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Ten Keys – Ten Years Later: Successful Strategic Planning for Foundation Leaders

In 2004, TCC Group published a briefing paper entitled, “Ten Keys to Successful Strategic Planning for Nonprofit and Foundation Leaders.”

Ten years later, the philanthropic landscape has continued to evolve, and we offer an updated set of ten keys for funders considering a strategic planning effort. While this update focuses specifically on funders because of their unique challenges and opportunities, many of the lessons can be applied to operating nonprofits more generally.

Most notably, we have observed two distinct changes:

  1. The focus of the planning effort has shifted from the foundation to the social ecosystem in which the foundation is embedded (see Key #5).
  2. The relative importance of non-grantmaking roles in the strategy equation (see Key #8).

For the historically inclined, we include a table at the conclusion of this paper that compares the ten keys from 2004 with the ten keys from 2014.

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