There are many different approaches to strategic planning for nonprofits, but in our experience this planning process should at a minimum take your organization through an examination of its assets, strengths, operating environment and opportunities while developing a vision for the immediate future of the organization. A successful planning process is one that promotes high levels of participation from both the board and staff of the organization. This participation will align your staff and board around common goals and strategies and provide a foundation for the collaboration and support needed to accomplish those goals.
We also encourage the use of outside consultants/professionals in the strategic planning for nonprofits process. While there may be ample experience internally, external facilitators bring objectivity and are solely focused on this process itself so that the internal group can focus on the work they need to accomplish through the planning process. When choosing consultants or professional guidance on strategic planning consider the following:
- What role will we need the consultant to play?
- Process or Methodology Organizer?
- Consensus Builder?
- Planning and Scheduling?
- Plan Implementation & Accountability Process Organizer?