7 Keys to Developing a Strategic Plan
This month, the focus of the Patton McDowell & Associates blog is shifting from foundations to strategic planning. Today, with uncertainty in the economy and a greater focus upon responsibility, nonprofit organizations are revisiting past strategic plans and making changes to those plans or starting completely from scratch.
In order for a strategic plan to be successful, the organization must have a clear vision of where they are today and where they want to be in the future. No matter if the organization is writing a plan for the next one, three, or five years, they must create a strong foundation for both short-term and long-term success.
Whether you are a staff member or a board member, a strategic plan should focus on each of these key areas in order for the process to be successful.
- Define the purpose of the plan, and ensure that it is aligned properly with the mission and vision of the organization.
- Communicate goals and objectives clearly to the staff, the board, your donor base, and the public.
- Understand the priorities of your organization. Ensure those priorities are clearly defined within the plan.
- Make your goals measurable. Set a timeline to reach each of the organization’s goals and understand when each goal has been achieved.
- Gain everyone’s input. A strategic plan will only be successful if your stakeholders feel that they have been allowed to contribute.
- While building on the strengths of the organization is important, a strategic plan should also address any weaknesses that have been identified.
- A strategic plan should aim to increase productivity. Whether your plan is based around increasing memberships or raising the number of donors, a strategy needs to be implemented to increase the organization’s productivity in some way.