Perhaps your organization has decided that it needs to develop THE Strategic Plan. What a great idea, you think, but how in the world do you get started? While you will want to involve the full board and key staff, the steps listed below provide some things to think about to guide your discussion.
Step 1: What is your vision?
In other words, what is the future that you want for the world that your organization has the potential to influence? It may be helpful to have all of the board members participate in an exercise to define their vision to ensure that you get everyone on the same page.[bctt tweet=”Clarify your vision before beginning the strategic planning process. #nonprofit #ministry” username=”Grantconsultant”]
Step 2: What is really important and what are we willing to negotiate on?
We all have those things that are non-negotiable in our lives, usually these are our values. Before moving forward, determine what you are not willing to negotiate…where is your line in the sand drawn?
Step 3: What do you need to do to accomplish your vision?
Now that you know your vision and what is really important, it is time to figure out how to get there. While this seems like a simple question, it contains several important considerations:
- What are our financial resources today? What financial resources are needed to accomplish our vision?
- What human resources do we presently have? How do our human resources need to change to get to where we want to go?
- What physical resources will be needed?
- Who do we need to partner with?
The answers to these questions are not easy and may not come quickly. To fulfill your vision will take planning time and thought. It is worth investing the time and energy.
Strategic planning is an investment in the future of the organization. Because it is an investment in time and energy, it is also wise to invest financial resources. Having a nonprofit consultant facilitate the planning process will enable all stakeholders to be involved. A nonprofit consultant also brings an external perspective—they are not emotionally connected to the organization and can help see options that those close to the organization may not see.
While the strategic planning process may bring together stakeholders for a retreat, the planning work continues with the development of an operational plan. Once a strategic plan has been developed, the next step is to assign due dates, responsibilities, etc. It is important to note that it is not the board’s responsibility to develop the operational tasks. Once a plan has been developed, it is the Executive Director’s responsibility to create an operational plan and implement it.
Is your organization ready to begin a strategic planning process? Contact us today to learn how we can help you.