Prosper Waco's CEO reviews three years of organization & community advance


Final Report of the CEO

By Suzii Paynter March

Returning to Waco and leading Prosper Waco throughout the past several years has been a wonderful adventure in a wonderful city at a wonderful time (COVID not withstanding!). At Prosper Waco, we went wide in 2020, adding staff and vision. We went deep in 2021, serving the community in each focus area. And throughout 2022 we are going strong using collective impact strategies and advancing equity in Waco.

Prosper Waco is a maturing organization and it has been my great honor to see Prosper Waco take great steps forward and benefit the health, education, and financial security of Wacoans. Talent, discernment, and focus are important to Prosper Waco and because of talented staff and community support Prosper Waco has built a true capacity for analysis, implementation, and impact throughout Greater Waco. The health, education, and financial security portfolios of work have benefitted from collaborative projects and external funding. I hope my legacy is leaving strong roots for the future in 2023 and beyond.

PW Achievement 2019 – 2022

Vision Mission Strategy

  • Operationalized the vision of success for Prosper Waco as a backbone organization in health, education, and financial security on a three-year timeline. Strategy for success includes a quality professional staff of full-time employees.

  • Aligned goals of Prosper Waco with community goals — specifically goals of the City of Waco and at 15 community-based institutions in education, health, and financial security.

  • 2022 New Strategic Plan finalized with Board process for development. Data dashboard and community indicators in health education and financial security.

  • Cultivated a leadership role for Prosper Waco as convener, collaborator, and catalyst organization in all three sectors.

  • Adopted formalized statements and values for equity and operational practices to assess and address disparities in opportunities and outcomes. Prosper Waco group and project strategies are designed to build public will and leadership to address systemic inequities.

  • Developed common agenda focus in each area to shape policy and promote advocacy in support of selected community goals.

  • Developed and implemented a planned succession process to be able to prepare PW for the next leader by the close of the 2022 performance review timeframe.

Fiscal Management Resource Development

  • Strategically expanded budget from $600,000 to $2 million budget to support the mission of Prosper Waco..

  • Created new funding models for PW by deploying a more active and diversified Advancement Committee that has yielded new gifts this year from new contributors and event-based funding and sponsorships for programs and other initiatives of PW.

  • Held fundraising event at Magnolia Table hosting new friends for Prosper Waco and potential donors and partners.

  • Extended our development of grants to new funding partners beyond Waco foundations and engaging statewide funding partners bringing PW into alignment with large scale implementations in education, workforce, health, and behavioral health.

  • Designed and supported a braided funding structure that can sustain endeavors benefiting the greater community by securing, mapping, and tracking all grants, funding, and expense streams.

  • Added considerable detail and depth to all fiscal and financial reports, recalibrating budget categories and budget lines into a more efficient, accountable, and reportable structure.

  • Established shared measurement practices toward measurable improvement in the community using disaggregated data to reflect the landscape of needs, gaps, assets, and trends.

  • Created HR processes and guidelines while expanding the personnel handbook and staff structure to include integrated staffing positions (16), supervision and performance review and robust internship program for 6-10 graduate and undergraduate students.

  • Finance Committee is established for the Board of Directors.

  • Added SalesForce data and information management system as a core tool for Prosper Waco.

Program Development and Communication

  • Equipped PW with qualified professional staff in each portfolio area – health, education, and financial security. Established staff levels, administrative team, and internship program.

  • Achieved significant growth in impact with streamlined focus for a three-year strategy – we have added engaged partner organizations to multiply the effectiveness of each program and initiative area.

  • Adopted a prioritized structure for financial security work based on the City of Waco Economic Empowerment Blueprint emphasizing six areas of priority.

  • Operationalized WacoRoundtable – a robust open-source community data platform with 125+ indicators, capable of producing one pagers, Excel sheets of data, and other exportable information with race, age, indicator disaggregation, and specific to neighborhood level where available.

  • Based on detailed analysis and partner participation, PW incubated research-based models as hosted programs to be used as pilot projects or as a catalyst where there were critical gaps in the community. Developed and strengthened community partners in their selected roles to produce a ROI (return on investment) for each partner.

  • Much improved community visibility of City of Waco partnerships, staff engagement, and shared funding with partner organizations through PW Newsletter, Act Locally Waco, news media outlets, and social media coverage. Participating in community organizations and taking advantage of public relations opportunities.

  • Waco Prospers! Events and presentations in significant areas for Waco – Financial Security, Behavioral Health, Waco Snapshot.

Suzii Paynter March is CEO of Prosper Waco. She informed the PW Board of Directors earlier this year that she would be stepping down Nov. 11, and the Board is now in the process of securing a new CEO for Prosper Waco.