming, wildlife tracking, outdoor classroom programs).

We create positive change on the ground, then offer programs that connect people to the city's natural resources in ways that impact their social, emotional, and physical well-being. Our signature projects include establishing the Concord River Greenway (in construction, in partnership with the City of Lowell), the protection and preservation of the historic Spalding House (1760), the creation of Jollene Dubner Park on the Concord River, the protection of the widely used Edward Street soccer fields, the reforestation of Lowell's tree canopy through the planting of thousands of trees since 1995, and offering whitewater rafting trips through the heart of Lowell (class 3 and 4 rapids).

As an accredited land trust (2014) we protect and hold land throughout Lowell to protect it in perpetuity. As an urban land trust we have a unique opportunity to provide access to a diverse community and engage them in programs and projects that create a connection to the land and our mission.

 Our after-school and out-of-school time programming with youth has grown steadily since 2005.  We have a partnership with Mass Audubon's Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary that is very unique.  We recognize that we accomplish and leverage far more together than we each could individually.  This has grown out of deep respect, a shared mission, and a commitment to youth education.  
 

Impact Statement

2017 Accomplishments: 
 
Expanded after-school programming to nine locations, offering four programs after afternoon.  Programs are offered once or twice a week to ages K-12 in Lowell's neediest schools.
 
Successfully negotiated with an auto-dealership to extend the 30-mile Bruce Freeman Rail Trail into Lowell, under the Lowell Connector, which will include an outdoor urban art gallery, as a sanctioned space for aerosol art (graffiti). 
 
We have begun permitting for the final phases of the Concord River Greenway, with construction to take place in 2018 and 2019. 
 
1760 Spalding House - after completing the outdoor landscaping this year, we moved indoors to complete the restoration of the colonial home's ceilings.
 
Jane Calvin, our executive director, was selected to sit on a national team to review the standards and practices for land trusts.  This twelve person team met over the course of a year gathering public input and streamlining these important national standards for land conservation.  Jane also participated in an advanced leadership program, offered through the national Land Trust Alliance. 
 
Finally, we redesigned our website to provide a stronger public image and branding for our organization.  www.LowellLandTrust.org 
 
Goals for 2018:
 
Apply for the renewal of our accreditation as a land trust through the national Land Trust Accreditation Commission.
 
Complete a consultant-led strategic planning process.
 
Continue the extension of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail into Lowell with formal conceptual plans in order to seek funding, possibly through crowd-funding.  Engage the Lowell Bicycle Coalition in this strategy. 
 
Open the Spalding House more frequently to the public with programming especially targeted at Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and the textile conservation community. 
Governance:  The Board of Directors will adding at least three new Associate Board members with the goal of expanding our Board of Directors and adding additional diversity.
 
 

Needs Statement

1.  Staff capacity - need to support Executive Director with additional staff and possibly add and/or change office space.
2.  Respond to strong community need and public school demand to expand environmental education offerings to Lowell students; develop more accurate metrics.
3.  Leverage the new exterior landscaping project at the Spalding House and new partnerships to revitalize the development of exhibits within the house, including new multi-media and social media strategies to access the upstairs.
4.  Continue to review and prioritize potential land protection projects that can add to our portfolio in neighborhoods where we have limited access. 
5.  Address obstacles to create the final sections of the Concord River Greenway.  With funding in place, we need to assist the City of Lowell in drafting access agreements, addressing engineering pinchpoints, and offer outreach to keep the public engaged in the scope of this project.

CEO Statement

LP&CT is supported by over 600 individual donors; 40% of which come from outside the city of our immediate impact, Lowell, MA.  Our members support us from 13 states, as far away as CA and FL and from throughout all of New England.  We have a variety of ways that donors can support our work, including donating for the perpetual care of our properties, an agency endowment, through stocks, through payroll giving, or through purchases on-line at Ebay, Etsy, or Modern Kids Design.  

Beyond monetary support, we also recognize that your time is a valuable asset as well.  We are always looking for hands-on support through land stewardship, landscaping, small construction projects, office support, speaking to youth in our after-school programs, or conducting land use history research.  

 

Board Chair Statement

Within the land conservation arena, LP&CT conducts what is known as "community conservation," which essentially means we engage a diversity of people in land conservation in meaningful ways that encourages long-term stewardship. We look forward to renewing our land trust accreditation in 2019.  LP&CT's Board of Directors is pleased to be recognized as a national model in providing community outreach that connects people of all ages to the land in their own urban backyard.

Geographic Area Served

NORTHEAST REGION, MA
The Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust primarily offers programming within the city of Lowell (01850-01854).  Because our city's natural resources do not stop at the city boundary our work directly impacts the local Sudbury-Assabet-Concord (SuAsCo) watershed and the regional Merrimack River watershed - both upstream and downstream.  

Organization Categories

  1. Environment - Natural Resources Conservation & Protection
  2. Environment - Environmental Education
  3. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Natural History, Natural Science Museums

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

Yes

Programs

Concord River Greenway

Please see: 
Budget  --
Category  Environment, General/Other Environmental & Urban Beautification
Population Served Families Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success  https://lowelllandtrust.org/concord-river-greenway/
Program Long-Term Success  https://lowelllandtrust.org/concord-river-greenway/
Program Success Monitored By 

MA Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs


 

Examples of Program Success  https://lowelllandtrust.org/concord-river-greenway/

Environmental Education: Lowell Leaders in Stewardship

The Lowell Leaders in Stewardship provides after-school and out-of-school time STEM-based environmental education programs for students in grades 1-12+.  The program is offered in partnership with the Lowell Public Schools and Mass Audubon's Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary.  Programming is offered 1-3 times a week (1-1.5 hours each session), depending on the program site, at three locations every afternoon.  A team of two teacher-naturalists works with up to 20 students for each program, offering programs in a nearby outdoor classroom (riparian area, canal, school ground, local park).  All programs are offered at schools which primarily reach underserved students in Lowell's diverse immigrant community.  

For details on current programming: https://lowelllandtrust.org/what-we-do/environmental-education/

The “Stewardship Through Leadership” program has been recognized with a statewide award, a Congressional citation, and a by the Secretary’s “Excellence in Environmental Education” Award (MA EOEEA, 2009); Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (Congressional Citation, 2012) for their “hard work, dedication, and stewardship projects on Lowell’s rivers and special places;” and, by the Sudbury-Assabet-Concord River Stewardship Council with the River Steward Award (2013).
 
Budget  $103,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Afterschool Enrichment
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) At-Risk Populations Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees
Program Short-Term Success 
Students are evaluated in each 10 week session, using pre- and post-evaluations.  This can be done in a written survey, a focus group, or through activities based on the appropriateness for each age group.  The questions range from, "Do you consider yourself a scientist?" to "What was your favorite animal and why?"  Most programs also have students keep written journals for self-reflection.  
 
An important element of each program is a student-directed stewardship project.  These can range from establishing a new recycling program for the high school to third grader working with local planners to protect a nearby pond.
 
Please see the ASOST-Q document attached which provides detailed quotes from students assessing short-term success over a 6-week program. 
Program Long-Term Success 
Our goal with this program is to have a deep impact on each student. We are fortunate that our funders are more interested in impact than numbers of students reached.  Long-term success includes indicators such as:  repeated participation in our program over their years in Lowell Public Schools; retaining students from the middle school program continuing onto participate in our freshmen program at the high school; enhanced student attendance; visibly improved self-esteem; students mentoring younger students; and academic and career placement after graduation from high school (successful students have been selected for Spindle City Corps employment and/or leadership positions and others have chosen a related field for their college degree). After our summer programming we have been able to collect date pertaining to "summer learning loss." Based on spring and fall Fountas and Pinnell reading benchmark scores, students that participated in summer school saw a gain of 19 % (incoming 3rd graders) and 32% (incoming 4th graders).   
 
Program Success Monitored By 
Over several years we have worked to offer a continuum of programming, now being offered in 1st-12th grade.  This enables us to have longer-term impact as we reach them throughout their academic career. We are have developed a website for cross-program communication and are tracking individual students in a database so that we can better quantify our impact.  Parent participation and connection is still a barrier as well as accessing confidential data.  
 
Please see the ASOST-Q document attached which provides pre/post tools for assessment and students responses, interviews, and actual reading benchmark score improvements. 
Examples of Program Success  The program also strives the expose youth to ‘horizon-broadening’ opportunities within and outside Lowell. Over the past year students have had some awe-inspiring opportunities, including: meeting with Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the EPA; speaking at a national conference (please watch this 3 minute video, also in our multi-media section: http://youtu.be/gSE3OKeukA0); and a third-grader even spoke before the Lowell City Council to advocate for the protection of a local pond.

Land Protection

https://lowelllandtrust.org/explore-the-properties/
Budget  --
Category  Environment, General/Other Environmental & Urban Beautification
Population Served Families Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success  https://lowelllandtrust.org/explore-the-properties/
Program Long-Term Success  https://lowelllandtrust.org/explore-the-properties/
Program Success Monitored By 
Land Trust Alliance
Land Trust Accreditation Commission 
Examples of Program Success  https://lowelllandtrust.org/explore-the-properties/

Spalding House/Historic Preservation

Please see: https://lowelllandtrust.org/spalding-house/
Budget  --
Category  Environment, General/Other Environmental & Urban Beautification
Population Served Families Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success  Please see: http://lowelllandtrust.org/content/spalding-house
Program Long-Term Success  Please see: https://lowelllandtrust.org/spalding-house/
Program Success Monitored By 

MA Historic Commission

Lowell Historic Board

Lowell Historic Society 
Examples of Program Success  Please see: https://lowelllandtrust.org/spalding-house/

Urban Forestry

Please see: https://lowelllandtrust.org/what-we-do/urban-forestry/
Budget  --
Category  Environment, General/Other Environmental & Urban Beautification
Population Served Families Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success  Please see: https://lowelllandtrust.org/what-we-do/urban-forestry/
Program Long-Term Success  Please see: https://lowelllandtrust.org/what-we-do/urban-forestry/
Program Success Monitored By  City of Lowell, Community Development Block Grant Program - successfully audited twice
Examples of Program Success  Please see: https://lowelllandtrust.org/what-we-do/urban-forestry/

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Jane Calvin
CEO Term Start Aug 1995
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience Jane Calvin has been the Executive Director of the Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust since 1995. Her prior experience includes teaching high school science, work as a forest policy specialist, and as a community forester. Jane holds a masters degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.  In 2014 Jane received the Lowell Women's Week "Because of Her" award and was recognized by the Lowell Sun with a "Salute to Women of our Region" Award. Jane participated in the Land Trust Alliance's two-year Leadership Program (2015-2017) as well as their advanced leadership program (2017). 
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Ms. Emily McDermott Stewardship & Education Manager Gwen Kozlowski joined LP&CT in Sept. 2011.  She oversees land stewardship, volunteer programs, Concord River whitewater rafting/lock tending, the Spalding House, and much of our education programming. Gwen Kozlowski joined the Trust in September 2011. Previously, she completed a year as an Americorps/MassLIFT volunteer at the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust. She brings experience as a field ecologist around New England and Ecuador, as well as teaching environmental education in Costa Rica. Gwen completed her Bachelors degree in Natural Resources at UVM. Gwen has enjoyed working with the youth of Lowell and exploring nature in the city!

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
Because of Her Award - Jane Calvin, Executive Director Lowell Women's Week 2014
Salute to Women - Jane Calvin, Executive Director The Lowell Sun 2014
Congressional Citation - for environmental education students' “hard work, dedication, and stewardship projects on Lowell’s rivers and special places" Congresswoman Niki Tsongas 2012
National Historic Preservation Award Daughters of the American Revolution 2012
Historic Preservation Award Lowell National Historical Park 2007
Massachusetts Preservation Award - Spalding House MA Historical Commission 2000
Certificate of Excellence in Environmental Education MA Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs --
River Steward Award Sudbury-Assabet-Concord River Stewardship Council --

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals) --
Associated Grant Makers --
Land Trust Alliance --
New England Museums Association (NEMA) --
River Network --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
Land Trust Alliance 2014

Collaborations

LP&CT collaborates on numerous levels, including the public schools and Mass Audubon for our after-school program; other land trusts to promote urban land conservation; other non-profits within Lowell to co-host our programs (Mill City Grows, Lowell Film Collaborative, Doors Open Lowell, Tsongas Center, etc.).  We have a strong collaboration with the City of Lowell to support community forestry efforts and the establishment of the Concord River Greenway.  Collaborating with others is an instrumental component of our ability to be successful in our misison.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 2
Number of Part Time Staff 3
Number of Volunteers 296
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 4
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 4
Male: 1
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration Yes

Risk Management Provisions

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Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Governance


Board Chair Dr. Mark Romanowsky
Board Chair Company Affiliation primary care physician
Board Chair Term Jan 2010 - Nov 2019
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Maxa Berid retired lawyer NonVoting
Angeline Castillo college student NonVoting
Brian Chapman Mill City Environmental Voting
Christine Cole Harvard University, Kennedy School Voting
Matthew C. Donahue Esq. Eno, Martin & Donahue Voting
Jonathan Geer retired state employee Voting
Sheila Kirschbaum Tsongas Industrial History Center Voting
Christine McCall City of Lowell Voting
James O'Hearn Enterprise Bank Voting
Dr. Mark Romanowsky primary physician Voting
Tiffaney Ross environmental consultant NonVoting
Sopheap Theam Light of Cambodian Children, video producer Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 8
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 6
Male: 6
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 70%
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • Audit
  • Executive
  • Personnel
  • Program / Program Planning

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

We do have a board manual, which can be made available upon request. 

Foundation Comments

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2017 to June 30, 2018
Projected Income $341,596.00
Projected Expense $309,078.00
Form 990s

2017 Form 990

2016 Form 990

2015 Form 990

2014 Form 990

2013 Form 990

2012 Form 990

Audit Documents

2017 Audit

2016 Audit

2015 Audit

2014 Audit

2013 Audit

2012 Audit

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $283,405 $261,544 $342,527
Total Expenses $289,173 $256,425 $265,430

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $28,000 $32,000 $32,000
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $28,000 $32,000 $32,000
Individual Contributions $246,262 $196,244 $296,120
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $3,516 $107 $10,484
Investment Income, Net of Losses $162 $244 $24
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $5,465 $32,949 $3,899
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $246,428 $222,052 $212,613
Administration Expense $38,090 $32,433 $42,730
Fundraising Expense $4,655 $1,940 $10,087
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.98 1.02 1.29
Program Expense/Total Expenses 85% 87% 80%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 2% 1% 3%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $1,408,674 $1,429,518 $1,402,759
Current Assets $323,501 $350,808 $305,163
Long-Term Liabilities -- $0 $0
Current Liabilities $5,792 $35,534 $10,395
Total Net Assets $1,402,882 $1,393,984 $1,392,364

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $35,226.00
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 6.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 55.85 9.87 29.36

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Please note that our total assets above reflect the value of the land we hold in perpetuity as conservation land.  Most properties are valued at market rate in our audit.  
 
The Endowment mentioned above is a discretionary endowment for our organization as a whole.  We have several other small endowment related to conservation lands that we manage, as well as for the Spalding House.  These cover a portion of the annual expenses for each property. Our conservation property endowments are all held at the Greater Lowell Community Foundation. We also hold a Conservation Easement Fund and a Reserve Fund at the Lowell Five Bank.  LP&CT adds $5,000 annually to the Reserve Fund, which is now valued at:  $53,400.
 

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above are per the organization's IRS Form 990s. In-kind, Government and Foundation & Corporation revenue breakout detail was provided by the organization. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

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2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

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3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

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4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

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5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

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