The strategic planning process conjures up a number of sentiments among nonprofit professionals: stress about the time intensiveness of the process and balancing other priorities; fear about the potential implications of a change in direction for the organization; and excitement about the opportunity to deepen the organization’s impact and further its mission. No matter how strategic planning makes you feel, objectively, strategic planning is critical to nonprofit functioning. If done well, it is a data-driven and inclusive process through which an organization will improve its understanding of:
- The need for its services;
- Its unique abilities and positioning compared to others with similar offerings;
- Ways in which it can potentially leverage its strengths by partnering with others; and
- The potential obstacles and opportunities that stand to impact the organization (whether positively or negatively) in the future.
A strategic plan with clear metrics of success serves as a tool for assessment, discussion, and correction. Continue reading