strategic initiatives

Our roadmap to success

The key components of a successful nonprofit are a strong Case for Support coupled with a detailed Strategic Plan.  For the past 19 years, we have diligently updated both of these documents to reflect our mission and purpose in our Case for Support and the strategies and tactics we plan to employ to fulfill our mission as outlined in our Strategic Plan.  With the help and generosity of thousands of people, we work diligently to pursuing our vision and ensuring that we measure our success with mission impact, efficiency and effectiveness in our daily operations.  Our guiding precedent is our Vision 2020 Strategy Map, with detailed initiatives as outlined on this page. As always, please contact our Founder and CEO with any comments or questions at

While we are pursuing the initiatives outlined below, we are currently in the planning phase for drafting our new strategic plan, Vision 2030 and Beyond, that will guide our efforts beyond our 20th Year anniversary.  This plan, while still in the draft phase, has been the labor of efforts of a small committee and was recently unveiled at the June 2019 Annual Meeting.  A snapshot of the initiatives is available here and plans are underway to garner input from the various constituent groups of the FPS community.  Any questions, please contact Marci at the above email and phone.

For Pete’s Sake Strategic Plan: Vision 2020

Continued Impact and Program Growth for Families Facing Cancer

For Pete’s Sake Cancer Respite Foundation has four main areas of focus for our Strategic Plan. These four main themes are then supplemented by additional pursuits as follows:

1.EXTERNAL STAKEHOLDER FOCUS (1.0): Of Donor and Mission Recipient

  • Recognition and Results (i. impact) paramount to the organization’s existence!
  • 13 years of Outcome Data from both Oncology Professionals and Patients
  • Last year alone – 141 oncology professionals (79 of whom were oncologists) responded to the pre and post respite survey with 100% reporting post respite improvement in the patient’s coping with cancer, the caregiver’s coping with cancer and the children’s coping with cancer!
  • Formal research study with patient, caregiver and children: 4th year of data and will formalize results in the following four areas: 1) creating and improving family channels of communication 2) patience compliance with future treatment 3) impact of joy and mental break with generating more positive outlooks on life with cancer and 4) strengthening family relationships.

2. FINANCIAL STEWARDSHIP (2.0): 3 Key Components

2.1.  Ensure Financial Stability

  • Endowment: Launched three years ago and have raised over 1.5 million dollars. Explore lead gift to endowment with impact to promote sustainability, credibility and inspiration to empower others to become involved with FPS; will look for a total match of potential $1,000,000 to complete goal; also promote $100,000 Family Fund concept to provide one week in perpetuity; this endowment is the key to ensure future growth.
  • Bolster our reserves: always focus on helping those in need yet need to be responsible to those in the future; on average, three families travel each week on an FPS respite vacation to various destinations; this is especially important in the ownership of two homes.

2.2.  Diversify Fundraising

2.2.1. Ensure revenue from varying sources to provide stability:

  • FPS Events – Continued excellence in regional signature events and 80+community events per year
  • Pete’s Partners, refining our corporate program
  • Monthly Memory Makers, promoting our monthly giving program
  • Young Friends Group Engagement, strengthen and expand
  • Partnerships in MD/DE and also New York –continued formalization with the New York Chapter with advisory board and walk extension in New York
  • High School Outreach including Take a Break Club and Bumping for a Break

2.3.  Focus on Branding of Mission

2.3.1. Take a Break Movement

  • Expanding the idea of taking a break and the role it plays in our own lives, with completion of website begin to develop resources for the Take a Break section that will educated patients, caregivers, extended family members and the general public

2.3.2. Pause on Purpose

  • We all need to take the moments to PAUSE, and Marci Schankweiler can share this messaging on a public speaking circuit.


3.1.  Ensure Continued Program Excellence:

  • Achieving success always focused on Excellence. As part of this, automate the program using Salesforce, a customized platform that meets the growing demands of FPS, to streamline program processes, improve data capture and effectively measure outcomes; focus on infrastructure, education and program expansion. We have completed Phase 1 of this process and have secured funding for Phases 2 and 3. The ROI is immediate as we’ve seen an increased amount of nominations processed through Phase 1 of implementation by our current staff level.

3.2.  PANO:

  • Only one of 200 charities nationwide certified under the Standards for Excellence Program – first in Montgomery County to receive this designation in 2005; highest standards in ethics and integrity in fulfilling the FPS mission.

3.3.  Technology:

  • Use of technology to assist in expansion – both development software platform and program automation with app integration for program management. We secured funding for our needs and are working on implementation.

3.4.  Transparency:

  • Complete transparency in all we do – Guidestar and our website contain all our data including financial statements, outcome measures, annual reports, etc.


4.1.  Employee Capability and Satisfaction:

  • We want to meet our goals with the happiest, most productive and enriched staff and volunteers in the nonprofit arena.

2020 Vision

FPS will impact several hundred families annually by offering both the respite travel break from cancer,  a break from cancer at home for those too ill to travel and continued outreach, education and ancillary support to address the emotional, psycho-social and spiritual needs of families facing this disease.  We will expand our travel destinations with extensive travel partner connections to ensure that each person on a FPS respite returns home a better version of himself/herself and a connected family unit – all led by a stable, successful, efficient nonprofit powered by personally enriched volunteers.