How to write a strategic plan for a nonprofit organization

Now close your eyes and picture one. We believe that a better understanding of the history of strategy and what caused the demise of binder-bound strategic planning can point the way to re-inventing strategy for the world we live in today. Military strategy focuses on setting objectives, collecting intelligence, and then using that intelligence to make informed decisions about how to achieve your objectives—take that hill, cut this supply line. Historically, the battlefield was a place where you could count on a few constants:

How to write a strategic plan for a nonprofit organization

Peace on earth What is a mission statement? The next piece of the puzzle is to ground your vision in practical terms. This is where developing a mission statement, the next step in the action planning process comes in.

An organization's mission statement describes what the group is going to do and why it's going to do that. For example, "Promoting care and caring at the end of life through coalitions and advocacy. However, they're more concrete, and they are definitely more "action-oriented" than vision statements.

Your vision statement should inspire people to dream; your mission statement should inspire them to action. The mission statement might refer to a problem, such as an inadequate housing, or a goal, such as providing access to health care for everyone.

how to write a strategic plan for a nonprofit organization

And, while they don 't go into a lot of detail, they start to hint - very broadly - at how your organization might fix these problems or reach these goals. Some general guiding principles about mission statements are that they are: While not as short as vision statements, mission statements generally still get their point across in one sentence.

Mission statements explain the fundamental outcomes your organization is working to achieve. While mission statements do make statements about your group's key goals, it's very important that they do so very broadly. Good mission statements are not limiting in the strategies or sectors of the community that may become involved in the project.

The following examples should help you understand what we mean by effective mission statements. Why is it important that your organization develops vision and mission statements like those above?

First of all, because these statements can help your organization focus on what is really important. Although your organization knows what you are trying to do to improve your community, it's easy to lose sight of this when dealing with the day-to-day hassles that plague all organizations.

Your vision and mission statements help members remember what is important as you go about doing your daily work.

Second, your vision and mission statements let other individuals and organizations have a snapshot view of whom your group is and what it wants to do.

When your vision and mission statements are easily visible for example, if they are on the letterhead of your stationarypeople can learn about your organization without having to work hard for the information.

Then, those with common interests can take the time necessary to learn more. Clearly, this can be very helpful when you are recruiting other people and organizations to join in your effort.

Finally, vision and mission statements are also very helpful in having members who are focused and bound together in common purpose. Not only do the statements themselves serve as a constant reminder of what is important to your organization, the process of developing them allows people to see the organization as "theirs.

There are many other reasons to develop vision and mission statements as well. For example, having clear and compelling vision statements can: Draw people to common work Give hope for a better future Inspire community members to realize their dreams through positive, effective action Provide a basis for developing the other aspects of your action planning process: Convert the broad dreams of your vision into more specific, action-oriented terms Explain your goals to interested parties in a clear and concise manner Enhance your organization's image as being competent and professional, thus reassuring funding sources that their investment was or would be!

Armed with a better understanding of vision and mission statements, it's time for your organization to develop them for itself. If your group has already developed vision and mission statements, you might wish to look at them in light of the criteria we discussed above.

If members of your organization feel your current statements could be improved upon, this process can be used to modify them. Learn what is important to people in your community As developing your vision and mission statements is the first step in developing the action plan that will guide your effort, it is especially important that these first steps are well grounded in community beliefs and values.

Knowing the important issues in your community is vital for the development of a strong, effective, and enduring action group. Therefore, one of the first steps you should take when developing the vision and mission of your organization will be is to define the issue s that matter most to people in your community.

How do you go about doing so? There are many different ways you can gather this information, including: Conduct "public forums" or "listening sessions" with members of the community to gather ideas, thoughts, and opinions about how they would like to see the community transformed.

In public forums or listening sessions, people come together from throughout the community to talk about what is important to them. These meetings are usually led by facilitators, who guide a discussion of what people perceive to be the community 's strengths and problems, and what people wish the community was like.Aug 27,  · How to Write a Nonprofit Business Plan.

Framework for a Basic Strategic Plan Document for a Nonprofit

by: maybe you tend to shy away from using the words “business planning,” but whether you call it a strategic plan or a business plan, the overall snapshot of what your vision is for this organization. Write it as though you might share with a prospective donor, or someone unfamiliar with your /5(84).

Get step-by-step guidance and materials to draft a sample Strategic Plan that is relevant, realistic and flexible -- while you earn a Certificate in Facilitating Strategic Planning in a self-paced, highly practical and online program. Individual feedback is shared about your sample Plan.

You don’t have to kill a tree or shut down the office for a week to create a successful strategic plan. In fact, you can create a successful plan for your business in just one day. Step 3: Outline.

how to write a strategic plan for a nonprofit organization

Create an outline of your nonprofit business plan. Write out everything you want your plan to include (e.g sections such as marketing, fundraising, human resources, and budgets). Business Planning for Nonprofits Printer-friendly version The business planning process takes into account the nonprofit’s mission and vision, the role of the board, and external environmental factors, such as the climate for fundraising.

p. 4 Perform an Organization Self-Assessment strategic marketing plan. The seven steps in this guide will help you answer key A properly organized nonprofit marketing plan supports itself like a pyramid.

For each goal, there are objectives, every objective has strategies, and each strategy has tactics. However, all too often the terms.

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