Strategic planning is more than writing a mission statement and sticking
it up on your waiting room wall or in the latest grant application. It's a
living document that helps your organization and its people make important
choices. It's a tool for finding your organization's best future and the
best path to get there. It's a guide that helps potential funders understand
what your organization can do.
think that each unit and office within your program should have a strategic
plan. What is the housing, public benefits or family law unit attempting to
accomplish? What is the vision and plan of each branch office? What are the
goals of the people in your program who do education work? labor and
employment? consumer? Unit and substantive work plans should dovetail into
the organization's plan.
In addition, each person should have his or her own strategic plan --
vision, goals and how to achieve them. For information on individual
strategic planning, read the article,
Developing Your Personal Vision and the worksheet that follows, Personal Vision & Quality
In short, we believe that everyone should engage in strategic planning.
This section contains articles, on line training modules, information on
books, live workshops, consultants, and other useful tools to help you -- do
We'll keep adding material. Please give us feedback on this information.
Send us information or links that you think should be included here.
Strategic Planning in Non-Profit Legal Services Organizations
Marie Contreras, Benchmark Institute
Short article on the basics of strategic planning.
Don't Make Your Organization's Statement of Purpose A "Mission
Todd Poderis, Fundraising Forum
Creating or recreating a mission statement as an absolute prerequisite
for effective fundraising.
Strategic Planning Help Files
FAQs from Nonprofit GENIE website
maintained by C-MAP, the California Management Assistance Partnership, a
consortium of 14 nonprofit support organizations providing training and
technical assistance to local nonprofits.
Developing Your Strategic Plan
Free Management Library's
On-Line Nonprofit Organization Development Program Module #6
You can complete this module by yourself or with others. For example, you
may wish to go through it with a group of other folks in your organization,
other legal services providers or other non-profits. If you do economic
development work, this may help you design a training for your
The learning module contains:
Introduction -- explains how the
module fits into the program and the overall process of nonprofit
Specific Materials for Review --
references specific and free materials needed to respond to all
suggested topics for discussion and reflection and to the learning
activities to build basic systems and practices
Specific Topics and Questions for
Reflection and Discussion -- highlights key concepts to understand
about the overall topic of the learning module
Specific Activities to Build
Systems and Practices -- guides the learner to develop the basic
systems and practices to successfully build and manage the nonprofit
Assessments -- helps the learner
measure and/or evaluate extent of application of that topic to the
Tracking Open Action Items --
guides the learner throughout the program to consistently record and
track any incomplete action items remaining from the current and
previous learning modules
Reminders to Learners -- poses
miscellaneous reminders for learners to ensure they're using information
and skills from previous learning modules
Books & Tools
Note: Buying your books from Powell's
nets Benchmark 10% per book.
Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations:
A Practical Guide and Workbook
Michael Allison and Jude Kaye. John Wiley
& Sons, 2005.
book/disk set shows you how to create and implement an effective strategic
plan using a seven-phase process that covers everything from defining your
mission and setting your course to initiating, monitoring, and streamlining
your plan. Designed for nonprofits of all budgets, it can be adapted to fit
any time frame. It has field-tested worksheets, checklists, and tables plus
a sample case study.
Strategic Planning Workbook for Nonprofit Organizationsby Bryan Barry. Wilder
Foundation, 1997 (Revised and Updated).
This classic workbook gives you practical guidance through five planning
steps. Reproducible worksheets help you develop the plan, involve others in
the process, and measure results. Four planning methods show how to tailor
the process to fit your organization's individual needs. A detailed sample
of one nonprofit's strategic plan; and information on how multiple
organizations, coalitions, and communities can use strategic planning.
Creating and Implementing Your Strategic Plan: a Workbook for Public and
by John M. Bryson and Farnum K. Alston (Jossey-Bass 2d Edition 2005)
A step-by-step guide to putting strategic planning to work in public and
nonprofit organizations, this indispensable workbook includes
easy-to-understand worksheets and clear instructions for creating a
strategic plan tailored to the needs of the individual organization
Drucker Foundation Self-Assessment Tool
Peter Drucker, management guru and professor, has written
hundreds of books and articles. He has been called the most important management thinker
of our time. The Drucker Foundation -- now Leader to Leader Institute --
focuses on non-profit management and leadership issues. The Self-Assessment
Tool describes a process to clarify mission, define results, set goals, and
develop a focused plan. This process is yet another way to do strategic
The Tool poses five key questions:
• What is our mission?
• Who is our customer?
• What does the customer value?
• What are our results?
• What is our plan?
You can preview information about Drucker's process here.
The Process Guide is designed for facilitators; the participant workbook
is for ….participants.
The Drucker Foundation Self-Assessment Tool: Process Guide
By Gary J. Stern, Introduction by Peter F. Drucker, Jossey-Bass, Rev.1999
The Drucker Foundation Self-Assessment Tool: Participant Workbook
By Peter F. Drucker, Jossey-Bass, October 1998
Live Workshops, Consultants
California Management Assistance Partnership, is a consortium
of 15 regional, nonprofit support organizations from Humboldt to Riverside.
Each of these organizations provides workshops in nonprofit management and
fundraising and information and referral to local community resources. Some
partners also offer computer workshops, provide consulting services, host
conferences and other events, and publish books and informational materials.