PMA Consulting, LLC

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.Future

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.

  1. Define the purpose of the plan, and ensure that it is aligned properly with the mission and vision of the organization.
  2. Communicate goals and objectives clearly to the staff, the board, your donor base, and the public.
  3. Understand the priorities of your organization. Ensure those priorities are clearly defined within the plan.
  4. Make your goals measurable. Set a timeline to reach each of the organization’s goals and understand when each goal has been achieved.
  5. Gain everyone’s input. A strategic plan will only be successful if your stakeholders feel that they have been allowed to contribute.
  6. While building on the strengths of the organization is important, a strategic plan should also address any weaknesses that have been identified.
  7. 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.

Image courtesy of: zirconicusso