By Janine McDonald

Nonprofit Strategic Planning is very similar to the holidays.

There’s a lot of activity leading up to the event, followed by a great deal of anticipation, then suddenly it’s all over, and you’re left wondering, “Well, now what?”

Most nonprofits recognize that it is hard to accomplish their mission without a plan. But many treat Strategic Planning as an event instead of an ongoing process. Here is a Strategic Planning model OneOC uses with our nonprofit clients:

Nonprofit Strategic Planning

The result of the process--the strategic plan-- is a long-term approach to achieve the nonprofit’s current and future goals. But in reality, most nonprofits break down during Phase 4 or 5, and strategic plans end up collecting dust on a shelf.

Success means bringing the plan alive, determining who is accountable to do what and by when. This is where Strategic Management, which is the alignment of current resources against the nonprofit’s policies, plans, projects and programs, comes into play.

Strategic Planning is never over. To ensure the plan performs as designed, you must hold regularly scheduled reviews and refine your plan as necessary. Plan on meeting quarterly to review your plan, and more frequently if necessary.
Not sure where to begin with Strategic Planning?

OneOC supports nonprofits in all phases of the Strategic Planning process. Some of the benefits of engaging a consultant to support your strategic planning process include:

• Creating a safe, non-threatening environment for open discussion
• Helping to clearly define the issues and problems without bias
• Providing objective third-party leadership
• Providing management of the process
• Helping break down complex issues and problems to aid the group in working together to solve problems
• Helping develop specific goals and action plans to address issues and items
• Cultivating a commitment of the group to follow-up on the action plan
• Helping create accountability

If you don’t know where you or your organization are heading towards, let us help you find the way. If you would like to speak with someone about consulting for Strategic Planning, contact us.

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