The American Heart Association Value Proposition

Uncovering the strategic value of a 95 year-old organization.

verynice was brought on by the American Heart Association in 2016 to help the organization define the preferred strategic value proposition for the future of the organization. After 10 months of workshops, ethnographic research, and future forecasting, we developed a report and series of strategic recommendations to guide the 95 year-old organization as it works toward fulfilling the strategic value proposition through 2030.




Matthew Manos


Jake Dunagan


Kraig Tytus


Megan Tremelling


Alisa Olinova

Kate Manos

Olivia Sy


Anne Boyson

Bergur Ebbi

Ryan Hogan

Greg Ruben


To arrive at these statements and directions, verynice conducted a series of research studies, expert workshops, and user and stakeholder interviews. Our first report, the "Existing Value Proposition Audit" documented the current perceived and current projected value of the AHA. This portion of our research began with an audit of the ways in which the AHA "projects" its value to the public (analysis of social media, website, marketing collateral, etc.), and then shifted into an examination of the ways in which the public "perceives" the value of the organization (execution of stakeholder interviews, surveys, street intercepts, etc.). To learn more about our approach to value proposition design, download the Give All toolkit series.

To plan for 2030, we need to understand the multiple possibilities that may exist for the AHA. Our next report, "Landscape of Change 2016–2030" examined the major trends and emerging issues facing the AHA over the next 15 years. This report included research and forecasts into the future of work, healthcare, demographics and lifestyle change, science and technology, and philanthropy. To inform our work with insights from qualitative data, verynice also conducted one-on-one user research interviews with citizen scientists and biohackers, healthcare workers, inventors and entrepreneurs, researchers, community leaders, and policy makers and influencers.


Next, our two-day Strategic Value Proposition Workshop in Dallas generated a wealth of input from a diverse set of experts and began the process of identifying and mapping out a range of possible strategic value propositions for the AHA. Following the workshop, we synthesized our findings, and began facilitating a series of ongoing meetings with the working group in order to reflect upon the research to-date, and continue to collaboratively push new directions.

All of this work led to the development of a future-focused value proposition statement that differentiates AHA in the marketplace, and applies to both nonprofit and for-profit business models under the umbrella AHA brand. In addition, we developed new business models using our Models of Impact framework, uncovered relevant trends and emerging issues that would impact the organization moving forward using the Three Horizons methodology, and determined a series of directions, initiatives, and action items for realizing the strategic value proposition by the year 2030.

The American Heart Association is a catalyst to achieving maximum impact in equitable health and wellbeing.

In addition to the "hero sentence" of the statement, the language continues to provide further specificity of direction and intention:

In the United States and around the world, spanning all populations. Addressing overall health and well being, anchored in cardiovascular and brand health.

Focusing on breakthroughs in science and technology; changes in systems and policy; and working with individuals and organizations to transform communities.

Through networks that collectively define and assure scientific integrity; invest in impact; influence action; connect across communities, sectors and nations.

To meet the needs of individuals.
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This statement has since become a catalyst of its own, inspiring a revised mission statement and focus for the organization from cardiovascular disease and stroke to total well being. In addition, the statement has lead to the development of new initiatives around health equity, exploration into alternative business models, and more.

Now, and in the next 15 years, the American Heart Association is a catalyst for change in communities, science and technology, and systems and policy. AHA is also an essential collaborator across networks. AHA is the partner of choice in meeting the needs of individuals, in support of the mission, and in achieving overall health and wellbeing, anchored in cardiovascular and brain health.


Let's work together!