Lessons Learned While Prepping for a Strategic Planning Board Retreat

I recently offered to help a friend, Jen, plan her nonprofit’s retreat. We met for coffee and she explained that she had decided to start off her term as board president by holding a 3-hour strategic planning board retreat (replacing the second board meeting of the year).  The executive director … [Read more...]

Achieve Your Vision With A Strategic Planning Process

In the past week, I have spoken with two organizations who have realized they need a new strategy to accomplish their vision.  They both have a clear understanding of what they want to achieve - growth in one case and an increased endowment to supplement annual spending in the other. But, each came … [Read more...]

What Does The Demise of Ringling Bros. Have To Do With Your Nonprofit?

What is the difference between Netflix and Blockbuster? Cirque de Soleil and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Baiiley Circus?  Amazon and Barnes & Noble? In all three cases, they started out with a very similar product, or at least a similar product offering.  Now, one is thriving and one is … [Read more...]

7 Considerations Before Starting a Nonprofit Strategic Plan

Is the leadership excited by the potential? A nonprofit strategic plan is not something that can be accomplished without the support and excitement of the board and staff. It will take additional time, energy and focus as well as buy-in from the leadership. Without this commitment, the exciting and … [Read more...]

Nonprofit Strategic Planning: the When, the Why and the Who

Nonprofit strategic planning is often used when organizations are: In a strong place and looking to stay that way; Introducing new leadership and want to ensure the organization continues to work towards unified goals; Creating a shared vision as to the future direction of the … [Read more...]

Common Strategic Plan Implementation Mistakes

My children do not go for a yearly doctor’s appointment. They, in fact go for annual wellness checkups. This idea that they are seeing a professional to ensure they are growing, developing and staying on a healthy path is a better message and a strong reminder of what is important. Nonprofits, on … [Read more...]

Minimizing Costs and Risks in a Building Project

by Sam Frank, Principal, Synthesis Partnership New facilities, while exciting, are an extraordinarily expensive commitment, with a variety of hidden costs, and budgets that can easily balloon out of control. If you need to build—or think you might—there are ways to reduce your costs, your risks and … [Read more...]

You Have a New Mission and Vision – Now What?

There are many reasons to ensure your mission and vision are still relevant and supported within your organization. Here are a few: You are about to start a strategic planning process You have had a major change in staff or board leadership You are considering a capital campaign You want … [Read more...]

Focusing on Your Mission and Vision

In the past couple of months I have worked with two organizations as they reconsidered their mission and vision.  While the organizations are drastically different from each other, both were doing this process as the first step in strategic planning.    I was proud of both organizations for taking … [Read more...]

Q. What is the value of a formal, quadrennial, strategic planning process?

A. To put it simply there are concrete benefits to creating a plan. Why? 1 - Creating a plan will engage your board, lay leadership and staff to settle on goals for the next few years. 2 - If you are in an organization where there is an abundance of ideas of what should/could be done but lack … [Read more...]