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5 Tips for the Best Strategic Plan

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Strategic plans are important to the success of an organization.  They create a roadmap that helps organizations develop steps to achieve their overall goals.  Here are some tips to help you develop a new strategic plan or update your old plan.  

Assess where you are as an organization

When developing a new or updating an old strategic plan, the first you need to do is review your organization’s mission statement and objectives.  This will allow you to reflect on why your organization exists. Once you reflect on your mission and core objectives, you need to take some time to assess your programs and services. 

List out what you are currently doing to address the problem in your community.  As part of this exercise, you need to highlight funding sources that are attached to specific initiatives.  This will help you understand where you are receiving the most support. 

As you review each program and service, evaluate their effectiveness.  Ask the following questions:

  • How are we measuring success?
  • Are we effective based on our measures?
  • How can we be more effective?

This is also a good time to perform a SWOT analysis of your organization, investigating your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. 

Lean into your success

Once you have assessed your program and service offering you need to decide if you need to cut or add programs and services.  As you go through this process it is good to start with the programs and services that are not receiving favorable feedback and are lacking financial sustainability.  This exercise can be very difficult for organizations because you could have a program that you have been running for years but it is ineffective and expensive.  Once you make this discovery you have to decide if you can tweak things to make them better or if you need to end the program entirely. It is important to focus on your organization’s challenges first so that you understand the areas that need improvement. 

After reviewing your challenges, you need to review your successes. Take some time to understand what is working for your organization. Look at the programs, services, and events that are receiving great feedback and are financially sustainable. Focus on replicating and growing areas where your organization is finding success.

Develop metrics

As you focus on replicating and growing your successful programs and services, you will need to ensure that you can measure their effectiveness.  Developing these metrics will better position you for grants and donations. Having statistics that demonstrate that your services had a positive outcome on your community shows grantmakers and donors your commitment to accountability.

Accountability

Taking some time to identify who is responsible for programs and services will create a level of accountability in your organization.  Create quantifiable goals for your team that helps articulate your organization’s mission and goals.  Accountability will help give your team direction and a purpose.

Provide ongoing analysis

After you determine how you intend to measure your success and each team member’s role, you must revisit those goals throughout the year to ensure that your organization is on track with the new strategic plan.

Have questions about your strategic plan?  Contact Auxilia today. 

Photo Credit: UX Indonesia

Topics: Nonprofit, Donor Relationships, Resources, Strategic Plan