Strategic Planning for Nonprofits

In today’s dynamic economic, political, and competitive environment nonprofit organizations need to continually fine tune their Strategic Plan. And, if your organization doesn’t have a Strategic Plan, then you need to develop one now. Why? Because these significant changes are affecting members, constituents, and business partners in ways that can have a significant impact on your organization. The unprecedented growth of digital technology and social media can create alternatives for your constituents that can impact the relevance of your organization and its strategy.

Your Strategic Plan needs to specifically address the most important current market trends, issues, and opportunities that are affecting your organization and its members. The Strategic Plan doesn’t need to be overly complex but it should:

  • Define your organization’s goals and the specific initiatives and resources required to achieve them.

  • Clearly define your constituencies – those that the mission of your organization will impact the most.

  • Be clear about your organization’s mission and brand promise to your members.

  • Create, package, and deliver information and services that provide clear value to your members.

  • Optimize your product portfolio so that it delivers solutions for your members and delivers the results that your organization needs.

  • Price your products and services so that they are competitive and match the value expectations of your members.

  • Develop and deliver your products and services on media platforms (web, mobile, video, social) your members prefer.

  • Seek continuous innovation for your products, business models, and operations.

  • Fine tune your marketing programs and push for breakthrough creative and operational performance.

  • Be Social. If you don’t have a Social Media game plan, then develop one that engages your members with your brand.

  • Streamline your operations – Organization Structure, Operational Processes, and Decision Making. And, do what it takes to develop your most important assets – your staff.

  • Set realistic financial goals and establish specific metrics to measure your performance. Manage your margins, invest in growth opportunities, and have patience.

Try to make your Strategic Plan as simple as possible. It’s easy to make it complex and difficult to implement. Set a few significant and tangible goals that you can achieve with some significant stretch. Get your staff involved in developing your plan. If they are involved in the Strategic Planning process, then they will understand it, embrace it, and make it happen.


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