It’s something that is continually amazing to me. I’m talking about the number of organizations that don’t have a plan – strategic or otherwise. You’ve all heard the adage, if you don’t have a plan you’re planning to fail, I’m sure.
With all of the challenges non-profits face, planning should be a top priority.
What can a well-thought-out plan do for you?
Save money as it allows you to get more done in less time and with fewer people
Figure out solutions to problems
I know that many of you give lip service to the importance of planning (“We’ll’ do it manana!”), but not many actually do “it”— at least not strategically.
Planning doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming. Don’t just wing it. If that’s what you’re doing, you shouldn’t be surprised by your lack of results.
If knowing that putting in the necessary time means that you are ensuring more success, I challenge you and your organization’s true commitment to its mission if planning isn’t an activity you do regularly.
When you plan, make sure to put in writing what you want to achieve. These goals should be measurable. Then list the strategies and timelines that will be used to reach your goals.
What will it cost to put your plan into action and to identify where the needed funds are going to come from?
Are there obstacles that may be in the way? What are some of your proposed solutions? Who is going to do what to help expedite these solutions?
Here’s the thing: your plan doesn’t have to be perfect. Revise it, update it. Your plan should be a document that gets tweaked when appropriate.
When it comes to fundraising, get others involved in the process because the more ideas the better. An added benefit is the buy-in inclusion creates.
If you’re in a leadership role, it’s your responsibility to make sure attention is given to this simple and effective tool which is vital to achieving the success you and your organization says it wants to achieve.
Come on now, be honest. When is the last time you did some strategic planning?