Strategic Plan 2014 – 2018

This is a past version  that has now been superseded. See the current SAA Strategic Plan.


Strategic Plan 2014 – 2018

Vision, Mission, Values, Goals, Strategies, and KPIs
As Adopted by the SAA Council, January 24, 2014


VISION : The Society of American Archivists enables archivists to achieve professional excellence and foster innovation to ensure the identification, preservation, and use of records of enduring value.

MISSION : SAA promotes the value and diversity of archives and archivists. We are the preeminent source of professional resources and the principal communication hub for American archivists.

The Society of American Archivists is committed to:

  • Advancing the public standing of archivists.
  • Ensuring the diversity of its membership and leaders, the profession, and the archival record.
  • Fostering a culture of creativity and experimentation across the association.
  • Providing an open, inclusive, and collaborative environment.
  • Providing excellent member service.
  • Social responsibility and the public good.
  • Transparency, accountability, integrity, and professionalism in conducting its activities.

The following Goals and Strategies represent areas of focus for the next three to five years. The Goals articulate the outcomes that SAA would like to achieve and answer the question, “What will constitute future success?” The Goals are not necessarily identified in priority order, but are numbered to enable easy reference.


Society values the vital role of archivists and archives.


Archivists have access to the professional resources they need to be successful and effective in their careers.


Professional knowledge expands to keep pace with an increasingly diverse archival record.


SAA is an agile association that delivers outstanding service and fosters a culture of inclusiveness and participation.

SAA will

1.1. Provide leadership in promoting the value of archives and archivists to institutions, communities, and society.

1.2. Educate and influence decision makers about the importance of archives and archivists.

1.3. Provide leadership in ensuring the completeness, diversity, and accessibility of the historical record.

1.4. Strengthen the ability of those who manage and use archival material to articulate the value of archives.

SAA will

2.1. Provide content, via education and publications, that reflects the latest thinking and best practices in the field.

2.2. Deliver information and education via methods that are accessible, affordable, and keep pace with technological change.

2.3. Support the career development of members to assist them in achieving their goals.

SAA will

3.1. Identify the need for new standards, guidelines, and best practices and lead or participate in their development.

3.2. Foster and disseminate research in and about the field.

3.3. Participate actively in relevant partnerships and collaborations to enhance professional knowledge.

SAA will

4.1. Facilitate effective communication with and among members.

4.2. Create opportunities for members to participate fully in the association.

4.3. Continue to enrich the association and the profession with greater diversity in membership and expanded leadership opportunities.

The following Key Performance Indicators reflect what SAA views to be critical success factors in measuring progress toward the Goals. Activities are developed with the Goals and Key Performance Indicators in mind.

Key Performance Indicators

SAA provides an increasing range of resources that are useful in articulating the vital role of archivists and archives.

A cadre of influential advocates is available and eager to speak on behalf of archives as needed.

SAA members indicate that they are confident in speaking with the media and advocating for archives.

Archivists successfully advocate for increased resources.

Public awareness of and appreciation for archives and archivists are documented and increase.

SAA works effectively with partners on advocacy and public relations activities.

SAA actively fosters activities that result in diversity of and access to the historical record.


Member participation in SAA education programs increases, and evaluations of the quality, relevance, and accessibility of those programs indicate continuous improvement.

Sales of SAA’s publications increase, and evaluations of the quality, relevance, and accessibility of those publications indicate continuous improvement.

Readership of The American Archivist and The American Archivist Online increases, and evaluations of the quality, relevance, and accessibility of the journal indicate continuous improvement.

Participation in various aspects of SAA’s career development program (online career center, mentoring program, leadership development) increases among students, new professionals, mid-career archivists, and seasoned archivists.

Participation in the development of standards, guidelines, and best practices increases.

SAA participates in national and international collaborations in which representation of the American archival perspective is considered vital.

More archivists engage in research and disseminate their work.

Collaborative projects and research initiatives increase among SAA members.

An increasing number of allied professionals participate in SAA annual meetings and courses.


SAA has an effective and sustainable technology infrastructure that meets member and organizational needs.

Adoption of revenue-neutral, low-barrier tools enables broader participation by members in SAA activities.

Members indicate that their needs for formal (eg, section and roundtable) and informal networking are being met within the organization.

SAA’s membership and leadership are increasingly diverse.

Member surveys indicate that members feel valued and welcome within SAA.


Also available as a printable PDF.