I want you to picture, for a minute, a pyramid. Ok, got it in your head? Good. Now, think about the way a pyramid is built. It forms from the bottom up. Every brick supports the ones above it. Thus, the bricks on the bottom are fundamental to the success of the pyramid. Without them, the entire thing would collapse! Why am I making you think about Ancient Egyptian architecture? Well, because a successful pyramid is kind of like a successful strategic plan. This is especially true of strategic planning for nonprofits.
Every successful nonprofit has to start somewhere. And it’s never wise to start a venture without a plan. The success or failure of your nonprofit could depend on how extensive and well-prepared your strategic plan is. But don’t fret! Questica (formerly PowerPlan advanced budget management) is here to help you develop your perfect strategic plan. If you want to build the perfect strategic plan for nonprofits, here’s ten things you must include.
If you want to know more about Questica and our mission and values, check out our website to find tons of useful information about who we are, what we do, and how we can best help you! So without further ado . . .
We’re starting from the bottom of the pyramid here. What is your core mission statement, the very essence of your nonprofit? If you’ve started a nonprofit, you probably already know this. If you didn’t then . . . uhh . . . get on that. Let’s have a little fun here and make an example nonprofit. Let’s say you live in a town full of expensive gourmet pizza shops that also happens to have large percentage of people who don’t get enough to eat. So you decide to create Pizza4All, and your mission is to work with the local stores to provide affordable meals to everyone. Yum!
The second most important thing besides your mission statement — and ideally this should be part of your mission statement — is your values. What is important to your company? What do you want your nonprofit to stand for? In our silly example, your values for Pizza4All would be value, availability, and, of course, deliciousness.
Long range vision
Another crucial element to your mission statement is your long range vision. Put another way, what do you want this nonprofit to look like in, say, 10 years? 20? For our example, let’s say you decide you want to have delivered 20,000 affordable delicious pizzas by 2025.
Short term plan
From here we start to “move up” the pyramid and “break down” the strategic plan. You know where you want to be thanks to your long range vision. What steps are you taking in the meantime? What’s the first step, or the most important one right now? Our short term plan is to deliver 1000 pizzas this year and also raise awareness of our brand.
From here, we break it down even further. Our objective is to deliver the pizzas. We also need to work with the gourmet pizza shops to ensure that they’re not losing profits in this deal.
Keep breaking it down! 1000 pizzas in one year averages out to 83 pizzas per month.
These can include fundraisers or other events hosted by your nonprofit. In this case, maybe a big pizza bake off where proceeds from every pizza sold go to feeding a family in need!
This doesn’t just include financial resources, though obviously those are a big deal. It could include a donated van to help deliver pizzas with, or maybe supplies to help with marketing.
It is a “strategy plan” right? List out your strategies for achieving your goals, activities, objectives, short and long term visions.
Finally, never make a plan without backup!
All of these can feel overwhelming at first, but don’t fret! When it comes to strategic plan for nonprofits, or anything else, we have your back. If you want to know more about Questica’s financial software, sign up for our free monthly webinars explaining it further! You can also request a demonstration for yourself. Happy planning!