Strategic Plan

WHALE’s Board of Directors adopted an ambitious new strategic plan. The plan is intended to chart the organization’s course for the foreseeable future.

“The next chapter in a tale of ordinary people who do extraordinary things”. 

Planning for the future inevitably involves a certain amount of looking back at the past. Many of us know the story of WHALE’s founding and emergence as a response to the disinvestment in New Bedford’s downtown core and the looming threat of Urban Renewal. The seed that was planted then would grow into a remarkable story of preservation, partnership, creativity, resilience, and sheer dedication to community.

Planned or not, WHALE’s activities and projects put the organization at the forefront of historic preservation, community development, adaptive use, and public-private partnerships.

WHALE’s impact over the years has been due in large part to its ability to partner, to lead, and to show what is possible. As we embarked on this strategic planning process it was with the mindset of building on our past to chart a path forward that is focused on partnership, community, and engagement for the future of New Bedford.

The New Bedford of 2024 does not look like the New Bedford of 1962, 1972, or even 2002. WHALE’s role in over 75 projects has helped craft the landscape that people see when they travel through the city.

This plan marks a new chapter for WHALE. Our roles in New Bedford and the region is needed more than ever. There are major changes, issues, and initiatives upon us now and ahead. How can we be a better leader, educator, connector, and advocate for preservation and for New Bedford? How can we maximize our impact while sustainably growing for the future? How can we partner with others to strengthen our collective efforts for the city and its people?

WHALE is pleased to share our latest strategic plan that is intended to be ” the next chapter in a tale of ordinary people who do extraordinary things”. 

This plan was developed with Zapalac Advisors and generously funded by:


New Bedford Economic Development Corporation