“If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there.” -- Lewis Carroll
Strategic planning is the process of determining the future goals of your organization and how you plan to reach them.
For some organizations, strategic planning can seem mysterious or overwhelming. At it simplest, a strategic plan helps your organization know what to say "yes" or "no" to. There is no "best" way to plan, but it is key to intentionally create a process and format that fits your organization. IntegralOrg has customized options to support you and your organization on your journey.
A strategic plan identifies and articulates your organization’s focus and priorities; allows energy and resources to be allocated efficiently and effectively; ensures staff, board, and volunteers are working toward common goals; establishes agreement around intended outcomes or results; and provides a frame to assess and adjust the organization's direction in a changing environment.
The planning landscape for nonprofits is constantly changing, bringing new realities and surfacing new priorities. From time to time, all nonprofits need to revise or revisit their strategic plan and planning processes.
Check out the strategic planning services and resources below.
IntegralOrg has a range of custom services that can help your nonprofit with strategic plan, whether you’re revising an existing plan or starting from scratch.
Consultation: First off, if you have a question about strategic planning, we are happy to offer our expertise through a free consultation.
"The future doesn't just happen, it is shaped by decisions." -- Paul Tagliabue.
If you have a need for in-depth solutions, IntegralOrg can work directly with your nonprofit. We work alongside your organization, through customized supports that assist you on your own journey as a nonprofit. Please contact us at 403-910-7279 or connect by email. Organizational development is undertaken on a fee-for-service basis.
IntegralOrg undertakes a comprehensive survey with your board, leadership, and staff to help your organization develop a common understanding of the current state of operations, governance, and programmatic and strategic factors within the organization. The survey surfaces areas of organizational strength; areas that require development or discussion; and areas of critical concern that require actions to move beyond the status quo.
Nonprofit sustainability encompasses both financial sustainability – the ability to generate resources to meet the needs of the present without compromising the future - and programmatic sustainability – the ability to develop, mature, and cycle out of programs in a way that is responsive to community needs.
Through a sustainability analysis, your organization will create a Matrix Map, a visual representation of your organization’s business model that details how each program contributes to both the mission impact and financial viability. This process provides a framework for reflection and discussion that will inform the future course of action for the organization.
Scenario planning, we ask the question: “What might we need to do?” not “What will we do and how will we do it?” Scenario planning is about generating options and insight, not actions and plans.
Scenario planning helps your organization envision variations of what the future may hold, identify some of the critical uncertainties it faces, and think through the possible impacts and responses to them. It is a creative, shared process that helps us make sense of an uncertain future with a focus on making better decisions. When we are aware of what could happen, we are more able to deal with what does happen.
IntegralOrg customizes solutions to your needs - from an educational workshop to facilitated scenario planning sessions to determine your organization’s focal question; identify drivers of change and critical uncertainties; craft scenarios using a scenario matrix; and surface implications, ideas, and next steps.
According to David La Piana, a strategic plan is " …a coordinated set of actions designed to create and sustain a competitive advantage in achieving our mission." If you would like to create a strategic plan or re-envision your current plan in the light of post-pandemic realities, you may wish to undertake a comprehensive strategic planning process.
A comprehensive strategic planning process can entail developing an understanding of current and expected capacities; understanding external trends and dynamics that need to be considered in planning; figuring out where you want to be in the future years and deciding what is critical for success; determining strategies, priorities, actions and roles; and building evaluation and revision plans.
IntegralOrg can work with your nonprofit through all stages of the strategic planning process in a way that suits your organization and its specific needs.
Leading a nonprofit organization in today’s rapidly changing environment can be challenging, as is navigating a route forward when much of the world we know is shifting and the future remains uncertain. Strategic planning processes enable organizations to understand their current and past operating states, create a vision for the future, and determine what steps they should take to achieve that vision. This workshop introduces participants to the concepts of strategic planning as well as tools to use in an emergent and uncertain environment. This workshop was held on November 16, 2023. Watch the video.
A wise person once said: "All change begins in conversation." The goal of this toolkit is to help staff and board leaders of nonprofit organizations better understand their current and anticipated capacity to operate through generative conversation about areas of critical importance to ongoing sustainability. Critical conversations are an inclusive, creative, and thought-provoking style of working together where questions and issues are reframed to allow new, often deeper, insights to emerge. The toolkit contains questions sets on governance, program sustainability, the changed nature of our workplaces, health and safety, and funding and finances, as well as tips for conversation.
Nonprofit Sustainability: Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Sustainability by Jeanne Bell, Jan Masoka & Steve Zimmerman.