5 Guidelines for a Simplified Nonprofit Strategic Planning Process
“There is no such thing as a simplified strategic planning process, and how dare you suggest there is!”
That was just the first sentence of many derogatory ones directed at me by a professor who taught strategic planning. I had dared to publish a blog on the subject, “The Six-Hour Strategic Plan,” after field-testing the process for almost 10 years. (It won an award for innovation by the way.)
So, how did the simplified process come about? The first nonprofit I served was in a small, rural community. I was the only staff. Everything I knew and read about strategic planning said that it took a lot of time and money. I struggled every day to figure out how to get everything done with very limited resources. All the books I read and all the classes I attended bombarded me with copious information and theory. How could I narrow it down and make it work for me in my small nonprofit? How in the world could I fit strategic planning into everything else?
For those of you in larger nonprofits with sophisticated planning processes and lots of resources, you probably do not need to read any further. But for small to mid-sized nonprofits with limited resources or for anyone who has never done strategic planning, this process might be just what you need to jumpstart a never-ending strategic planning process. This is what I learned.
M.L. Donnellan has more than 30 years of experience as a nonprofit CEO, motivational speaker, consultant, trainer, mentor and writer. She is the author of more than 60 books, guides and webinars on nonprofit management, which are in use in more than a dozen countries. She just recently published a series of 12 webinars for Nonprofit WebAdvisor's Nonprofit Executive Director Certification program. She has an M.S. degree in administration and a B.S. degree in human resources management.