Strategic Planning for Non-Profit OrganizationsSeptember 13, 2019
One of the key roles of a non-profit board of directors is to set organizational direction. Strategic planning is the process by which most boards determine the organization’s long-term goals and then identify the best approach for achieving those goals. This long-term visioning and planning is critical to the long-term success of a non-profit. The strategic plan will then guide the work of the organization as it is operationalized by staff.
When embarking on a strategic planning exercise to set priorities and direction for an organization, the board is asking itself a series of questions:
- Where are we now?
- Where do we want to be?
- What impact/good do we want to achieve?
- How will we get there?
- Who must do what to get there?
- How will we know how we are doing?
These questions can be answered through a four phase process:
- PREPARE: Gather relevant information on the issues facing the organization and engage stakeholders. More about Preparing for a Strategic Planning Process.
- DEVELOP: Develop strategic options and refine them to specific goals and objectives. More about Developing a Strategic Plan.
- EXECUTE: Create an implementation plan with the appropriate resources and built in metrics to measure success.
- MONITOR: When implementing, create regular reporting on measurable objectives to ensure the disorganization is meeting its objectives and refine the implementation plan as needed.