Before You Plan

We, and the nonprofit sector as a whole, are indebted to the Peter F. Drucker Foundation (now the Leader to Leader Institute) for their continuing work to strengthen and build the capacity of the nonprofit organizations.

Strategic Planning Is Critical To An Organization Because It Completes Three Important Functions:

1. It forces a focus on the mission of the organization. According to the Leader to Leader Institute, eight out of 10 non profit organizations are doing work that is outside their mission because they are unable to say "no" when someone comes to them with a good cause. The mission of the organization is its reason for being; an end result of what the organization wants to achieve. By defining clearly what and organizations exits to achieve, it meets the ultimate goal of mobilizing staff and volunteers to concentrate their efforts on the right work.

2. It encourages constructive dissent. A planned process allows the values and views of all stakeholders to be heard. It provides an environment where all participants have access to the same information and resources. A clear description of the facts provides a process for a leadership group having differing views to find consensus on a single defined mission and plan.

3. Ultimately, the strategic planning process strengthens the organization. It provides a platform for the organization to allocate its human and material resources and it sets the stage for the organization to seek new resources to fulfill its mission.