Knowledge and Insights

Nonprofits Should Keep Strategic Planning Top of Mind

Business meeting

There is an old adage: those who fail to plan have planned to fail. If you stop and think about it, we all dream of our goals. But not everyone takes the step to plan to realize those dreams. Each and every one of us has an idea of what we would like our futures to look like. No matter what your goals are – business, education, family, or life – you need a strategic plan in place to accomplish them. Without a plan, you will fall short of fulfilling those dreams. This time of year is perfect for resetting your goals, rebalancing your life or reevaluating your business plans.

What does it take to create that plan? I dare say – time to do it, input to create it, and the discipline to get it done. A strategic plan is both high level and creative. You must challenge yourself to look at the bigger picture. When creating a strategic plan that is unique to your goals, you should ask yourself the following questions. Where do I want to be in 10 years? What is my end game? What is my BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)?

If your goal is to have a Ph.D., then you need to get through undergrad and master’s programs. If your goal is to be the biggest social service provider agency in New Jersey, then you need to have a solid mission, vision and plan for growth. If your goal is to have the largest collection of revolutionary war artifacts or, better yet, be the go-to entity on revolutionary war history, you need to envision what the plan or path to get there will look like.

When you Google strategic planning, there are various definitions, processes, and sample plans available. If you need a textbook definition, there are a host of resources available to help you formulate a plan. However, when writing this article, it was not my intent to suggest specifically how to create your plan in specifics. My goal is to get you thinking about or reminding you of the need to do strategic planning for your nonprofit organization. If you already have a plan in place and a process for updating your plan, then I say “congratulations” because you have a key piece to future success. For those of you reading this article that don’t have a plan, haven’t updated your plan, don’t know that much about it, or don’t know where to start; you are not alone. More importantly, you need not go it alone.