People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine.
Confused about your strategy? Unclear sense of direction? No clear goals and objectives? What is the next step? No plan, then expect no growth. It’s that simple.
We all know that nonprofits have many barriers to growth.We have read all the reports, blog post and white papers that speak to lack of leadership, program stagnation, weak infrastructure or my all time favorite inadequate funding.
I am here to chat about one that does not get nearly as much attention but honestly its the organization killer: PLANNING
I know, its not sexy. If an organization is uncertain about its growth plan or how to scale its efforts, difficulties abound. Every time.
A clearly articulated growth plan, including goals, next steps, and organizational structure, is necessary for solid growth. You can do nothing without it. Before you write a grant or create a budget, create a plan. I hope it would be a strategic one, but if its not then create a basic road map to help guide you.
There’s No Perfect Way to Do It
So just DO IT! Don’t be concerned about finding the “perfect way” to conduct planning. You’ll soon notice that there are a million ways to do it, but you will also notice some concepts that need to be included.
This activity can include conducting some sort of scan, or review, of the organization’s environment (for example, of the political, social, economic and technical environment)Organizations look at the various strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (an acronym for this activity is SWOT) .
Organizations take all the yummy data from the analysis come to conclusions about what the organization must do as a result of the major issues and opportunities facing the organization. These conclusions include what overall goals the organization should achieve, and the overall strategies to achieve them
Now its time to carefully lay out how the strategic goals will be accomplished. Action planning often includes specifying objectives, or specific results, with each strategic goal. Often, each objective is associated with a tactic, which is one of the methods needed to reach an objective. Don’t forget to include specific responsibilities and timelines with each objective.
When your organization invest the time and attention into planning what you are telling your stake holders is that you have the capacity to endure.
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