Strategic Planning: The Journey Begins
I believe that strategic plans (like business plans, college educations, and road trips) have more value in the journey than in the destination. The end result of your strategic planning process might be two pages or 20 pages. It might be loaded with all kinds of optimistic goals and lofty ambitions. It may even help you win grants or land new donors.
But those three (or 20) pages represent more than the text on the paper. The plan represents your organization’s heart and soul. Built by of board members and staff, volunteers and donors, community members and experts, a strategic plan brings many perspectives together and puts them on the same team. Many people driving hard, optimistic, and committed to the future.
Hard questions and hard answers. New ideas and revelations. Many a-ha moments. And a lot of expectations.
This isn’t to say that the end result isn’t valuable; it’s just not the whole picture. You can’t ask one person (or five people) to simply sit down and create your strategic plan. Not if you want it to mean anything. Not if you want it to hold up.
Next post: planning your strategic planning.
Jo — March 05, 2009
I work for a non profit that does not do matching grants. New to the area, I am looking for prospective donors. Can you help?