Free Nonprofit Webinar! How to Develop a Workable Strategic Plan for your nonprofit

 
At the end of the 45-minute Nonprofit training, you will have the knowledge you need to create a strategic plan that will function as a road map to success for your organization. Nonprofits use strategic planning to focus their energy and limited resources on achieving their goals and objectives. 
 

Strategic Planning for Nonprofits: How to Develop a Workable Strategic Plan for Your Nonprofit

0:01

Hello, my name is John Duffy and I'm pleased to be with you today to talk about strategic planning in this free for nonprofits webinar.

0:07

I have worked with strategic planning for nonprofits in numerous ways so I've seen the good and the bad.

0:13

Also I've worked in nonprofits in various positions as a volunteer, this page staff, executive director, or board member, and board chairperson.

0:25

I've also served as a consultant to non-profits so I understand the workings of non-profits from direct experiences as well as from different perspectives.

0:37

Today we'll cover three main topics related to strategic planning for nonprofits.

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First, I will briefly describe what strategic planning for nonprofits is.

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Then I will describe the process used to prepare a strategic plan for your nonprofit and then end with the key steps for implementing a strategic plan.

0:58

Before we begin, let's take a poll or two, so I can get an understanding of the familiarity with you.

1:05

With cheap planning, it will help determine what areas should be emphasized. So, let me bring up a poll.

1:15

And so, how familiar are you with strategic planning?

1:20

You could select.

1:48

And it looks like we have most people are basically familiar with it.

1:57

OK, now let's take another poll.

2:03

This one I would like to know, Have you participated in a nonprofit strategic planning process?

2:29

Excellent. Most people have. That's fantastic.

2:34

Now, the last question I have is, Does your organization have a strategic plan?

2:57

Mmm hmm, It's good news: Most people, most organizations have, that's great.

3:11

OK, so thank you for taking the poll.

3:16

And let me begin.

3:20

By referring to a quote from Zig Ziglar that I have adapted and it is, how can your organization achieve a goal that it does not even have?

3:32

What this quote means is, many organizations have not set a specific goal.

3:38

They're like Rudderless ships, changing directions with the winds of the day, and each member of the organization has their own idea of what the organization is about and what it seeks to achieve.

3:51

So the organization does not accomplish much of significance or if it does, it goes up by chance.

3:57

Because it lacks the ability to align, focus its resources, bachelor strategic plans all.

4:07

Fundamentally, strategic planning for nonprofits is a management tool that combines strategy and planning, strategy sets, the direction of the organization throughout the reverse process of reflection, future possibilities for the organization.

4:24

In other words, what the organization seeks to achieve and how.

4:31

Planning is about transforming these possibilities into realistic goals.

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It sets a course of action for cheating.

4:42

Basically, strategic planning is a management tool that is used to identify ways to achieve positive outcomes.

4:50

The nonprofit strategic planning process identifies what must be done when it must be done, how it should be done, as well as aligns all of the non-profits, human, and non human resources that are available to achieve what it seeks to achieve.

5:08

Nonprofit Strategic Planning is about developing a set of actions that will improve overall organizational performance.

5:15

It improves the daily, long term performance of all organization units, and that's why it's such a powerful tool.

5:24

And what are the most important aspects of strategic planning for nonprofits?

5:28

Which is rarely talked about, is its ability to determine what is not important to the organization.

5:35

This information allows your organization focused on what will bring the highest level achievement.

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Keep it from being distracted by other issues.

5:45

Saying no to initiatives that sound good, but are not identified as good goals and objectives is critical if the organization is to accomplish its goals.

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Because it cannot be all things to all people, resources are limited, and should only be used for those tasks that allow the organization to accomplish its mission.

6:09

Now, I wish to talk about the actual steps, Creating the strategic plan.

6:15

There are five basic steps for creating a plan, and once it's created, plan should be implemented an app place on the shelf to collect dust, as is the case with most plants.

6:29

Now, let's talk about each of these steps in detail.

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The first step consists of deciding to proceed.

6:37

To do so requires the willingness and support of senior management and the Board of direct Directors to move forward with the planning process.

6:48

These two groups need to be supported and actively engaged in the planning process.

6:55

In fact, the planning process requires all members of the organization and its stakeholders to be involved, to some extent, and to agree on the plan's critical elements.

7:06

The agreement that senior management and the Boards of Directors is necessary in order to allocate resources to create the plan, they brought the time and effort to the planning process, and, importantly, to follow the business plan once it's finished and adopted.

7:25

The time required to create a strategic plan varies, depending on the complexity of the issues.

7:31

The plan could developed in a week's time during the organization retreat, or it might take a year long process.

7:40

A critical factor, it's the ability of personnel to commit to the effort.

7:46

People will initially see the planning effort as just another task that needs to be done.

7:52

For people.

7:54

Balancing an already difficult workload, one more task is difficult to undertake and it's difficult to sell to people.

8:02

So, a clear analysis. Once for workload must be considered upfront.

8:09

It means that senior management must understand that some work may need to be delayed in order to complete the planning process.

8:20

Next, you determine the amount and form a stakeholder involvement.

8:26

The organization's various stakeholders, its clients, it's fun.

8:31

There's the agencies that support it should be involved in a process because they have unique perspectives about the organization.

8:40

You may identify the groups who are your organization stakeholders by asking workgroups are directly affected by the organization who might support or oppose the organization.

8:53

And of course, includes your, include your funders and stakeholders.

8:59

Involvement, feeds collecting information about what the stakeholders support, what they believe is important, what influence they may have as such.

9:10

This information may be obtained through phone interviews, survey questions, or other techniques.

9:16

Stakeholder involvement is crucial for determining what is important, as well as to build external support for the plan.

9:24

When I have done stakeholder analysis work, I have always been really surprised by the ideas and suggestions they have for improving performance. And I've also identified where the organization is failing.

9:38

So this work is an opportunity to improve your nonprofit organization.

9:46

Next, get agreement on strategic priorities and goals of the organization.

9:52

This step requires thoughtful discussion to determine it about what is truly important to the organization in terms of its sustainability, its purpose, what it seeks to accomplish.

10:07

Get an agreement on priorities and goals of your organizations, is influenced by how complex the issues are.

10:16

If the issues facing your organization are fairly straightforward, such as, you know, just doing just some minor regulatory changes, then agreement may come very quickly.

10:27

If, on the other hand, there are many issues, and they're very complex, such as the probable for the, for re-organizing the entire organization, orders, high turnover rates, or a major change in the funding environment, then much more time will be required to arrive at agreement on the goals and priorities for turning those things around.

10:57

And the amount and availability of resources and expertise to develop the plan should be considered.

11:05

If many of the in house personnel are familiar wispy, and then a planning process will proceed faster and more efficiently than the case, where much upfront time must be devoted to informing everyone about the process.

11:24

Again, if there's available resources and expertise in-house, then your organization may be able to take on a more comprehensive planning process.

11:32

If not, then it should limit itself to 1 or 2 major issues and build confidence in a come in building in finalizing a strategic plan first T.

11:48

Once you get the grievance, excuse me to proceed on the planning process and know what the key issues are, you then organize the process.

11:59

The first step is to organize the planning team, who's actually going to do the work.

12:04

Some of the key concern considerations will be who will be on the planning team, who will be the chairperson of the planning team.

12:14

How will they get their other work done?

12:17

When is the plan to be completed?

12:20

From my experience, you want people who are known for getting their work done.

12:25

They have good knowledge about the organization, and they also have good relations with throughout the organization.

12:38

Part of the work part of organizing the planning process is to consider what issues are to be addressed.

12:47

Or the plan to address 1 or 2 important issues.

12:51

Will the plan consider the entire organization's reason for B or will the plan address something in-between?

12:59

Determining the key issues to be addressed will determine the level of participation that is needed and the amount of time and resources that are required.

13:09

It is from my experience that focused on a limited number, key issues, rather than attempting to do more do too much.

13:21

Once you know the level of commitment, and these issues that are going to be addressed, you can determine the basic planning process and the method.

13:33

Here is where you determine if you can develop the plan, use an existing resources, or if you need to hire a consultant.

13:41

Some plans can be developed in house very easily by using that retreat as the basis for completing the plan.

13:48

I've seen strategic plans very well written, completed over a two day retreat.

13:55

Other plans, however, might require a few much planning team work.

14:00

While others might require, consultants be hard, and these costs range from 20,000 to over $100,000, depending on the size of your organization.

14:10

The issues to be addressed, the level of participation, such, determined that your approach is really based on the issues involved, your priorities, and a number of resources you're willing to dedicate to the effort.

14:28

And some serious thought should be devoted to considering what is needed to make good decisions.

14:35

Often, this means the ability to get people to focus on their part of the planning effort.

14:42

From my experience, getting people to focus quality, time, and effort is really difficult.

14:48

But it's needed to make good decisions.

14:52

This is where, oftentimes, organizations go, Russell with, well, do we do the plan inside the existing building, or do we go somewhere else to get people away from the phones?

15:04

It's those types of decisions that have to be made.

15:08

To get the level of focus you need, often requires that senior management and the board make a plan a top priority.

15:17

Senior management and board members must understand nonprofit strategic planning does require time and effort and it will produce large benefits in terms of performance and outcomes.

15:30

If you cannot get people to focus on the nonprofit strategic plan, then you should consider building a stronger, level of support, or limiting the number of issues to be addressed before you proceed.

15:47

Once the planning team has been organized, the issues identified, the basic method to be used, all been determined.

15:56

It is time for the organization, senior management coach.

16:05

Oops, excuse me.

16:10

Once resources are committed, the first task group planning effort is to affirm the organization's mission.

16:18

It's vision and values.

16:21

The mission describes what the organization seeks to achieve such as the protection of an endangered species or to resolve homelessness.

16:33

Here's an example: Our mission statement funded Nature Conservancy and Alaska.

16:39

Note how concise it is and how.

16:43

To the point it is, people in this organization can quickly understand what the mission of the organization sparked.

16:55

And organizations.

16:57

Vision describes what success means.

17:02

It is, and it is important from my point of view, that the vision be described in terms of our senses, our senses, sight, our sense of sound, or sense of feeling.

17:17

This is what solving homelessness problem looks like for our community.

17:21

For example, this is what it might sound like, For instance, people in the grocery store is talking about, wow, we really must have really solve the homelessness problem because I don't see people living under the streets anymore.

17:38

And here's an example, the vision statement and it's also from the National Conservancy in Alaska.

17:46

For me, it's a little bit too too wordy and it does not connect to me, at least in terms of sight sound and feeling.

17:57

It is good, though, in terms of outlining what is important to the organization.

18:04

Yeah, from my experience, shorter is better.

18:12

Next, take a look at them.

18:16

The values of the organization and the values are the guiding principles of the organization in terms of how it will operate.

18:26

It describes it's basically the organization's ethics.

18:31

What itch, what is OK to do, and what not OK behavior is.

18:45

Step four consists of developing a preliminary preliminary plan.

18:50

The first effort is to complete an environmental scan.

18:55

What trends are taking place that may affect your organization, both internally and externally?

19:01

For instance, our funding sources shifting to other concerns are employee turnover rates rising, or client age groups changing.

19:10

This information rises with the data about how the organization may need to change in the future in order for me to remain viable and accomplish its mission.

19:23

Another purpose of the environmental scan is to search for changes in the operating environment that may present future challenges and opportunities, such as a decline in population of young adults.

19:39

And what that might mean for services that are targeting that age cohort.

19:47

After the environmental scan, complete a SWOT analysis.

19:52

A SWOT analysis reveals the strengths, weaknesses of the organization, as well as the potential.

20:00

Please, let's make face the organization.

20:08

Strengths include those things that your non-profit does well, such as having low turnover rates or strong, long-term funding commitments.

20:21

After you consider the strengths, consider its weaknesses.

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These are things that need attention.

20:28

in order for non-profits to become truly effective and efficient, it's work.

20:35

Lack of internal expertise might be an example.

20:38

Love a weakness!

20:40

Poor nonprofit program performance might be a weakness.

20:46

Next, look for opportunities that may exist for your non-profit, Such as new funding sources, the ability to combine efforts with other well connected organizations.

20:59

Or the chance to implant a very innovative program.

21:07

Then, identify threats, and threats might be declining funding or changing priorities of funders.

21:16

Like the Environmental Scan, the SWOT analysis will identify areas where the organization should focus its energies in order to become stronger.

21:27

The SWOT analysis should be used to identify it.

21:30

The work that the non-profit should focus on, well the strategic plan should describe the specific goals and objectives to correct Any weaknesses guard against threats and to take advantage of the strengths and opportunities of the organization.

21:51

After finalizing the SWOT analysis, it is important to consider what must be done, as well what resources are needed to address, threats and weaknesses, or to take advantages, advantage of strengths, and opportunities.

22:08

This is done, be done by developing a model of the strategy to achieve the intended result.

22:15

In other words, that theory of change.

22:21

A theory of change considers what the organization needs to address, what it needs, and how it will achieve the outcome that it desires.

22:33

When working on theory of change, I have always found it easier to, to work backwards, so I first describe the outcome I wish to achieve, then I describe, describe how I will achieve the outcome.

22:46

Identify what is needed to achieve the outcome, what kind of inputs and activities.

22:54

When working on the Theory of Change is important to use the information you need in both the SWOT and Environmental Scan Analysis, as well as the information you obtain from the stakeholders to determine the likely changes you would like you will face and how you might overcome these challenges.

23:15

Now, let's work through an example using a goal of improving the quality of education.

23:22

So, the first thing you do is identify the inputs that are available for the program or the project.

23:29

These are typically funds or personnel needed to complete the work.

23:36

Next, identify the actual tasks or the activities that the funding in personnel need to complete.

23:45

For our example, it is the purchase of textbooks and educational equipment, as well as the training of teachers.

23:54

So, my bonding in my personnel will do, or will it, purchase textbooks with the funding to purchase equipment with the funding, and my personnel will help train the teachers.

24:13

Then, identify what outputs will be accomplished from these inputs and activities.

24:21

In our example, this is Him, teachers with adequate skill levels and students who had the requisite learning materials, that is what is going to happen from these inputs and activities.

24:39

With these outputs, then describe the outcomes your program is to achieve.

24:46

In other words, what are the goals of the program?

24:49

This example, the goals, or outcomes, are students who have obtained basic education, as well as achievement, a lower dropout rate among the students.

25:01

Those are my goals: tuber abell, to ensure that the student's Basic Level of Education.

25:12

Lastly, describe what will happen if your non-profit achieves its program goals.

25:18

This example, it is students who have basic skill sets to obtain employment.

25:26

So, the Theory of Change is basically an action plan for accomplishing your non-profit schools laser rollout.

25:38

The next step in the planning process is to analyze your non-profits, capacity, and finances.

25:45

It doesn't have enough people to accomplish its work.

25:48

If not, what will it do to bring the workload and staffing into alignment?

25:53

Is there sufficient funding?

25:55

On most cases, everyone says, no, there isn't sufficient money.

25:59

So if not, what needs to be done to bring that level of funding into alignment?

26:06

With what your non-profit seeks to achieve, or maybe the non-profit is attempting to do too much, and needs to be need to, you need to take a critical look what really is possible.

26:27

Finally, consider your non-profits level of expertise.

26:31

What is the workforce good at?

26:34

Are there any initiatives that are well suited to the present level of experience and knowledge?

26:40

How are the relationships that are non-profit?

26:43

you're a non-profit with other non-profits?

26:47

Are there opportunities to work together?

26:50

How are the relationship between senior management and the board?

26:54

Are they good, or are they in disarray?

26:59

And what about the relationships between staff and senior management?

27:05

An analysis of the level of expertise in these relationships can identify serious, serious challenges for the non-profit areas that need to be worked out.

27:19

Once these critical tasks are completed, you then need to finalize decisions, which acquires the agreement and the course of action, or actions that will be taken under various key issues addressing plan.

27:34

This is the final stage of maturing agreement on the issues.

27:40

It should not allow for a complete rehashing.

27:43

However, if there's strong disagreement, it has to be addressed in order to ensure success of the planning effort.

27:54

The planning document should clearly articulate the agreed upon mission, vision, and value statements.

28:03

These statements should be used as standards to guide the organization's decision making.

28:10

For instance, is this new practice in alignment with our values?

28:15

Does this new initiative help us to achieve our mission?

28:19

These are the sort of questions that should be used to keep the organization on track.

28:27

Next, describe the goals, objectives, the schedule for achievement, and the responsible parties for achieving the goals and objectives.

28:39

These are needed in order to identify what the organization will work on. What part of the organization is responsible for that work.

28:48

It will also be used to monitor success or the need to revise and approach.

28:56

Finally, determine a timeline for re visiting or revising the plan.

29:03

Typical revision times are 3 to 5 years, even though the plan may be revised at any time in order to address major changes that will or have taken place.

29:21

Once all these decisions are made, write down the entire document.

29:27

This is a way for everyone to see what was agreed upon.

29:31

Also, it will be used decision-makingsion making and budget development.

29:37

So it is important to write Gandhi agreement, sticklers people's thoughts and memories have a tendency to change over time and based on the issue at hand.

29:48

So it's critical that, yeah, these things memorialized, if you will, in a single document.

29:58

Now, put a plan into action, it is critical that the plan be monitored.

30:06

So that progress and goal achievement can be assessed, then actions taken to ensure success.

30:13

Typically, plans are monitored by management and, or the board on a quarterly basis, or maybe three times a year, and these reviews typically take place at a regular board meeting.

30:28

And, in my experience, if things are going well, this the rule may take only about 10 to 15 minutes. If things are not going well, then it might take a little bit longer. But, that's OK, because there is an issue that needs to be addressed.

30:46

And, so, quality time from senior management and Board of directors should be invested in solving the issue.

30:58

The plan should also be used as a guide through the annual budget process to ensure that programs that are needed to achieve goals receive adequate resources, but also, importantly, to help restrict fundi going to good ideas that are not priorities, Because these things will cause the organization to become distracted from achieving, it's agreed upon goals and objectives.

31:27

Similarly, the strategic plan should be used to develop the annual work plan, so the organization.

31:33

What actions are to be taken over the upcoming year to achieve our goals?

31:39

What actions will be needed to achieve our goal of 15% increase in donor contributions, for instance?

31:48

And importantly, the planning can be used as a way of saying no to any dishes that will distract your organization from achieving this goal.

31:58

Let's face it, there's lots of things we would all like to see done. However, we must recognize that there is only 24 hours in a day. We cannot do everything. There is limited resources.

32:13

one day, more important things on the strategic plan, is that it helps us stay on track by identifying what's truly important, 40 organization, and provides us with the path for achieving our goals.

32:33

So, thank you for taking the time to listen, and I hope some of this has been informative to you.

32:39

And I think we do have some time for questions.

32:42

So, I'm going to go through Question Box here, see what we have.

32:47

Thanks.

32:49

Lots of questions.

33:00

Just a quick reminder, so that people can type in your questions at this time. So, make sure to click on the orange arrow key on the left side corner of your screen. That will expand the control panel, and you will see the questions box there. As the questions that are, there are from people who are having issues with their sound.

33:21

So, we can, we can give them just a couple of minutes just to see if they want to type in something. In the meantime, I just want to go over a little thing that I wanted to mention before the webinar, and this is the first time ever that we have done webinars for your comments. And your feedback are very, very valuable. If you, please stay after the webinar, and you will see that our survey pops up. It'll take you NaN to complete. It's completely anonymous comments will help us improve our content. So we appreciate you taking the time to do so.

34:01

So we have a question regarding how can you get team members to meet deadlines.

34:09

For a strategic plan, one of the one of the ways that I abused is upfront when you're selecting members to participate on a strategic plan is to describe to them right upfront that here's the timing that we envision for this project. It's going to take six months.

34:32

That will require you to be very timely in what the task you need to accomplish.

34:39

And so, one of the ways, get members to meet their deadlines, is to have them commit upfront to get a test done.

34:51

Other, some, some folks have used actual contracts, like a volunteer contract, a one pager that basically says, I commit to completing my work on time.

35:05

That's another technique that you might might use.

35:09

There's a question here about the use is saying no.

35:13

Saying no to new initiatives and new ideas is really very difficult. We all want to help people.

35:19

We all want to, oh, help folks accomplish what they they desire.

35:27

However, we, we have to recognize, we can't do everything, and it's better to do a few things extremely well than to do a lot of things very poorly.

35:40

And so, the strategic plan can be used, basically, as a guide, we're standard.

35:47

So, when someone comes in with that initiative, that, you know, that's not fit, you can point to just teach a plan.

35:55

And you can say, Well, if it's not here, are non-profit has identified these goals?

36:03

And so, this is new one, and so, once we accomplish these new goals or the goals that we've adopted, then we will consider yours.

36:19

There's a question here about, a board of directors is working on a high level strategic plan, while in the midst of the CEO hire.

36:32

And the comment is, step is hesitant to move forward without leadership in place, and I would agree with that.

36:41

B: What you really want to have happen is to have the new CEO on board.

36:50

before you initiate this strategic planning effort.

36:53

You need to have that person's input.

36:56

They're out there, vision.

36:59

There's style of work involved.

37:01

In fact, I would say that you should even start the strategic plan until the CEO has been in place for at least six months, so that they understand how the organization works.

37:13

Now, how do you convince the Board of Directors to do that?

37:17

Here's another, no. another issue.

37:22

It's gotta be done very politely there very politically, And I suspect that the best way of trying to convince them is to suggest that you or the organization, really wants to have a successful nonprofit strategic planning effort.

37:42

And the best way to do that is to ensure that the C O is part of a process, that the CEO has ownership, understands, why the reasoning behind the agreed upon goals and objectives.

38:00

That might be the way to get around that.

38:05

See?

38:15

So, there's a question about timing on suggested time period. For a strategic plan. How long should it last?

38:24

Oh, I think 3 to 5 years is that is a typical timeframe.

38:31

More than if it's less than three years, then you're spending a lot of time, effort, working on plans.

38:38

Instead of accomplishing your work, if it's more than five years, then things are changing in the environment, the operational environment, too fast. Can you do your organization?

38:51

Isn't, may not be nimble enough to adjust to the changes?

38:56

So I think my 3 to 5 year timeframe or Outlook for strategic planners is actually best.

39:04

two years, one years, I think, too, too, Sure!

39:11

How does it work when you have a very little organization, like 3 or 4 staff members?

39:18

Frank, I've worked with working on a strategic plan, which S, I think our organization had, it was 5 or 6, basically the board of directors and, and a staff member. So.

39:32

Well, I think it's very, very important to have a strategic plan.

39:38

We're both very small organizations and very large, and it all goes back to, there's limited resources out there, limited time, then effort.

39:49

And so you want to make sure that just, you're spending quality time for a very small organization.

39:55

Maybe you just want to come up with 3, 2, or three goals and get an agreement on that.

40:01

And then just go up the action plan for, forget them those things accomplished.

40:17

OK, John, I think, for, we're just about to close, do you want to answer a couple more questions? Where do you think we're ready to go?

40:27

I can ask, let me answer two more.

40:34

There's a question here about, is there a fixed date.

40:38

four, when a strategic plan has to be finished, ready to run, And the short answer is no.

40:47

It's And I have this, you don't have to go back to, it's an operational definition.

40:53

When you see it, you know it, You need to have basic agreement among those in the organization, the goals and objectives, and the resources.

41:04

And this takes time.

41:06

It takes effort if the issues are straightforward, yogurt, agreement fairly quickly, if not, then you need to discuss them and hammer out agreements, it really depends on what the planning effort is working on.

41:24

Similarly, there is a question about the time of the year.

41:28

And I don't think there is a good or bad time of the year.

41:33

I would, if possible, take a look at what the organization does over the entire year, and select the time when the organization is less busy, to start to nonprofit strategic planning effort.

41:59

So, those are two questions. I can go more like myself. It totally depends up to you. If you want to stay longer, we can stay in people who need to log out, just note that the recording will be available in your charity how to Library by tomorrow morning, So, feel free to jump off if you want. Or, say as long as John wants to stay answering questions.

42:22

I'll stay answering questions and or another 10 minutes.

42:31

OK, here's a question: Can you expand on ways to get board members to research and prepare for planning meeting?

42:38

It's difficult to motivate people to reheat meals and materials.

42:44

Man, I think if I could answer that one, I'd be making a lot of money.

42:52

I think what has to happen here is, and for board members, it's really the job of the chairperson.

43:01

And so, if you have board members, you're coming unprepared to planning meetings, then someone, and this is probably the CEO needs to talk to the Chairperson and tomes.

43:16

The chairperson, hey look.

43:20

Board members are shown, you know.

43:21

Some board members have shown up without adequate preparation, and that is causing this, this planning effort to take longer, or we're causing conflict within the group, and so, could you chairperson talk to the board member and now encourage them to become more prepared for these meetings?

43:46

This really depends on relationships.

43:49

If you've got good relationships going on, between the board, members themselves, between the board and senior management, then these conversations can be, you know, can happen, it can resolve the matter if they're, if there's conflict going on and this is actually kind of a bear or a barometer. If you see a lot of this going on, then there might be some conflict.

44:21

And so, it might be, oh, An indicator.

44:28

Something larger going on, but once again, in order to get the Board members to be prepared requires the chairperson to talk to them.

44:39

And way of getting a chairperson to do that is to get the CEO of the organization.

44:45

Or someone who's that's a trusted relationship with the chairperson to talk to them about the issue.

45:01

It's a question here about how many people are viewpoints maybe needed to make a successful strategic plan?

45:11

Um, I'm not so sure, you need a specific number, different viewpoints.

45:22

However, you do need the atmosphere, or the environment, that allows for different viewpoints to be expressed.

45:32

Add, if everyone is just all sane or going along with things than someone needs to be playing devil's advocate, someone needs to say, well, what happens, if, Or, should we be doing that?

45:50

someone needs to bring that stuff, all those things up, in order to make sure that everyone is considering?

46:02

All of the possible choices there available to possible opportunities and the possible threats, If you have people, if you don't have, because the discussion going on, it's a problem.

46:17

And so, some someone, whoever's lead the effort, or the chairperson of the board, or the CEO, or what, wherever, what other leader you have in your organization, needs to step up and begin to.

46:39

Ask questions.

46:42

To describe alternate points of view, so that everyone feels free to talk about it.

47:02

So, here's a question about, Do you have suggestions for gathering input from that community, from the patrons, city, county leaders, prior to creating or updating a strategic plan?

47:20

one thing that you might do is.

47:25

Just to interview folks, and these can be they don't need to be formal interviews. They can be informal interviews.

47:33

Oh, meeting them at the grocery store and talking through some issues.

47:38

Having lunch, and talking through some issues.

47:42

This might provide you with some important, basic information.

47:49

Oh, this strategic plan is going to be difficult.

47:52

This strategic plan needs to address 1 or 2 issues.

47:57

These are the issues that I think we need to invest more time and effort in thinking about, prior to updating our strategic plan.

48:07

So, you can do this on an informal basis, which can lead to a more formal analysis and collection of data, a more formal interviewing process. Maybe some short e-mail questionnaires can go out.

48:39

Oh, here's a group. They're all great questions.

48:42

Here's another interesting question, What if we can't fulfill our goals and strategy?

48:49

Should we plan only things that we are assured to be able to accomplish?

48:56

Well, if you can't fulfill your goals, then you really need to take a look at why ask a question, Why? What is going on?

49:07

Do we lack resources? Are they the wrong goals? Is that our expertise?

49:12

Is it a changing operational environment?

49:20

Really, if you're not able to fulfill your goals, I mean, that's, it's a major problem.

49:26

So, you need to spend some quality time and effort to understand why, and that is the value of monitoring.

49:34

Monitoring your progress will provide you with an indication of, are you making progress?

49:42

And if you're not making progress, why not?

49:45

Also, if you have made progress, it's good to understand why: What did we do to be successful, so that you can repeat that?

49:58

And, in regards to planning only things that you're sure to accomplish, I say no to that.

50:05

You should You should really take a look at your mission statement. What, what is it about the organization?

50:14

What, what are you trying to achieve?

50:17

What's your vision?

50:19

And I didn't say this before.

50:22

I believe in having big goals, goals, that make the organization stretch, even if you're a very small organization, 3 or 4 or 5 people, you still can have big goals.

50:35

And build big goals will cause you to, they actually help build morale, because you're going to, frankly, change the world.

50:47

It gets people excited and that gets people dedicated. So, it's very important, I think, not only to have important goals, goals that align with your mission and vision statement, but also goals that make the organization stretch so that they, the organization learns, becomes more productive.

51:25

Yeah, there's a question here about Tom, basically Disfunctional Borg.

51:31

And is it realistic to do a successful strategic plan when chaos reigns in a background?

51:40

Well, it's the chaos.

51:45

It's raining in the background is a limiting factor for a non-profit to achieve its goals.

51:51

So, what, What the strategic plan might do, is, provide the opportunity to address this chaos, by first identifying who we have some relationship problems going on. We have some preparation problems going on, and that is keeping us from being a more effective and efficient organization. So let's talk about that.

52:17

Might provide a neutral way of addressing A the power to issue.

52:27

And I do believe you have to have these good board relationship, or intra end, intra and inter board relationships.

52:40

So the Board, amongst, themselves, needs to be able to work together. And the Board, and the senior management, and all of the personnel in a non-profit have to be able to work together.

52:52

And a strategic plan will provide the opportunity to address dysfunctional relationships.

53:03

And I think they can do that in a neutral way, Because it provides the opportunity to ask, well, why aren't we doing, as well as we should?

53:13

What's, what's holding us back?

53:15

And pretty soon, in the conversations, it's going to come up that it's the dysfunction that's occurring.

53:23

And then, the next question can be answered. Well, what's causing the dysfunction? And how can we get rid of it?

53:31

Well, it looks like we've enter dark time, and thank you again for these wonderful questions, and for taking the time to be with us, to walk through the  nonprofit strategic planning process. It's been a pleasure Thank you, Thank you, John, thanks everyone for joining us today, Please Stay Safe and Healthy, and we hope to see you again on another charity webinar by CharityHowTo.

Topics: nonprofit management