Strategic Planning: Gathering Data #2

Continuing with the strategic planning process of data gathering, today I will cover:

  1. Strategic Planning Interviews
  2. Survey Program Recipients
  3. Positional Mapping

Strategic Planning Interviews

The interview survey asks questions concerning the organizational infrastructure, programming, organization facility, volunteers, staff, Board members, finances and fundraising, marketing, outreach and communications and setting future goals. You will want to conduct these as face-to-face interviews, phone interviews and email surveys.

You want to have the respondent rate each area of the nonprofit.

Agree Scale (example):

The organization has a clearly articulated and agreed upon mission.

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
  • Don’t Know

Numerical Scale (example):

Please rate your board’s effectiveness by circling one of the four options provided:

  • 1=high
  • 2=adequate
  • 3=needs improvement
  • 4=don’t know/not applicable

You will also want to ask for comments or suggestions if the participant disagrees with a statement or feels that a certain area needs improvement.

Who should participate in the Strategic Planning Interviews: Board members, staff, volunteers, docents, donors, community members and City officials.

Program Recipient Surveys

The program recipient survey captures the demographic information and feedback about programs from those who utilize the nonprofit’s services (i.e. visitors at a museum, youth enrolled an after school program).  The demographic information you want to gather can be: age, geographic location, ethnicity, number of children in the family.  The information you want to gather about the services provided can be: how many times the person accesses the services, what they like best about the services, and what new services they would utilize if offered.

Who should participate in the program recipient survey: anyone who receives services from the organization.

Positional Mapping

A positional map compares the services of your organization with the services of like organizations.  The positional map highlights what is unique about your organization and will help “position” yourself in program offerings in marketing and public awareness.

When I worked with the Foundation for Women on their strategic plan, they had two main programs: women’s health and wellness and microcredit lending.  We created a positional map for each program and realized that the women’s health and wellness program was being duplicated by other organizations that could provide much better services and resources.  Ultimately, it was recommended that the program be eliminated.

Here is a sample of positional map: Positional Map Sample

Who should participate in the positional mapping: Executive Director, Key staff members


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