WHAT ARE STRATEGIC PLANS?
A strategic plan looks at where the organization has been, where it is now, and then outlines an action plan to get the organization on a growth or correction path.
Strategic Planning in simple terms is an organization determining what they want to achieve and outlining how to achieve it. This could be done as a whole organization or for one specific project/program. Once identified, the strategy is built based on allocating resources, timing, planning and decision-making and future growth planning. It is a blueprint establishing a need and direction, and a roadmap of how to attain it.
Before an organization can look forward they have to look back at where they have come from and where they are now. It sounds easy but if an organization does this from within they tend to gloss over the difficult issues. Establishing a realistic view needs to come from someone outside the system. Step one is to look at the organizational vision, mission and values from a historic, real time and future perspective. Next is to come up with the strategy. Many different planning models are used depending on the environment.
Strategic Planning analyzes markets, clients, donors, those being served. It will look at competition to the proposed plan, what technology would enhance the plan, evaluate how partnerships and other resources enhance the program markets–which also include the human resource component. The economy and current and changing regulatory environment are also addressed.
Nonprofits who are working outside a strategic plan are taking a big risk. Having no plan leaves growth up to the daily changing environment. Nonprofits may not see they have veered off course until much further down the road. Merely completing a strategic plan won’t be enough, the board and staff need to refer to it and make it a living document for the organization.
WHAT WE CAN DO FOR YOU
A Strategic Plan or Target Plan is a roadmap that can be easily understood and followed with specific actions to be implemented to reach short, mid term, and long term goals. Each goal is a step taking the organization to the next level. For long term goals, Strategic Plans are often updated for maximum value.
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