Taking the time to update or develop your organization’s strategic plan can often feel daunting. There are, however, numerous benefits to having a current and clear strategic plan for your organization. Whether you do a quick refresh session or undertake a comprehensive review – here are some of the benefits we hear from organization’s that take the time to develop or renew their plan:
1. Attract more resources to your organization (yes that means more $). Time and time again we hear from not-for-profit groups that by clarifying key priorities for a defined time frame (2, 3 or 4 years), and getting commitment from staff, board members, and volunteers, new targets for revenue, volunteer engagement, and partnerships are achieved. By getting everyone on the same page you’ll move toward your resource targets more quickly.
2. Connect and engage with all the people involved in your organization. Your funders, donors, volunteers, and staff, all love your organization. By engaging them in a strategic planning process you can deepen their commitment to your organization, and re-connect with all those who contribute or have been impacted by your work. (Check out this podcast on effective stakeholder engagement)
3. Decide what you can stop doing. Not-for-profits are notorious for stretching programs beyond their core purpose, and carrying out activities simply because “that’s what they’ve always done”. Having an explicit discussion about what activities to drop will free up new and different resources you never knew you had, and improve your impact in the areas aligned with your core purpose. If you do this well, you can even free up some time for some much needed self-care!
4. Get excited about why you exist. The work we do is hard. It’s not easy to keep the passion for your programs when you’re faced with to-do lists that never seem to end. Talking about, and confirming, your core purpose (why your organization exists) can get your whole team excited and reinvigorated for your work. They can also discover new ways to work together with each other, and with your board, volunteers, and supporters!
5. Figure out how to communicate your impact. Many funders, donors, and even volunteers are asking about how to measure and understand the impact of not-for-profit organizations. If you take the time to share the key stories, your theory of change, or the areas where you can document the changes that have happened in the world as a result of your work, you’ll uncover new approaches as well as supporters for your organization’s activities.
Vantage Point can support your organization with your strategic planning process. Learn more about our strategic planning consulting and download our One Page Strategic Plan resource.
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