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Why Strategic Planning is Priority #1

Amy Schiffman
March 2, 2021

When’s the last time you went on a road trip? 

Remember the feeling of plugging the destination in your navigation system and knowing you had a whole path laid out ahead of you? 

Even if you had to take a detour, you knew where you were going, what stops you’d make along the way, and what the trip would entail. You knew what snacks you had in back, who was going to DJ, and approximately how long until you were ready to switch drivers.

It’s probably safe to say that the road trip your nonprofit has taken this year has included a number of detours. 

Everything has changed - including programs, governance, and fundraising plans.

Now that uncertainty is the new normal, we’re keenly aware of the need to adapt on a dime. That said, a navigation system that would get you back on track, moving toward your destination, would be both comforting and compelling right now. So, what if you had a tool that could reroute your journey and get you back on track to best deliver on your mission and maximize your outcomes?

While our “Google Maps for Nonprofits” is still in the works, we can offer you this: an updated strategic plan.

If you’re like us, you are ready to put the constant rejiggering in the past and create a clear path forward. But, you also might be concerned with investing time and resources into an action plan when you don’t know what the future holds. 

A strategic plan is your best option  for moving forward smoothly and with limited detours from here on out. Your existing plan might need a refresh, or maybe it’s time to embark on the process for the first time. Either way, both the process and the result can help clarify what it is your organization hopes to achieve and how it will get there.

Destination, meet roadmap. Here’s why a strategic plan is the best path forward… 

  1. It starts with a vision - We’ve spent the last few weeks talking about the importance of a strategic vision (you can find those blog posts here). The truth is that without vision, organizations are cruising down side streets hoping they reach a destination they don’t know exists. In order to draft your plan, you must know where you want to go. Strategic planning begins with a vision, an essential tool to regain control, realign stakeholders, and reenergize your organization. 
  2. It puts steps in place to work toward that vision - the vision is the end goal but the strategic planning process clearly outline which goals, strategies and tactics you’ll employ to get you there . 
  3. It holds you accountable - After spending time, and often, money, on a strategic planning process, the goal is to get the plan off the shelf and into the hands of the committees who put them into action. A strategic plan includes clear benchmarks for success and an implementation timeline to hold you accountable along the way. 

We can’t wait to see you out on the road again soon, but until then, we’ll be talking more about strategic planning on our webinar on March 3 at noon Central. Click here to save your spot!

Moving Past the Pivot: Why Strategic Planning is Priority #1

We've covered the “pivot” and learned to function in “uncertain times". So now what? Join Evolve's CEO, Amy Schiffman, and Consultant (and veteran strategist), Stefan Teodosic, as we put your new scenario planning skills to work on a new or updated strategic plan. We'll talk about who is involved, why there is no tool more valuable to your organization's future, and what role visioning plays in this process. Perhaps most importantly, we'll teach you how to get started. Join us as we explore life outside of crisis mode -- we promise to activate your strategic superpowers.

Click here to save your spot!

If your organization is having trouble articulating your destination, let’s start by examining your mission. In today’s freebie, we’re sharing a worksheet to help you think about your mission statement.