Strategic and Business Planning for Nonprofits | National Council of Nonprofits
Strategic planning has grown up! It’s no longer sufficient to engage your organization’s board in a planning retreat that results in staff spending hours and hours drafting a plan for the board’s approval that sits on the shelf and is never referred to again. Instead, the “new normal” for strategic planning gets the board engaged in defining strategy, committing to measurable goals, approving strategic objectives as well as practical and realistic implementation plans, and finally — committed to revisting the strategies as the organization’s internal and external environment changes. Read these resources to get up-to-speed with the new directions of strategic planning.
Nonprofits with a business plan that anticipates potential fluctuations in revenue are generally better able to weather the storms of economic upheaval. The following business planning resources offer strategies nonprofits can use to reduce their susceptibility to the negative impact of economic downturns.
- What are the benefits of business planning? Business Planning for Nonprofits: The Organizational and Leadership Benefits. Bridgespan (2006).
- Read all about developing a business plan for your nonprofit in this helpful report, Nonprofit Business Plan Development: From Vision, Mission and Values to Implementation, Terri Theissen, Healthcare Georgia Foundation, Publication #24, March 2008.
- Operating reserves: Where do they come from? How much is needed? The Nonprofits Assistance Fund offers a great primer on operating reserves.
- Operating Reserves Policy Toolkit – The National Center for Charitable Statistics, Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute, and United Way Worldwide offer this toolkit to help nonprofit boards first understand operating reserves, and secondly, craft appropriate written policies about operating reserves for their organizations.
- Should your nonprofit have a “business model statement” to complement the mission statement? Read about business model statements.
- Read some case studies on business planning, including the wrenching decisions that have to be made when a popular program is no longer financially viable CEOs Delve into Business Planning Bridgestar (2008).
- Basic background on business plans is available from the Free Management Library’s section on Nonprofit Business Planning
- Read a guide to help your nonprofit make strategic decisions for financial viability: Nonprofit Sustainability
Business Continuity Planning
Are you ready for the sudden loss of revenues or your nonprofit’s inability to conduct programs because of a weather disaster or other unexpected reason?
- Learn the basics of Business Continuity Planning with this on-line tutorial from the Nonprofit Risk Management Center.
- TechSoup has a great Disaster Planning and Recovery Toolkit on its website with a special focus on technology (think about life without computers!)
- If worse becomes worst, the Nonprofit Risk Management Center offers this Check-List for Winding Down.
Nonprofit Strategy Revolution: Real-Time Strategic Planning in a Rapid-Response World
Management & Leadership : Nonprofit Strategy Revolution: Real-Time Strategic Planning in a Rapid-Response World
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