In 2010, the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, faced the happy dilemma of their in-person classes being at capacity. They also had an incoming board chair who was an enthusiastic advocate of online learning, confident it was vital to the future of the Loft and that it would serve as his legacy to the organization. While an expanded online presence generally was envisioned in the Loft’s strategic plan, former Executive Director, Joceyln Hale, suspected a daunting level of investment would be needed to develop the expertise and resources needed to pursue online learning and other online priorities. Hale and her management team decided some research was required to determine the feasibility of adding online classes to their successful catalog of in-person classes.
After a successful pilot and an in-depth analysis of how the initiative fit into the organization’s vision, Hale and her team were able to galvanize the board and staff, raise the funds and effect the changes necessary to successfully implement online learning.