how to define strategic planning

The non-profit world, in which I’ve spent the majority of my adult work life, is increasingly taking its cues from business techniques towards being more effective in accomplishing its mission.

One of the very valuable tools for developing a plan of action is called strategic planning. Strategic Planning for Nonprofit OrganizationsI recall a conversation where we were trying to explain what strategic planning was and how valuable it was to an organization, especially to warrant the pricey consulting fees.

I finally came across this fairly concise definition of strategic planning in Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations (Second Edition), by Michael Allison and Jude Kaye:

Strategic planning is a systematic process through which an organization agrees on — and builds commitment among key stakeholders to — priorities that are essential to its mission and are responsive to the environment. Strategic planning guides the acquisition and allocation of resources to achieve these priorities.

What makes strategic planning so valuable is having the commitment from stakeholders, e.g. staff, supporters, board members, AND having an action plan that is responsive to the current situation. Since there are limited resources, an organization would do better to think strategically and collaboratively to use its resources wisely and effectively.

What may have worked 2 years ago might not work tomorrow, especially in a fast-changing world. And, change is not going to slow down. Anyone know what Twitter was 2 years ago? Will people still use Twitter 2 years from now?

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9 Responses

  1. Dear DJ:
    > Just ran across your blog post on strategic planning.
    >
    > Thought you might be interested in a Group I have created on LinkedIn called
    > “Strategic Planning for Nonprofits.”
    >
    > Also, you should take a look at David La Piana's book THE NONPROFIT STRATEGY
    > REVOLUTION, which has a good definition in it of strategy.
    >
    > Best,
    > Morrie
    >
    > Morrie Warshawski
    > 1480 Cedar Avenue
    > Napa, CA 94559
    > 707.224.4353 [email protected]
    > http://www.warshawski.com

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