mission Matters Does your NFP Organization have a Strategic Plan? February 15, 2018 Is your organization having trouble advancing its mission? A strategic plan is a crucial tool that can help your organization manage day to day tasks while simultaneously furthering its purpose—learn more. Looking to identify strategies that will enable your organization to advance its mission? A strategic plan is a documented plan that provides an organization with a sense of direction and outlines measureable goals for the organization’s future. This tool is useful for guiding day-to-day decisions and also for evaluating progress and changing approaches when moving forward. Developing a strategic plan can help alleviate the following five issues: External Environment: Some important forces or changes in our external environment can impact an organization. For example, legal forces, social, technological or economic. Mission: Is your organization achieving its mission with its current portfolio of programs? How can your organization have a greater impact? Business Model: How are your organization’s programs operating? Are they financially viable and can they be sustainable for your organization? Organizational Capacity: Is your organization operating at its capacity? Is there any room to maximize your organization’s human resources, information systems, organizational structure, etc.? Leadership: Is your board of directors and staff carrying out their respective roles and promoting leadership? At a minimum a strategic plan should include the following: The organization’s mission statement; An outline of goals and objectives; and lastly, An assessment of current resources; Creating an effective plan: First, your organization should review and develop its mission statement. An organization should clearly define its mission statement as part of the first step in completing a strategic plan. This will allow your organization to review its purpose and ensure it provides for a guide for years to come. Second, your organization should outline its goals and objectives. At this time, your organization should identify specific goals that they would like to reach in both the near and long-term. This will allow your organization to break down a broad mission statement into individual goals. Then to take it one step further, your organization should break these goals down into specific objectives. Your organization should give careful thought to its strategic objectives and provide quantifiable benchmarks for evaluating the results of these objectives. Lastly, your organization should assess its current resources. In order to create a strategic plan it is important to understand the necessary resources to accomplish this type of document. Does your organization have an adequate budget, expertise, skills and people involved? Who should be involved? Stakeholder engagement is crucial from both internal and external parties. This step is about developing a realistic understanding of what the organization needs or currently has available in order to move forward with creating a strategic plan. Need help getting started with your strategic plan? Contact me or any member of our Not-for-Profit Services Team.