a rapidly changing world, it is important to have clear goals for our
organizations and to regularly review our progress. Strategic planning
allows the board to clarify organizational goals and evaluate different
strategies for achieving those goals. It helps us to make sure that our
budget, our services, and our personnel are focused on our mission and in
conformance with our values. This Help-Sheet lists the major steps in
strategic planning, focusing on the role of the Board of Directors.
Regardless of what planning model you use, the steps are similar
Directors decides to engage in strategic planning to enable organization:
to adapt to
to changing community needs;
establish clear, measurable program outcomes;
priorities for board and staff activities;
services and organizational practices align with vision and values.
Directors selects a group of 3-5 people to form a Strategic Planning
Committee. The role of the committee is:
to set a
realistic time-frame for the planning process;
the people to be involved;
and advise a consultant or facilitator.
Planning Committee finds and recommends consultant.
Directors engages consultant.
and Strategic Planning Committee agree on strategic planning process.
horizon (How far ahead can you plan?);
be involved? What stakeholders should participate? What are the roles of the
board and staff in the planning process?
how information will be collected. (interviews, focus groups,
board planning sessions.
and/or Strategic Planning Committee and/or staff gather information. (May
require interviews, focus groups, surveys, or other research.)
facilitates planning session(s) with Board, Executive Director and invited
stakeholders (optional). Participants
organizational mission, vision and values;
key issues arising from your organization’s strengths and weaknesses;
key issues arising from the environment in which you operate;
broad strategies to manage these issues;
and priorities for reasonable planning period (often 3-5 years).
criteria for measuring progress.
(with Strategic Planning Committee) drafts plan and presents to Board
Directors reviews, revises, approves draft plan
develops annual operational/action plans. Board and staff implement
monitors progress, modifies programs and/or plan as required.
If you need help in
strengthening your governance capacity, preparing for planning or developing
a strategic plan that won’t sit on a shelf, contact Nathan Garber &
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