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Five Year Strategic Plan

Our Vision - Innovating For The Future

We believe in the power of the human-canine bond to unleash unlimited human potential. Our aspirational vision is to match everyone in need of an expertly trained Canine Companions® service dog at no charge, while maintaining the highest quality in standards.


2025 — that’s the year Canine Companions will reach our ambitious and aspirational goal to become the only service dog organization to provide service dogs — expertly trained, highest quality, free of charge — to all qualified applicants.

There are six pillars to our success:

infographic showing Canine Companion's 6 Pillars to success

Recognized Leader

Canine Companions will be the recognized leader in the service dog industry worldwide.

Key Steps Taken

  • Conducted research to determine the relevance and equity of the current brand.
  • Implemented a re-brand with a stronger brand strategy to position Canine Companions as the leader in the industry, including a new logo positioned around the human-canine bond, bolder and brighter brand accents, and a cleaner look and feel.
  • Implemented new taglines and messaging to further showcase leadership and update mission-related language to elevate our graduates.

Efficient and Effective Methods

Canine Companions will have the most efficient and effective methods for breeding, raising, selecting, training and placing high-quality service dogs.

Key Steps

  • Identify areas of existing inefficiency and adjust to optimize process.
  • Harness big data to focus on improved health, ideal temperament and cognitive profiles.
  • Explore ways to serve new constituencies.
  • Innovate to create new program processes and delivery methods.

Engaged Volunteers

Canine Companions will have a volunteer strategy and action plan to ensure volunteers are happy, engaged and utilized strategically to fulfill the needs of the organization.

Key Steps

  • Define and implement an ongoing education program.
  • Create an onboarding process and set of tools to ensure we welcome and engage new volunteers effectively.
  • Provide the technology infrastructure, support systems and tools to aid volunteers on an ongoing basis.
  • Create appreciation programs to ensure volunteers are recognized on an ongoing basis.
  • Define and implement ongoing communications to ensure optimal two-way communication.

Inclusive and Diverse Team

Developed an inclusion and diversity action plan to ensure we are welcoming to all communities. We are actively working to ensure we have removed unintentional bias from our processes and decision making, including applications, marketing, hiring and outreach. Both national and regional committees are reaching out to experts and community leaders to build a more inclusive and diverse organization at all levels.

Key Steps Taken

  • Developed project matrix for 14 areas of the organization undergoing review for unintentional bias and ways to focus on inclusivity for all, regardless of background. Projects are scheduled to roll out in 2021 and beyond.
  • Regions have established volunteer inclusion and diversity committees, made up of community members who are interested in taking inclusion and diversity at Canine Companions to the next level.
  • Providing ongoing education and opportunities for staff through training, paid community service hours and paid time for a religious holiday outside of existing holiday schedule.
  • Ongoing identification of best practices from leading corporate diversity programs for inspiration and implementation.

Strong Partners

Canine Companions will secure national strategic partnerships to elevate our mission and brand awareness and increase our ability to fund innovation, growth and strategies for the future.

Key Steps

  • Define potential areas of impact for strategic partnerships.
  • Identify organizations and foundations, and pursue opportunities.
  • Engage strategic partners in mutually beneficial projects.
  • Define parameters for strategic partnerships in terms of non-negotiable and negotiable conditions.
  • Create metrics to measure the success of partnership strategies.
  • Create employee, volunteer and board engagement strategies and plan to promote initiatives.

Growing Revenue

Canine Companions will align its strong revenue stream to support operations, capital projects and strategic initiatives.

Key Steps

  • Create plan to grow revenue over five years.
  • Plan and implement to increase reserve income.
  • Monitor giving trends, economic climate and tax law changes affecting philanthropic giving.
  • Implement best practices for metrics, revenue growth and income allocation.
  • Create plan to expand donor demographics.
  • Create strategy to plan for ongoing capital needs.

Interested in Supporting Our Future?

To learn more, visit or email

To donate, please visit

Canine Companions, National Headquarters, 2965 Dutton Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95407

Canine Companions for Independence is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Federal Identification Number: 94-2494324.