Strategic Plan

Preparing for the Strategic Planning Process

Strategic Plan:  (str-tjk) also stra·te·gi·cal (-j-kl) \ˈplan\

Disliked by nonprofit Board of Directors, loathed by staff and often requires a paid consultant.

A strategic plan provides a map for an organization.  It determines short and long-range goals, and where to allocate resources to accomplish its goals. The strategic planning process closely examines the organization’s mission, operations, human resources (Board, staff and volunteers), budget, program effectiveness, community needs, and overall nonprofit compliance.  The strategic plan has both a short-term (1-2 year) and long-term (5 year) plan.

Strategic planning is a tool to articulate goals and objectives that will lead to the accomplishment of the mission of the organization.  It is a three to five year blueprint for the nonprofit’s future. The strategic planning process answers:

  • Who are we?
  • Where are we?
  • Where do we want to go (or not go) & why?
  • How do we get there?
  • How do we know when we get there?

Preparing for the Strategic Planning Process

  1. Form a Strategic Planning Committee
  2. Develop or refine the Mission, Vision and Values Statements

Strategic Planning Committee Role & Responsibilities


The Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) develops and recommends the overall strategic direction for the nonprofit organization, monitors the progress, reviews results as a basis for setting new strategy, and recommends actions to the Executive Committee and, if necessary, to the Board of Directors consistent with the Strategic Plan.


  • Determine potential organizational issues
  • Review the Assessment Interview Questions
  • Review the responses to the Interview Questions
  • Review the positional maps
  • Provide feedback and make recommendations based on the results of the interviews and positional mapping
  • Assist with setting measurable goals and objectives
  • Provide input to help finalize written strategic plan
  • Work with the Finance Committee as needed to ensure a rational linkage between strategic priorities and financial planning and budgeting
  • Assist in communicating the vision for the organization to the Board of Directors
  • In the future, conduct an annual review of the strategic plan and analyze the organization’s progress in achieving its goals

Mission Statement

Your mission statement should state who are you serving, how are you serving and why you are serving them.  Simply, the mission statement describes the overall purpose of the organization.  Your mission statement should be a sufficient description that clearly separates the mission of the organization from other organizations.

The basic framework of your mission statement:

The mission of the nonprofit organization is to serve (who) with (services) in (location).

Vision Statement

To develop a vision statement using this formula:  “Five years from now, the (nonprofit organization name) will ___________________ by ________________________.”

Values Statement

To create a values statement: Values are the guiding principles of the organization and represent “what the organization stands for.”  Present a list of values to the people who will be leaders in your organization and have each person circle the values that are representative of your organization. Some possible values to choose from: Challenge, Change, Community, Compassion, Creativity, Balance, Awareness, Adventure, Achievement, Excellence, Excitement, Flexibility, Growth, Influence, Integrity, Leadership, Learning, Loyalty, Making a Difference, Prosperity, Quality, Security, Service, Success, Trust, Truth, Knowledge, Openness, and Empowerment.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will write about the strategic planning process — giving your tips, templates and encouragement.

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