Click to view Strategic Direction 2017_Measurable Results in original/printable document form
Thanks to the ongoing and generous support of our railroad and industry partners, the successful receipt of several grant awards, and the dedication of our Board of Directors and Authorized Volunteers, MNOL was able to leverage hundreds of volunteer hours and thousands of contribution dollars to reach a conservative estimate of 1.25 Million people in the state over the past twelve months with our life-saving, tragedy-preventing messages.
Increasing People – In addition to well over 300 formal presentations allowing our OLAV team of 114 to reach 10,000 people and community events throughout the state reaching over 15,000 people, we successfully executed two grant-funded projects reaching no less than 1.15 Million people – and counting!
Increasing Initiatives – We were able to repeat successful initiatives like our partnership with Chet’s Shoes enabling us to have our PSAs on the radio during the Minnesota State Fair, secure innovative new ones like our High School Safety Challenge which exposed brand new audiences to our messages, and participate in many other activities and events like station visits with Metro Transit, ST3 mascot appearances, and outreach to photographers – all with big impact on communities across our state!
Increasing Outreach – We added Instagram to our existing Facebook and Twitter accounts and through increased engagement and targeted promotions, our following increased by an equivalent of 32% of our current followers!
Increasing Recognition – Thanks to our partnership with the Minnesota Transportation Museum and the reception of visitors to our joint booth at the Minnesota State Fair, this year the Minnesota Operation Lifesaver booth was moved to a location that not only allowed us more space to create an interactive experience, but also a much busier location enabling us to impact well over 30,000 visitors!
Increasing Awareness – We participated in recognizing the first ever US Rail Safety Week in September and thanks to the support of our volunteers, board members, partners, and communities 692 people were reached through 18 facilitated presentations, nearly 3,000 people were reached through 10 community events, 55 radio stations played 784 thirty-second PSAs reaching 373,000, 71 radio stations played 1,065 ten-second safety messages reaching 317,275, 8 movie theaters played 3,304 thirty-second PSAs reaching 40,960, and 60 Intox Box units played 199,000 fifteen-second PSAs reaching countless more – all just during this one week!
As we continue to gain recognition as the ‘go-to’ statewide rail safety education organization, our requests to partner with corporations, organizations, communities, local law enforcement, state agencies, and more continue to grow. With support from partners like YOU we can continue to make impacts like these and more. In this document we’ve compiled even more details regarding the efforts we made over the past year to accomplish the goals we set for ourselves. If you take the time to read through them we’d love your feedback on what goals you’d like to help us accomplish in 2018 and beyond!
Maintained and enhanced our existing Volunteer relationships by:
- Continued to foster good communication with all volunteers, via regular presentation and event requests, social media, and bi-monthly eNewsletters
- Ensured access to program leadership and Coach Trainers by sharing invites when State Coordinator or a Coach traveled to an area outside of the Metro
- MNOL Board President sent personal thank you letters to each of our top participating volunteer team members
- Coordinated one standard Face-to-Face for new OLAV team members
- Continued to develop our Outreach and Advisory Committee giving volunteers a place to be a part of the planning and decision making end of our annual events, activities, and projects
- Continued to support our OLAVs by ensuring access to adequate resources, providing supplies for several major events, drivers education classes, as well as contributions of Operation Lifesaver items for charities they support to spread our own recognition as well as show our support of our volunteer team members personally
Grew and Fostered our relationships with Media Partners by:
- Proactively contacted media partners throughout the year for major issues including trespassing, US Rail Safety Week, Operation Clear Track and more
- Coordinated with KARE11 on a story aimed at curbing trespassing on railroad property for photography
- Coordinated with MnDOT to release a statement about staying off railroad property during summer activities and when taking warm weather photos
- Assisted a St. Cloud University student in a story aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of trespassing on railroad property to fellow students
- Participated in Officer on a Train event with media from Star Tribune and Fox9 in Hopkins
- Spoke with the MN Commissioner of Agriculture on joint interviews with the Red River Farm Network and the Brownfield Ag Network during US Rail Safety Week
- Interviewed with the Minnesota News Network to officially launch MN Rail Safety Month
- Interviewed live at the Minnesota State Fair as part of our partnership with CHETs Shoes on AM980
- Supported efforts of OLAVs to submit approved letters to local media as well as photographers
Continued to strengthen our relationship with the Public by:
- Increased the number of people reached through our presentations in the first 10 months of 2017 by over 25% compared to all of 2015
- Increased our social media following by over 50% in November of 2017 compared to those following us in November of 2015
Created and Strengthened Relationships with our Strategic Partners
- Coordinated demonstration of the Operation Lifesaver message at all 10 regional workshops of the MDTSEA (Minnesota Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association) as well as at their annual conference
- Worked with our partners to honor their requests to help promote the Operation Lifesaver safety message through four events at the North Shore Scenic Railroad in Duluth, two events at the St. Paul Union Depot, events at and with the Minnesota Transportation Museum
- Promoted the inclusion of Rail Safety to the Towards Zero Deaths (TZD) Coalition members at the Metro Regional TZD Workshop as well as the Annual TZD Conference
- Supported the efforts of Metro Transit and the St. Paul STOP4ME Campaign by participating in several spring awareness events to educate pedestrians and drivers about making safer decisions
- Worked with the MN Governor’s Office to connect us with the Office of the Commissioner of Agriculture who supported our safety message through two joint interviews aimed at drivers of agricultural equipment and trucks during US Rail Safety Week
- Promoted our rail safety message as well as volunteer opportunities at the Minnesota Crime Prevention Association’s Annual Conference
- Promoted our Law Enforcement partnerships and educational resources at the Annual Minnesota Chief’s of Police Executive Training Institute and Expo
- Welcomed new Volunteers from Towards Zero Deaths Coalitions, Twin Cities & Western Railroad, BNSF Railway, and Minnesota Transportation Museum
- Worked to expand our safety partnerships including Coon Rapids and FAIR High Schools, City of Minneapolis, New Ulm and Hopkins Police Departments
- Continued to foster relationships with our existing industry and organization partners through good communication including via our quarterly enewsletter, social media and regular updates as well as instituting our new word press page for posting information like grant reports and our strategic action plan for partners to view on-demand and partner recognition there as well as on our MNOL page for RSW and other events throughout the year
Maintained a strong relationship with Operation Lifesaver, Inc.
- Completed the State’s Annual Report by the annual deadline
- Continued to utilize and promote the See Tracks? Think Train! Campaign, new PSAs, and other new materials being developed by OLI
- Annually review OLI’s Membership Benefits & Standards document
- Attended 2017 State Coordinator’s Summit including a presentation during the best practices session on 2016 digital outreach campaigns we executed
- Cooperated with the transition to the new OLI/State OL websites including volunteering to be a beta site tester state
Continued to identify new and innovative ways to deliver our safety message
- Supported including our branding where applicable relating to rail safety education in the state of Minnesota like:
- Chet’s Shoes/AM980 initiative during the Minnesota State Fair
- Stop4Me events held in St. Paul in conjunction with Metro Transit
- Charity event donations earning MNOL further recognition of our name and branding
- Worked with many partners to recognize the first ever US Rail Safety Week reaching around 700 people through 18 presentations and nearly 3,000 people at more than 10 events over just the course of a single week
- Thanks to grant funds and partner support during the first ever US Rail Safety Week we were able to coordinate:
- 55 radio stations playing 784 thirty-second PSAs reaching 373,000
- 71 radio stations playing 1,065 ten-second messages reaching 317,275
- 8 movie theaters playing 3,304 thirty-second PSAs reaching 40,960
- and 60 Intox Box units playing 199,000 fifteen-second PSAs
- 692 people were reached through 18 facilitated presentations
- Nearly 3,000 people were reached through 10 community events
- We increased our Facebook followers by 4.6% and our Twitter followers by 2.5%
- We participated in at least 7 Community Safety Camps, 2 of which were some of the largest in the state and 2 of which were first time invitations
Continued to use our growing recognition as the trusted source for rail safety education and information in our state to promote positive safety culture
- Worked with our partners at the Minnesota Transportation Museum to urge their visiting Dance studio to remove their ads depicting a person dancing in the center of a set of railroad tracks
- Thanks to our partners at MnDOT our US Rail Safety Week plans were discussed with the Governor’s Inter-rail Agency group
- Participated in the planning committee, attended and exhibited at the Annual Towards Zero Deaths Conference
Ensured transparency and adequate oversight in nonprofit operations
- Ensured all Board Members have viewed the current nonprofit legal modules developed by OLI Legal Counsel Sandy Pfau Englund as well as the current OLI Member Standards for state organizations
- Coordinated a year-end Strategic Session to review our goals and strategy for 2018 and beyond
- Instituted a new Governance Committee to review in-depth our current policies, insurance coverages, and bylaws
- Achieved the bronze level for providing donors with quality information on our Guidestar profile
Practiced best principles for nonprofit operations
- Attended the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Annual Conference to gain further insight in nonprofit best practices, network, and bring back resources to grow and strengthen our organization
- Two Members of the Board and the Executive Director attended a multi-session training on how to build and grow a stronger and more sustainable Board of Directors
- Instituted a new Advisory Committee to assist with outreach planning, volunteer participation, and fundraising goals
Practiced effective financial management
- Successfully executed a Competitive Safety grant project reaching students and community members at two high schools in high-risk areas of the state. Twenty-nine of these student submitted poster ideas, videos, and radio PSAs that could be used to help impact their peers about making safer decisions around tracks and trains.
- Thanks to a grant from the Federal Highway Administration we successfully coordinated a multi-location PSA campaign featuring PSAs in 8 theaters for 9 weeks reaching nearly 370,000 people, PSAs on Intox Box units in bars and restaurants across the state running as many as 700,000 times per month for more than three months, and direct outreach to over 50,000 people at 30 events during the month of September and the Minnesota State Fair
- Successfully secured a partial scholarship to attend this year’s Minnesota Council of Nonprofits conference, saving precious funding to further support and recognize the efforts of our volunteer team
- Continued to work towards a sustainable budget through detailed budgeting, conservative use of resources, and seeking out new sources of funding
- Launched a Give to the Max Day campaign to inspire a new audience with Operation Lifesaver’s message and our mission, but to also give in support of it. The campaign runs through the end of 2017. Twin Cities and Western Railroad matched all their employee contributions and we’ve already gained several new supporters
- Continued to follow Operation Lifesaver, Inc’s best practices by employing a certified CPA to handle our payroll, bookkeeping, and annual audit to ensure transparency and accurate accounting of our finances
- We effectively leveraged our limited funding to reach over a million people with grants from the Federal Railroad Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, Operation Lifesaver, Inc, financial contributions from 15 of our state’s railroads, a grant from Abbott Downing, and other in-kind support from our partners including Metro Transit, the North Shore Scenic Railroad, BNSF Railway, the Minnesota Transportation Museum, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Canadian Pacific and more.