Every nonprofit organization needs a strategic plan because net profit is not monetary. Strategic planning determines the strategies that best enable the nonprofit to advance its mission. This article will explain how to create a reliable strategy with the help of automated tools.
Why do nonprofits need a strategy?
The strategic approach implies that all nonprofits’ activities aim to achieve a single goal enshrined in the mission. Every administrative decision, every project implemented and every resource attracted and applied should bring the organization closer to achieving this goal. Otherwise, the organizations’ actions are not just meaningless but harmful. They lead to a waste of effort, time and resources that could be directed to helpful strategies. It is essential that this single goal, as well as approximate ways to achieve it, should be determined in advance.
A strategy helps an organization answer three main questions:
- Where does the organization want to go?
- How is the organization going to do this?
- What funds will be required for this?
By formulating a strategy, the nonprofits received clear goals and agreed to performance expectations and developed indicators that will help to understand whether the organization is moving closer to its goals. Thus, such companies can measure the effectiveness of their activities, analyze them and draw motivated conclusions about what should be changed in their work.
Step-by-step geode on creating a nonprofit strategic plan
There are several steps in creating an excellent strategic plan for nonprofit organizations:
- To begin with, such organizations should determine their capabilities: resources, competencies and time.
- Then it is essential to analyze the conditions in which the organization will operate.
- Next, they need to formulate the organization’s mission and prescribe a vision of an ideal future: how the world should look so that the activities of companies are no longer required.
- Then it is necessary to single out the range of problems within the scope of the nonprofit’s activities to determine the goals and objectives, the implementation of which will allow solving the problems.
- Then they must draw up a logical model of their activities, analyze possible risks, and draw up a program plan and budget.
A good way to engage the nonprofit board of directors is to link the nonprofit’s strategic initiatives to the agenda of the board’s meetings and include a brief discussion of some aspects of the nonprofit’s strategic direction on the agenda of each meeting.
Board software – a critical element of the nonprofit strategic plan
Today nonprofits need tools to help with day-to-day operations or even during emergencies to adapt to the digital age. A conference call can unite all board members worldwide to exchange ideas anytime. Every nonprofit organization needs a financial plan, as a tighter budget and a free conferencing system can save money while improving their daily operations. Therefore, more and more companies implement board management software to organize secure collaboration of collegial bodies in real time.
Furthermore, the board software offers a ready-made nonprofit strategic plan template to simplify and automate the work of the board of directors. It will help them articulate their thoughts clearly to present the product vision and strategic plan. The software creates a document that can be shared with employees and stakeholders to inform them.
This digital solution has built-in tools in demand in management practice but are not included in the “classical systems”. For example, arranging online meetings, creating a voting system, monitoring the execution of instructions and design decisions, collecting regulated reporting, lists of open questions, generating agendas, resolutions, and minutes, etc.