Strategic Plan Development

Actionable strategic plan development for nonprofit organizations

 

A strategic plan development is an essential tool that carries a nonprofit organization or charity into the future. When prepared correctly, it plays a vital role in prioritizing targets and optimum use of resources. In addition, an actionable strategic plan ensures that the nonprofit proceeds on the right path and achieves its goals.

Unfortunately, very few strategic plans can accomplish these tasks because although their name is a strategic plan, they do not have a strategic capacity and are not actionable. As many of you know, many strategic plans can’t go beyond waiting on dusty shelves as a beautiful booklet.

 

Pitfalls of Strategic Plan Development

There are three main reasons why strategic plans do not have the desired effect.

1. Ambiguity and subjectivity

Most of the inefficient strategic plans consist of indefinite and subjective sentences. As a result, when the board of directors, staff, or other stakeholders read the strategic plan, they may draw different conclusions. This uncertainty also prevents board members and staff from acting together. Strategic plan development should include simple, understandable and clear objectives.

2. Incompatibility with resources and capacity

One of the most common mistakes in nonprofit organization strategic plans is the objectives that do not consider nonprofits’ resources and capacity. Such unrealistic strategic goals are not viable. Strategic plan development requires setting realistic and feasible goals.

3. Lack of measurable goals

Unmeasurable goals are one of the most critical reasons strategic plans cannot be implemented effectively. We can compare it to an athlete who runs without knowing where to go. No matter how hard he runs, he cannot reach any goal because no concrete target is agreed upon. Strategic plan development requires setting measurable goals.

 

Principles of Actionable Strategic Plan Development

So how can nonprofit boards and executives overcome these difficulties and develop actionable strategic plans? There are three principles that leaders can use for strategic plan development.

1. Set measurable goals

Nonprofit leaders can start by measuring where they are today and want to be in the future. Identifying the gap between the current situation and the future objectives will help nonprofits prioritize their goals and focus on what really matters.

2. Develop a shared strategic plan

One of the most critical conditions for an actionable strategic plan is to get the support of everyone. Inclusion and cooptation ensure greater acceptance and effectiveness of the strategic plan.

3. Integrate your strategic plan

An actionable strategic plan is related to all the management functions of the nonprofit organization, including operational plan, human resources management, financial plans, risk plan and stakeholder management plan. Therefore, it is important not to develop strategic plans independently and consider all other plans. We can compare the plans to the wheels of a bus. It is not enough for one or a few to be efficient and harmonious. All must be of the same quality and performance. An actionable strategic plan is the first step of organizational harmony.
Vectors Group and Vectors Institute researchers developed the Executive Strategic Evaluation Process (E-SEP) to assist nonprofit boards and executives develop actionable strategic plans. Contact us now if you need support for strategic plan development.

Developing a strategic plan is a critical process for any organization aiming to outline its long-term vision and determine the necessary steps to achieve its goals. A well-crafted strategic plan serves as a roadmap, guiding an organization towards its desired future state by aligning resources, operations, and initiatives with its overarching objectives. The process of strategic plan development typically involves several key stages, including goal setting, analysis, strategy formulation, implementation planning, and monitoring.

At the outset, organizations must engage in thorough goal setting, identifying clear, measurable objectives that reflect their mission and vision. This involves understanding the internal and external environment through tools like SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis, which helps in recognizing the factors that can influence the organization’s success.

Following this, strategy formulation is crucial, where the organization decides on the specific approaches and initiatives that will be employed to achieve the set goals. This phase often requires innovative thinking and careful consideration of various strategic alternatives.

The next step, implementation planning, involves detailing how the strategies will be executed, including defining responsibilities, timelines, and required resources. Effective communication and stakeholder engagement are vital during this phase to ensure alignment and commitment across the organization.

Finally, a robust monitoring mechanism is essential to track progress, evaluate the effectiveness of the strategic plan, and make necessary adjustments. This continuous feedback loop helps organizations stay agile and responsive to changing circumstances, ensuring that their strategic plan remains relevant and effective in guiding them towards their long-term objectives.

In sum, strategic plan development is a dynamic and iterative process that equips organizations with the clarity and direction needed to navigate the complexities of their industry, capitalize on opportunities, and achieve sustained success.

Omer Livvarcin

Daniel O. Livvarcin

Daniel O. Livvarcin is the Founder and Lead Consultant of Vectors Group, a business consulting company specialized in nonprofit management.

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Your strategic partner
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Management Consulting for Nonprofits and Social Enterprises
Our locations
Where to find us?
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Get in touch
Social links
Follow us on social media to get updatesabout our services.

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Copyright by Vectors Group. All rights reserved.

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