by Sarah Williams-Salazar, MS
What is a Strategic Plan?
Businesses have business plans. Nonprofits have Strategic Plans.
The board of directors and executive staff of a nonprofit organization will periodically meet for a strategic planning workshop or retreat to set goals for the upcoming 3-5 years. Workshops can be anywhere from a half-day to two days or more, or spread out over several weeks. The discussion usually starts with an analysis of the organization’s current strengths and challenges and then will lead into a discussion about the future of the organization, and will finish with a breakdown of actionable goals and objectives. Typically, an outside facilitator guides the sessions and will provide a document summarizing the facilitated discussion, i.e. your Strategic Plan for the next 3-5 years.
Why do we need a Strategic Plan?
Whether your organization is in financial crisis, looking to change direction, or grow and expand, a strategic plan will get everyone focused and on the same page when it comes to the future of your organization.
Who will benefit from having a Strategic Plan?
Getting the board together to discuss the direction of the organization is vital to its future. Having a third party to facilitate the discussion provides an outsider’s professional point of view. The goals and objectives that are outlined in your plan will give the board and staff a focused direction and a template for the future with assigned roles, responsibilities and timelines.
“Few things are more detrimental to solving a problem than vague goals and ambiguous consequences.”
–Dr. Kenneth Roberson