You’re driving to a place you’ve not been to before. You don’t have a printed map nor a Global Positioning System (GPS) to navigate you. What’s the likelihood you’ll arrive on time? Slim! Worst, you might not even reach the place.
Well, a nonprofit operating without a solid strategic plan is like driving to an unfamiliar place without a map. It’s unlikely that such nonprofit will be successful in accomplishing its mission. Strategic planning and developing a solid strategic plan are critical to the success of your organization. The success of any organization, nonprofit or otherwise, depends on the strength of its vision, and the ability to use that vision to guide its actions, through its strategy.
Why is it important to develop a strategic plan?
Like all businesses, Nonprofits need a well-thought-out strategy for how they're going to accomplish their goals. Strategy is a high-level plan to achieve one or more goals. It’s difficult to accomplish anything without a plan. A strategic plan helps business leaders determine where to spend time, human capital, and money. A strategic plan serves as a roadmap and as a tool for assessing progress. A strategic plan enables an organization to provide employees with direction or focus. Read a related blog on strategy.
Who benefits from and what are the benefits of a solid strategic plan?
There are several benefits to a solid strategic plan. It provides focus and motivates management and volunteers to work more productively. Enables organization to get on course and stay on course. It improves the existing services to better accomplish its mission. Helps nonprofits make optimal utilization of resources. Allows nonprofits to grow relationships with current donors and cultivate new relationships with likeminded or similar donors. Thus, a solid strategic plan benefits the stakeholders in nonprofit organizations including board, founders, staff, volunteers, beneficiaries and donors, and members of the community.
Steps in Strategy Formulation
Now that it’s clear why it’s important to develop a solid strategic plan, the question becomes how to formulate it?
Step 1: Use the mission and vision to harness the organization’s potential. Ensure the organization’s strategy and programs are aligned with the vision and mission.
Step 2: Formulate a long-range strategic plan.
Step 3: Develop a growth strategy.
Step 4: Develop a plan for a new program in line with organizational strategy. Step 5: Develop metrics, measurement tools, and technology platform.
Step 6: Implement the strategic plan.
Step 7: Monitor and measure progress against the plan.
Monitor and Measure Progress
Monitoring and measuring progress against the strategic plan are crucial to the success of an organization. There are tools to measure a nonprofit organization’s performance. One of these tools is the balanced scorecard (BSC). If such tool is used, nonprofit organizations and public sector companies need BSC more than private sector companies, since unlike private sector companies, for nonprofits and public sector companies, financial measures is not the measure of success. Rather, nonprofits and public sector companies measure success based on having a social impact on people's lives. And since the social impact their actions have on people's lives can't be measured financially, they use BSC as a measurement tool.
Consider the service of management consulting firm
A successful strategic planning process examines and makes informed projections about environmental realities to help an organization anticipate and respond to change. Need help with formulating a strategic plan? Seek the assistance of CLASS, a nonprofit management consulting firm. As part of its strategy service offerings, CLASS conducts a strategic audit, a need assessment. A detailed report will be provided which includes assessment of key areas evaluated during audit with suggestions for areas of possible improvement. CLASS serves Bay Area nonprofits by helping them build and expand capacity and become sustainable social enterprise to increase the effectiveness of their social impact, and thus, benefiting the stakeholders.
Develop a solid strategic plan with impact
Defining goals is easy to do. Trying to achieve those goals without a formulated strategic plan is playing out the scenario of driving to a destination without a GPS. Don’t be an organization left feeling like driving through the dessert without a navigation system, getting lost, seeing the fuel gauge at near empty and without a nearby gas station insight. A well formulated strategic plan defines the most appropriate courses of action to achieve defined goals or offers direction as where and how to navigate. Strategy formulation is vital to the well-being of a company or organization. Be sure to invest adequate time in strategic planning.
About The CLASS Consulting Group:
The CLASS Consulting Group is a trusted advisor to the Board of Directors and Senior Leadership of Nonprofits. It is a boutique management consulting firm headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area that provides consulting services to senior management and Board of Directors of nonprofit organizations and offers community leadership opportunities to professionals.
Since 2002 CLASS’ volunteers have been assisting nonprofit organizations in the SF Bay Area and supporting the communities in which, we all live and work.
Interested? Simply Request A Meeting and we’ll get in touch to tell you all about this opportunity and how our volunteer-run teams are helping nonprofits make the bay area a better place; one community at a time.