Strategic Planning Guide & Other Resources
On-line toolkits, how-to guides and articles abound about how to navigate strategic planning, organizational development, and other services to help your organization thrive. Here are a few helpful resources.
Strategic Planning: A How to Guide
Strategic planning seems like a simple straight-forward task,
but can easily turn into a marathon. Based on our work
with nonprofit and foundation clients, here’s a short
Strategic Planning Guide to get help you started.
Step 1: Lay the Groundwork
- Review past strategic plans, other key documents.
- Determine stakeholders for a Strategic Planning Work Group (SPWG).
- With your work group, clarify key questions: goals for strategic plan, audience, end product, work plan and timeline.
Step 2: Conduct Interviews
- Conduct phone/video or in-person interviews with 10-20 key stakeholders.
- Develop questions: what your organization is doing well, improvements needed, what your organization should focus on in the next 3-5 years.
- Conduct 60 minute interviews to collect input.
- Analyze interview responses, organize into major themes for strategic planning retreat.
Step 3: Host a Strategic Planning Retreat
- Organize a retreat with board members, leadership, and staff. You can hold the retreat off-site (away from your office) and over 1-2 days.
- Help participants brainstorm mission, vision, strategic plan goals and actions steps. Guided questions with answers by post-it notes is a great way to collect lots of data from many participants. Include icebreakers, interactive activities, breaks, and food, to keep participants engaged.
- Analyze key findings in a post-retreat summary report.
Step 4: Document the Strategic Plan
- The final strategic plan should identify your mission, vision and values, with clear goals and action steps to get there.
- Identify specific staff or departments who’s responsible for each action.
- Hold weekly meetings for your SPWG (over 3-6 months) to finalize mission, vision, goals, and actions, circulate draft plan for input, and finalize your strategic plan.
- Share your final strategic plan with your Board, donors, staff and supporters, and celebrate your hard work!
- See sample strategic plan Schonfield Consulting produced for Community Health Trust here.
Schonfield Consulting led Pajaro Valley Community Health Trust's strategic planning process.
See these resources for more about strategic planning, logic models and other tools:
- How to develop a Logic Model (from Compass)
- Evaluation Toolkit (from Pell Institute)
- Theory of Change Toolkit (Annie E Casey Foundation)
- Impact evaluation guidelines (Better Evaluation)
- Evaluation expert database (EvalCommunity)
- Fundraising/Giving Trends in 2020 (Blackbaud Institute)