Nonprofit leaders – 8 good reasons to embark upon strategic planning

Whether you are the CEO, president, or executive director, the reality is that you have a lot on your plate! While you know your organization should have a strategic plan, there are plenty of obstacles that can get in the way of launching a strategic planning process. What follows are our thoughts on why there is value in removing those obstacles and moving ahead:

  1. This is a great opportunity for you to demonstrate leadership. If you want to be recognized by your staff team and your board as an active and visionary leader, don’t miss the opportunity to take the lead on a planning process that results in a dynamic plan for achieving an exciting future.
  2. If you’ve felt like you and your board aren’t always on the same page, then strategic planning can help solve that. Actively engage the board in planning. A well-managed planning process will build shared ownership for your organizational priorities.
  3. Boards that micromanage are often well-intentioned and ready to help, but they aren’t getting the opportunity to work at the right level. They should be working on strategic matters rather than getting into the details of management. A strategic plan is an essential tool in moving your board to the right level.
  4. The strategic planning process is your opportunity to step away from the day-to-day of running the organization and engage staff and board leadership in considering long-term needs and issues: facility needs, contraction or expansion of staff, reviewing staff compensation, mergers and acquisitions, or even a possible capital campaign.
  5. If your organization hopes to seek or renew accreditation for some aspect of its work, you will often find that having an up-to-date strategic plan is a requirement and/or that the process of planning helps to position the organization for this work.
  6. One of the side benefits of a planning process can be the opportunity to build a sense of shared teamwork among the board and staff. Staff members who work in “silos” will have a chance to work with others on the big picture issues that stretch across the organization.
  7. If your planning process is designed with the goal of engaging stakeholders in the process, this can be a great opportunity to connect with donors, get input from clients, and test messages and satisfaction levels.
  8. Few things are more helpful than a strategic planning process for shaping your message strategy and articulating your fund raising needs. Many a capital campaign has grown out of a strategic planning process!

If you think it may be time to engage in a strategic planning process, visit our website for more advice or to learn about our consulting services: Or, begin the conversation now by filling out our contact form.