4 Strategy Basics That Every Nonprofit Organization Should Know

Strategic planning Nonprofit Organization

Written by Tim Grable

November 19, 2021

Strategic planning is key to the long-term success of your organization – as it helps you focus on what’s essential so that you can distribute your resources in a way that will produce sustainable progress.

To help you get the strategy right for your nonprofit organization, we’ve put together a list of four key strategy basics which you should know about.

Let’s dive right in!

non-profit planning

1. Strategy Does NOT Equal Goal-Setting

Frequently, the words strategy and goals are used interchangeably. However, this is an imprecise, loose way of approaching strategic planning.

Strategizing can and should include setting goals, but the goals themselves are not enough to constitute a strategy.

A more accurate, more complex way of defining what creating and implementing a strategy should encompass is:

  • analyzing your organization’s current effectiveness and performance;
  • formulating goals and developing a plan of actions required to advance your nonprofit’s mission;
  • implementing the defined plan of action;
  • evaluating the project and revising it, if necessary, according to results.

2. Effective Strategic Planning Requires Knowing What Your Strengths Are

To develop a successful strategy, you must first understand your organization’s strengths so that you can apply them to your goals and objectives.

Think about the assets you have access to, the support that gives you an advantage over others in your space. It can be:

  • a particular set of skills;
  • an impressive network of people which you can turn to;
  • or even a fabulous event space that you can utilize to host fundraisers.

Those are the unique strengths you can leverage to differentiate your nonprofit organization from its competitors and reach your goals faster.

So, it’s important to take them into account when developing your strategy.

3. Strategy without Execution Will Get You Nowhere

Even the most brilliant ideas will fail if you don’t put them into action. 

So, once you have your strategic planning document, turn it into an operational blueprint divided into actionable to-dos. 

Another critical thing is to make sure that all those who will implement the strategy clearly understand it and their role in it.

This way, the strategy you’ve worked so hard to develop won’t just gather dust in a drawer somewhere but will lead to results and support your organization’s growth.


4. Strategy is an Ongoing Process

One of the things that many nonprofit organization members get wrong because they assume a strategy is an event, a one-time decision, or something they do at the start of their organization.

A better way to think about strategic planning is as being a continual process.

The environment in which nonprofits constantly operate changes and strategy should be designed to change accordingly.

The most successful nonprofits don’t merely create a strategic plan and shelve it for years on end. They use strategic planning as an ongoing process to evaluate what they’re doing and how they’re doing it.

Want More Tips for Achieving Better Results for Your Nonprofit Organization?

We hope that the insights we shared in this article have given you something to think about and that you now feel better prepared to tackle strategic planning for your nonprofit.

For more tips that will help you take your nonprofit to the next level, be sure also to check out some of the other articles on our blog.

And if you ever need help finding the best entertainment for a fundraising event, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (615) 283-0039! We’d love to hear from you.

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