- Assess your situation
Before figuring out where you want to go, first assess your current standing. Collect all the necessary information about your nonprofit so that your strategic planning team understands your vision and where you stand. Ask yourself questions like, how big is your nonprofit? Where are you located? How many people does your organization employ? What is your annual net asset?
Furthermore, before diving into details, you need to appreciate yourself for the things you have accomplished in the past. Assessing yourself will give you a better understanding of your strengths and opportunities, which can be analyzed later. Furthermore, this puts the strategic planning team in a good mood that will ease the process and make it enjoyable. Develop your plan using the SMART goal criteria.
- Develop a strategy
In this phase of a strategic process, you will use the information you gathered in step one above and define where you want to be as an organization, your mission and vision statements and values. Start your mission and vision statements. If you have already put these statements in place, review and consider updating them to meet your new expectations. While it may appear so, it is not easy to develop vision and mission statements for a nonprofit. That is why it can help if you check what other nonprofits are doing. Some good examples that can offer the right lessons include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The American Red Cross and The Research Foundation of SUNY’s, among others.
You will want to define your core values. Ensure that they align with the mission and vision of your organization. Assessing your current standing and defining them accordingly is critical and help build a strong foundation.
- Build a strategic plan
A strategic plan is a master plan that contains strategic priorities for your future. They can help your organization’s implementation plan and definition of an effective and successful new strategy. Pick at least three strategic priorities based on what has emerged from the SWOT analysis. If your SWOT analysis indicated that you have a few revenue streams, you could try to diversify. Your strategic priorities do not have to be built out because that is something that happens in the final steps.
- Create SMART goals
Smart objectives are critical for successfully putting strategies into action. Your organization’s goals must be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. Your SMART goals can include showing exactly the new revenue streams and the plans that will be used to open up the sources for the new revenue.
For you to do everything in strategic planning right, you can use a template and other available examples. Include stakeholders, board of directors and staff members in the strategic planning process. Their insight and ideas will shape your company’s future. Furthermore, inclusivity in your organization’s strategic planning also brings the feeling that the stakeholders are part of crucial decision-making.