Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture

Philadelphia, PA

Strategic Plan

Promoting knowledge exchange continually since 1785 to further the understanding and appreciation of agriculture – historical, current, and future – is the mission of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture, a non-profit and non-partisan organization.

In accordance with our mission, the Society aims to…

  1. Expand membership from a primarily agricultural audience to a broader range of interested people;
  2. Bring together leading authorities and the general public to share information;
  3. Support the career pathways that lead young people to occupations in the agriculture and food industry through scholarships, grants, and collaboration with others;
  4. Provide a mix of programming through in-person and virtual lectures, field trips, publications, and social media;
  5. Promote our historical collections of books and papers through our website and social media.

Strategic Objectives and Action Items with a 3-5 year planning horizon

  • Assure the sustainability of the organization by planning for and implementing good management practices.
    • Begin and complete the transition of the current Secretary to more sustainable staff leadership.
    • Implement a process of succession planning for incoming officers.
    • Provide multiple ways for interested parties – members and stakeholders – to contribute financially to the work of the Society.
    • Review the investments of the Society to simplify the portfolio where appropriate while reducing fees and maximizing return on investment.
    • Review existing corporate documents to ascertain the implications of desired changes (by-laws, incorporation, non-profit status)
  • Develop and implement a Communications Plan that is reviewed annually.
    • Implement a proactive program of outreach to colleague organizations and targeted audiences as a part of the Communications process.
    • Initiate a process with current members to see that all are able to use and communicate with social media platforms.
    • Extend and link lectures with our greatly improved website with various social medial platforms including YouTube, Facebook, and Linked In.
    • Develop and implement a process for assuring that the information that lecture providers bring is available for distribution.
    • Develop and share regular features related to our historical collections of books and papers via our communications channels.
  • Develop and implement a membership recruitment strategy to increase and diversify the membership of the Society.
    • Develop and implement an updated and sustainable model of membership that will allow for paying members and guests who are invited to virtual offerings.
    • Continue to promote institutional membership as an option for connecting to the Society.
    • Make a bigger push to involve groups and individuals from DE, MD, and NJ as well as PA in the life of the organization.
    • Include diversity, equity, and inclusion concerns in the program of outreach for the Society.
    • Thoughtfully consider the mix of virtual and in-person programs along with field trips to meet the needs of members for networking.
  • Support young people in their interests in farming, agriculture science, and technology as well as reaching out to organizations that address career development for students and young adults (college students, FFA, 4-H, Boy Scouts, and others)
    • Invite organizations to become affiliate members of the Society.
    • Provide financial support when possible to these programs.
    • Sponsor competitions to challenge and reward individual agriculture and food students.
    • Support and promote educational programming that stresses the school to work component of career pathways.
  • Maintain the quality and diversity of the programs and field trips that are offered annually.
    • Look for partnerships on the international, national, and regional level that could lead to joint programs and promotion.
    • Continue to reach out to resources to bring programs on new technology and market developments as well as on parts of the industry that are being reinvented.
    • Address the roles of agriculture production, food processing, agriculture education, and research and support roles in agriculture and food in program planning as possible.

Communications Plan

The mission of the Communications Committee is to:

  • Increase PSPA’s current membership
  • Increase online participation and in person attendance at meetings
  • Increase PSPA’s audience as measured by social media metrics
  • Increase donations to scholarship, library and other funds
  • Participate in the goal of knowledge exchange which is part of the PSPA mission
  • Serve the needs of the PSPA membership for relevant and timely information

Responsible for the following forms of communication:

  • Website
  • Social Media: LinkedIn and Facebook
  • Print advertising
  • Press releases

 The Committee will develop and implement a Communications Plan that is reviewed annually.

 Communications Plan with Action Steps

  • Develop a Communications Budget in collaboration with the Treasurer and Finance and Investment Committee
  • Identify colleague organizations and targeted audiences for PSPA communications in conjunction with the Membership Committee.
    • Develop a Prospect list in collaboration with the Membership Committee
    • Implement a proactive program of outreach through media listed above
  • Press Releases
    • Develop guidelines for what qualifies for a press release
    • Develop contact list for press releases
    • Identify volunteer who will write, distribute and be the contact person for press releases
  • Establish, grow, and maintain a social media presence in order to serve current members and attract new PSPA members and/or funding
    • Identify target audiences
    • Develop criteria for content and messaging
      • Presentations and lectures from PSPA meetings
      • Bigger picture trends that affect agriculture and food production
      • Member recognition: Highlight non-commercial scientific or ag-related  achievements of members
      • Promote library and archives
      • Scholarships and awardees
      • Fundraising
      • Others to be determined by Committee
  • Establish measurable goals for social media presence based on metrics (e.g. Google Analytics)


Typical Communications Cycle for Meetings (using May 2021 as example)

  • Day after lecture (May 7): story summarizing content on social media, inviting people to download the recording, join the Society, and attend the next lecture
  • Friday after that (May 14): teaser for next lecture (save the date) and promoting speaker on social media; announcement onto website
  • Tuesday after that (May 18): press release on next lecture to Philadelphia and farm press (including Lancaster Farming)
  • Wednesday after that (May 19): program and registration details on social media
  • Two Thursdays before program (May 20): send out emailing to appropriate emailing lists, including membership, prospects, and special lists
  • One Thursday before program (May 27): send out social media reminder
  • Next Program (June 3)


Work Plan 2021-2022

Communications Committee

  • Retain control of website and social media logins
  • Website management
    • Identify web support requirements
    • Select a new web hosting service and payment plan and terminate existing retainer agreement
    • Add new content monthly or as needed
    • Update online membership directory monthly (currently done once/year) by coordinating with Treasurer and Membership Committee
  • Select and phase in new social media platforms: Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, others in terms of how best to reach our targets
    • Obtain and implement a Social Media scheduling platform such as HootSuite
    • Develop a process to obtain and write content
  • Recruit a core group of people willing to gather content from various sources to feed into HS resource section on a regular schedule
  • Solicit content from all PSPA members, especially member’s non-commercial achievements and recognition
    • Appoint gatekeeper to prioritize, schedule, and publish content. Set a goal for number of posts per week.
    • Recruit a core group to respond to messages received on the social media platforms received through HS.
    • Communicate with current members re: PSPA’s social media platforms; encourage them to provide content, follow pages, and request help if needed
    • Work with membership to encourage signing up to social media
    • Retain control of membership and prospect emailing lists
    • Recruit people to assist in gathering news as it occurs