Mission & Strategic Plan

CoSA MISSION

Using collaborative research, education and advocacy, the Council of State Archivists provides leadership that strengthens and supports state and territorial archives in their work to preserve and provide access to government records.

CoSA Mission Statement Adopted by the CoSA Board of Directors and Membership, July 12, 2017.


Sustaining the Future, 2018-2022

CORE FUNCTION GOALS AND STRATEGIES AND OUTCOMES

RESEARCH: Conduct sound and timely data collection and analysis appropriate for understanding the evolving field of state archives and for informing public policy development.

CoSA’s education and advocacy programs rely on data about the state archives community to underpin funding proposals, awareness building, and advocacy. CoSA is seen as the source of reliable information about state archives and is sought out by others for it. CoSA uses the strength of collaboration and partnership to leverage resources, share expertise, and to solve problems.

Strategies

Network of State Archivists

  • Best practice and policy documents (ER, Disaster Preparedness, access/open government, leadership, diversity, etc.)
  • ARM and other surveys that assist in challenge and trend identification
  • Online Resource Center
  • White papers and research reports

Collaboration with External Stakeholders

  • ER Management (NASCIO)
  • 21st Century Leadership (SAA, Coalition to Advance Learning in Libraries, Archives, and Museums)
  • Best Practice s and Guidance Documents (NASS, NGA, NASCIO, COSLA, foundations and funders)
  • Mellon Foundation Grant on Technical Approaches to Email Archives

Success Indicators

  • A multi-year schedule of research and publication is developed and in use. It informs the work of committees and is a tool for fundraising and collaboration.
  • Two research-based publications are produced and widely distributed by CoSA each year.
  • 1-2 co-branded publications with allied organizations are produced and distributed annually.
  • CoSA research is cited in a minimum of five of other academic and popular publications, including news articles.
  • Uploaded materials to the online Resource Center increases by 10% annually and traffic to the Center grows by 20% per year.

EDUCATION: Provide scalable, flexible, and dynamic education and training solutions that meet the needs of members.

CoSA’s education and training programs respond to member needs and focus on improving state archival programs, no matter their size or level of operation. Noteworthy among recent national projects are IPER and SERI, which were funded with major federal grants from FEMA, IMLS, and NHPRC. Smaller scale education and networking occurs in annual meetings, monthly member and SERI webinars, periodic CoSA on Demand conference calls, listserv exchanges, the Awards Program, and the monthly newsletter. CoSA uses the strength of collaboration and partnership to leverage resources, share expertise, and solve problems.

Strategies

Network of State Archivists

  • Annual Meetings
  • CoSA On Demand
  • Listservs
  • Newsletter

Professional Development Services

  • Annual Meeting Sessions
  • Webinars
  • Listserv
  • Newsletter
  • Scholarships
  • Periodic symposia

Collaboration with External Stakeholders

  • Stakeholder briefing
  • Attendance at stakeholder meetings
  • Policy guidance (e.g. NGA guide)
  • Webinars and other education/training activities
  • Periodic conference calls
  • Personal contact with collaborative partners

Success Indicators

  • Private foundation funding for SERI is identified and the first gift is secured.
  • Number of participants in Member webinars, CoSA on Demand calls grows by 5-10% per year.
  • Social media participation grows by 10% per year and is largely self-generated.
  • CoSA is routinely tapped by external stakeholders for participation in related national projects.
  • Programs and services are driven by the needs of archives directors and staff or by broad issues and trends in the field and rely on stakeholder input for development and implementation.
  • Programs and services deepen relationships with archives directors and staff as evidenced by increased participation in CoSA programs and committees, social media activity, Awards Program nominations, and contact with CoSA staff and board members.
  • The majority of evaluations routinely indicate programs and services are highly effective in meeting their intended objectives.
  • Unique and repeat visitors to the CoSA website and Resource Center grow by 10% per year.
  • 2-4 new communities of interest are identified and formed with CoSA providing communication channels and other forms of support.

ADVOCACY: Be a strong, consistent, and well-recognized representative of member needs among policy-makers, funders, allied organizations, and the media.

CoSA advances the needs of its members to stakeholders and the public by acting as a clearinghouse for information, participating in policy and funding discussions, developing advocacy and awareness messages, and working in partnership with counterparts in allied organizations. CoSA uses the strength of collaboration and partnership to leverage resources, share expertise, and to solve problems.

Strategies

Network of State Archivists

  • Participation in awareness/advocacy planning, messaging, contacting policy-makers

Professional Development Services

  • Awareness/advocacy training
  • Development of materials for broad use
  • Reliable and timely information conduit

Collaboration with External Stakeholders

  • National Coalition for History
  • SAA, NAGARA, RAAC, NARA, NHPRC, LOC, NASCIO, NASS, NGA, COSLA
  • Retired state archivists and state archives staff participate in advocacy activities

Success Indicators

  • CoSA publishes an annual advocacy agenda and distributes it to members and allied organizations.
  • Advocacy materials are developed to support the agenda and are ready for use.
  • CoSA sponsors one advocacy training event for members each year.
  • CoSA representatives attend both NHPRC Commission meetings each year.
  • Members articulate the value that CoSA brings to their work and programs, both nationally and in their state or territory.

CoSA SUSTAINABILITY AND EXCELLENCE: To meet the changing needs of state and territorial archives and their staff by leading as an effective, forward-thinking, and financially viable organization.

Strategies

  • Develop and implement strategies for growing and diversifying revenue focusing on corporate and foundation support
  • Expand individual philanthropy for specific needs, such as the Leadership Award Fund and the Emergency Fund, and with honorary and memorial gifts
  • Further define and refine CoSA’s organizational structure to address committee and staffing needs, providing professional development as needed
  • Identify, cultivate, and recruit strong and engaged board leadership that provides guidance on advancing the organization and its mission and representation of its diverse constituents

Success Indicators

  • A multi-year schedule of fundraising is developed and in use, dovetailing with research, educational, and advocacy initiatives.
  • CoSA membership income increases by 2% per year.
  • Investment/Endowment grows by 8-12% per year.
  • 40% of CoSA’s member programming, research, and publications are supported, in part, by external funding sources.
  • Cash reserves represent 15% of annual budget.

Download a PDF copy of CoSA's 2018-2022 Mission and Strategic Plan

The Case for Sustainability

In an effort to plan for the future, a task force was formed in 2016 to investigate future operational and financial directions for CoSA that would ensure its viability in an increasingly challenging funding environment.

A preliminary task force report will be presented to the Board of Directors at is 2017 Mid-year Meeting. A final report will be presented to the membership at the Annual Meeting in Boise.

Download The Case for Sustainability

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