CDF Strategic Plan

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January 1, 2015


The Board of Directors and staff of Celiac Disease Foundation developed this strategic plan with assistance from Executive Service Corps of Southern California (ESC) consultants. It provides Celiac Disease Foundation with a three-year roadmap for the future of the Foundation. The Board of Directors and staff will review progress quarterly and will review and update the plan annually as needed. CDF Strategic Plan

This plan was developed with broad involvement and guidance from the Board of Directors and staff. The Strategic Planning Committee, which directed this process, included five board members and two staff on the management team. This Committee met over an eight month period to reflect on the mission, vision, core operating values and assumptions underlying the Foundation’s approach to its mission.  These  meetings  set  the  stage  for  a  work  session  of  the  full  board  during  which  the organization’s strategic direction was defined. The staff helped coordinate the planning process and provided important support and analysis to complete this plan.

ESC facilitated the planning process. ESC worked with the Strategic Planning Committee to conduct an environmental scan including an internal organization assessment and interviews with community stakeholders and a review of community survey data. The environmental scan and organizational assessment helped Celiac Disease Foundation assess both the challenges and opportunities it is likely to face over the next three years and set the context for the choices reflected in this strategic plan.

Executive Summary

The Celiac Disease Foundation mission:

The Celiac Disease Foundation accelerates diagnosis, treatments, and a cure for celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity through research, education, and advocacy.

Our vision statement is a highly optimistic but credible shared dream of what is possible: By 2018, 1,000,000 Americans with celiac disease will be diagnosed and treated.

Background and History

Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF), a non-profit, public benefit corporation, was established in 1990 by Elaine Monarch to support the celiac disease community by funding important advocacy, education, and research initiatives. Today, under the guidance of a National Board of Directors and an internationally renowned Medical Advisory Board, the Foundation has grown to include a full-time staff in Los Angeles, California serving more than 5 million constituents annually . From sponsoring the first serology workshop, which led to today’s celiac disease blood test, to supporting clinical research, advocating on Capitol Hill for gluten-free labeling laws, partnering with mainstream manufacturers in creating today’s gluten-free marketplace, and offering a digital set of tools supporting diagnosis, treatment, and a cure, including the only patient initiated registry for celiac disease, iCureCeliac, CDF has played a crucial role in improving the lives of those afflicted and their loved ones. With a range of vital programs and services for the public, patients, healthcare professionals and the food industries, CDF is meeting the growing public health challenge of diagnosing and treating celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders.

CDF is actively involved with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), NIH Celiac Disease Awareness Program, National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC) and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), in the promotion of celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity concerns. CDF is a recognized member of Independent Charities of America (ICA), a nonprofit association of America’s best charities, and Health & Medical Research Charities of America (HMR), a nonprofit organization that pre-screens high quality national and international charities. CDF has received the GuideStar Exchange Gold participation level, a leading symbol of transparency and accountability provided by GuideStar USA, Inc., the premier source of nonprofit information.

Direction and Goals

The strategic direction and goals included in this plan are CDF’s response to what our constituency has indicated they value the most about the Foundation, and to the current opportunities and challenges for driving diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders.

The three-year period of this strategic plan will be a time of assessing and deepening CDF’s approach to our work. Concurrently, Celiac Disease Foundation will take more of a leadership role in working with a broader array of community resources, and will explore actively engaging more volunteers.

Under the direction of the Chief Executive Officer, and through the determination and commitment of our board, staff, volunteers, medical community and donors, we will focus on the following goals and objectives:

Goal #1: Achieve rapid diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease through expanded professional education programs and partnerships

  • Expand and create new educational programming and resources for healthcare providers
  • Support Research Initiatives, Studies and Clinical Trials

Goal #2: Achieve rapid diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease through expanded patient education and support programs and tools

  • Develop programs to reach specific populations with unique educational needs
  • Continue to increase awareness of CDF resources and educational programs
  • Leverage and expand CDF Team Gluten-Free to include patient advocates
  • Increase the knowledge of patients through breakthroughs related to celiac disease research

Goal #3: Advocate to influence private and public sector policies to improve the quality of life for all people affected by gluten-related disorders

  • Create a comprehensive effort to positively impact patients’ access issues, including access to providers, healthcare and dietary/non-dietary treatments
  • Obtain federal and state resources for celiac disease research, education and support

Goal #4: Increase annual gross revenue to support CDF’s mission through the development and expansion of revenue partner relationships with donors, prospects, corporate partners and event participants

  • Build robust processes and activities to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward major gifts from individuals, foundations, and corporations
  • Expand direct giving plan that integrates messaging across all communication channels including website, social media, email and direct mail
  • Develop new revenue streams by creating alliances with commercial entities
  • Expand CDF Team Gluten-Free fundraising efforts

Goal #5:  Develop national and regional organizational structures to advance volunteer and board development, fundraising, education and awareness

  • Continue to build a National Board of Directors that reflects diverse industries, backgrounds, and culture, is capable of opening important relationships to CDF for revenue development and mission delivery, as well as provides staff with valuable experience and knowledge to be leveraged on CDF’s behalf
  • Assure adequate staffing to achieve goals

Measuring Performance

Performance measurement is critical to sustaining the highest standards of excellence and is essential for clearly communicating our accomplishments to our constituency. CDF will engage all levels of leadership in matching outcomes, goals, objectives, and strategies to performance indicators that will specifically and annually measure progress toward our goals. Indicators will be transparent and updated regularly.


Successful implementation of this strategic plan will result in a significant increase in the number of people with celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders who are diagnosed and treated. We envision the Celiac Disease Foundation of 2018 as a Foundation that influences the important debates of the day and engages a far greater percentage of the celiac and gluten sensitive community. In short, the 21st century Celiac Disease Foundation will be an institution that fulfills its vast potential to improve the quality of life for all people with gluten-related disorders.

Strategic Plan CDF