Leadership and The Workplace

Nonprofit Spark

Renee McGivern

Nonprofit Spark – How Strategic planning works and benefits your non-profit 04/08/13

On this week’s show, we focus on strategic planning, and how the process works and benefits your organization. My guest is Wendy Siegel, a consultant with Millennia Consulting based in Chicago, Illinois. Wendy helpfully describes the neutral facilitation role she plays and a four-step process that is inclusive, engages a task force in doing research, aligns the research with the mission and vision of the organization, and ends with a plan that identifies key strategies.

Strategic planning is a great way to bring board, staff and other stakeholders together and to get them on the same page. It also forces the group to agree on where the nonprofit is headed and NOT headed. Finally, a plan shows funders and donors that you have thoughtful reasons for doing what you’re doing and that you’re focused on making a measurable difference in the community.

Strategic planning is not something you can credibly do on your own. You must hire a skilled, neutral facilitator who keeps the process moving forward within a set of rules and parameters. If you have a new executive director, if you’re resources are stretched thin, if your target population is changing or the funding climate is shifting, if there’s tension between the staff and board, then it’s time to for strategic planning.