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Strategic Planning

What is Strategic Planning?

Strategic planning may be characterized as a continuous process that enables an organization to determine where it wants to go in the future and how it systematically wants to get there. When done properly, strategic planning encompasses a careful examination of (1) the purpose(s) of the organization, (2) the environment in which it operates, (3) what it hopes to accomplish, and (4) the resources available to achieve these goals. From this, it then is possible to set out well-defined plans, activities, time lines, and budgets. A strategic plan typically includes an evaluation component to determine how effective the organization has been in setting its directions and whether any "mid-course" adjustments are necessary.

Generally, strategic planning encompasses both long-range planning as well as strategic planning. Long-range planning usually precedes strategic planning and describes what the organization should look like at the end of a three to five year period. Strategic plan defines the business plan that will be used to get there.

Why Should Your Organization Do Strategic Planning?

Why is planning so important for an organization? Planning is both an outcome and a process. In fact, the process of planning is at least as important as the plan itself.

Planning determines the focus -- where you are going -- and it outlines your strategies for getting there. Planning ensures that the organization is meeting a community need. Planning also helps you monitor your progress along the way, determining how you are going to your goals. It strengthens your accountability, declaring who is to do what, and provides a foundation for management. 

Finally, planning positions your organization to maximize success.

What services are available?

I offer customized assistance to nonprofit organizations ranging from facilitation at a board retreat to ongoing work with the organization's staff, board and volunteer committees to assess perceptions and needs and provide training to maximize collaboration, effectiveness and success. 

Click here for more information on the strategic planning process. 1999-2003