2020-2024 Strategic Plan of the National Safe Boating Council

This plan was approved at the General Membership Meeting on September 29, 2019 in Anchorage, AK. View the full plan here or the one page guide.

VISION: Helping create a safe boating experience for recreational boaters.

MISSION: The NSBC serves as a national catalyst for developing a safe boating culture by providing educational resources, outreach programming, and training opportunities for industry partners and the boating community to influence safe, secure, and responsible boating.


To advance recreational boating safety, the NSBC’s 2020-2024 strategic plan includes two goals:

  • Goal 1. Influence Boater Behavior: Foster a boating safety culture by connecting people to each other and providing educational resources, outreach initiatives and training programs.
  • Goal 2. Operational Sustainability: Cultivate relationships to increase engagement, grow membership, and diversify revenue streams to accomplish our mission.

Each goal is followed by objectives, strategies and progress measurements to support the NSBC in serving as a national catalyst for recreational boating safety. NSBC staff will continuously monitor progress in meeting the goals.


The NSBC will foster a boating safety culture by connecting people to each other and providing educational resources, outreach initiatives and training programs.

Objective 1.1. Connect People: Coalesce the boating safety community to identify needs and influence behavioral change among boat operators and passengers to strengthen a culture of recreational boater safety.

Strategy 1.1.1. Productive dialogue: Build communication pathways for frequent, productive dialogue within the recreational boating community to nurture relationships at all levels with strategic partners. 

Strategy 1.1.2. We > Me model: Identify shared goals and visions, collaborate and combine resources and efforts to promote a We > Me model.

Strategy 1.1.3. MOUs: Reinforce partnership commitments with Memorandums of Understanding expressing dedication to our shared mission.

Measurement: Partnership participation including committee involvement, survey feedback, collaborative engagement, membership commitment.

Objective 1.2. Educational Resources: Influence safe boating behaviors by providing impactful and engaging educational resources to support the recreational boating safety community.

Strategy 1.2.1. Quality resources: Create quality boating safety educational resources to encourage safe boating behaviors.

Strategy 1.2.2. Robust distribution: Distribute boating safety messages and materials as well as promote the availability of educational resources to partners, NSBC membership, and stakeholders to ultimately reach boaters.

Strategy 1.2.3. Expand communications: Maintain a presence and expand general communications and awareness outreach to our partners, NSBC membership, and stakeholders through current and emerging digital and social media.

Measurement: Qualitative feedback, formal surveys, digital analytics, social media engagement, inventory resources reports.

Objective 1.3. Outreach Programs: Influence behavior change to strengthen a culture of recreational boating safety by implementing national outreach programs.

Strategy 1.3.1. Social change messaging: Create and advance social change messaging where applicable throughout NSBC programs. 

Strategy 1.3.2. Leverage partners: Identify, support, and expand communication efforts with program partners and members to grow the impact of boating safety programs.

Strategy 1.3.3. Grow national reach: Increase the nationwide reach of programs by strengthening our network of program partners and equipping them with educational resources.

Strategy 1.3.4. Further Waves of Hope: Further Waves of Hope, positioning it as the why behind recreational boating safety with a network of families and first responders focused on preventing future loss of lives on the water.

Strategy 1.3.5. Best practices and recognition: Validate those who are leaders in recreational boating safety through development of marketing best practices and annual awards.

Measurement: Qualitative feedback, formal surveys, digital analytics, social media engagement, inventory resources reports. Engagement and growth of the Waves of Hope network, participation from families at IBWSS and other venues where we provide networking and training opportunities, support of state agencies and first responders. Impact of marketing best practices. Annual awards presented at the International Boating and Water Safety Summit and the NASBLA Annual Conference.

Objective 1.4. Training Programs: Expand and enhance recreational boating training programs positioning NSBC as a strong powerboat training leader.

Strategy 1.4.1. Classroom training: Grow the classroom training program of the NSBC and determine best practices for marketing this course.

Strategy 1.4.2. Online training: Leverage NSBC’s existing online training program to reach more boaters with this free resource. 

Strategy 1.4.3. On-water training: Expand NSBC’s on-water powerboat training program as the norm for boat owners and maintain third-party course verification.

Strategy 1.4.4. Instructor network: Continue to grow NSBC’s network of certified instructors and instructor trainers, including development of a NSBC instructor policy manual and establishing a geographic network for distributing materials: certifications, re-certifications, information and communications updates, professional development opportunities, and course reporting.

Strategy 1.4.5. Program integrity: Coordinate and collaborate with instructors, NSBC members, and stakeholders to ensure the integrity of the NSBC training program, and support the development and implementation of recreational boating standards.

Measurement: Number of courses taught, number of instructor candidates completing the course, engagement with instructor trainer and instructor network, instructor membership numbers, instructor binder and training manual sales, net income from courses, third-party verification, instructor policy manual.


The NSBC will cultivate relationships which advance its vision and mission with a focus on increasing engagement, growing membership, and diversifying revenue streams.

Objective 2.1 Relationships: Seek new opportunities to engage with partners, collaborate, and provide resources to advance the vision and mission of the NSBC and benefit the recreational boating community. 

Strategy 2.1.1. RBS Strategic Plan: Annual assessment of NSBC strategic plan to ensure alignment with the U.S. Coast Guard’s Strategic Plan of the National Recreational Boating Safety Program and non-profit federal grant opportunities. 

Strategy 2.1.2. New engagement opportunities: Seek new opportunities to engage with partners, collaborate, and provide resources.

Measurement: Feedback from the U.S. Coast Guard, annual grant award amounts, evaluation of effectiveness of programming and resources, expand partner base, formal surveys, outreach events, public reach.

Objective 2.2. Membership: Expand and increase member benefits and engagement. 

Strategy 2.2.1. Quality communication: Provide ongoing and quality communication with members to ensure we are meeting their needs. 

Strategy 2.2.2. Growth and retention plan: Evaluate revised dues structure and modify individual categories as necessary to maintain consistent growth. Continue developing member attraction and retention plan.

Strategy 2.2.3. Cross-platform engagement: Provide valuable updates and communication with members via newsletters, Anchorline, social media, and personal interaction with NSBC staff.

Strategy 2.2.4. Membership growth and consistency: Increase membership to exceed 1,000 members and consistently generate > $50,000 annually in membership dues.

Measurement: Survey feedback, digital analytics, social media engagement, and operations income from membership, qualitative feedback, membership committee reports. 

Objective 2.3. Revenue Streams: Diversify and grow revenue streams.

Strategy 2.3.1. Unrestricted revenue sources: Identify new sources for unrestricted revenue; new grant sources, membership growth, training, publications and resources sales.

Strategy 2.3.2. R3 Initiative: Develop a R3 (Recruitment, Retention, Reactivation) initiative with a focus on recruiting, retaining and reactivating NSBC membership. This may include pursuing new recreational boating and water safety opportunities and partnerships.

Measurement: Operations budget, net income from unrestricted revenue, publications sales, expand partner base, increased membership from expanded partner base, NSBC Online Store sales.