fundsense strategic planning series: pre-planning

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Presentation Description

A guide for small and medium-size nonprofits preparing for strategic planning. Covers who should be involved, information to be gathered, and other key process elements.

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Strategic Pre-Planning Tool:

Strategic Pre-Planning Tool FundS ense Strategic Planning Series

Getting started:

Getting started Pre-planning starts with asking questions… © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com

So… how do we do this?:

So… how do we do this? Identify a few key leaders Give everyone the “Pre-Planning Tool Handout” in advance Bring everyone together for a two-hour (no longer!) meeting © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com

During the meeting:

During the meeting Use an easel sheet or have someone take notes for each question & sub-question If everyone agrees, note the answer Questions that elicit conflicting or multiple answers, note all answers Don’t try to reach agreement on everything—it’s not necessary at this stage! Don’t get bogged down—move quickly © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com

1. How large an organization are we?:

Organization Size © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com 1. How large an organization are we?

Organization size:

Organization size Micro: < 3 paid staff or no paid staff at all. Very Small: <10 staff. Total staff + volunteers (including board) <20. Small: <50 staff. Total staff + regular volunteers (including board) >20 but <150. Medium: <100 staff. Total staff + regular volunteers (including board) >100 but <250. Large: >100 staff but <500. Total staff plus regular volunteers <1000. Very Large: >500 staff. Macro: >1000 staff. © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com Next Question…

2. Where in the “life cycle” is our organization?:

Organizational Life Stage © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com 2. Where in the “life cycle” is our organization?

Organizational “life cycle”:

Organizational “life cycle” © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com

Where in the “life cycle” are we?:

Where in the “life cycle” are we? © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com Next Question…

3. How complex an organization are we?:

Organizational Complexity © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com 3. How complex an organization are we?

How complex are we?:

How complex are we? How many distinct and different types of programs, services, and/or activities do we provide? At how many locations do we provide services? How many geographic regions do we operate in, and/or how large is our geographic service area? © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com

How complex are we?:

How complex are we? How many specific types of people do we aim to serve, including age groups, ethnicity, common problem or characteristic, background, etc.? How many people do we have the capacity to serve in a year? © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com

How complex are we?:

How complex are we? How many different types of funding do we rely on? Fee for service Grants Annual campaign Special events Government contracts Other © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com

How complex are we?:

How complex are we? Does our organization need to deal with licensing, inspections, or other compliance issues on a regular basis at least annually? Do we own real estate or other substantial assets that we need to manage effectively? © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com

How complex are we?:

How complex are we? © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com Next Question…

4. What do our finances look like?:

Finances © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com 4. What do our finances look like?

budget:

budget Average size of our annual budget over the past year, current year, and anticipated upcoming year? © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com

Financial management:

Financial management At the end of last year, did we have: © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com

contingencies:

contingencies Are we anticipating any major increases or decreases in revenues or expenditures over the next two or three years? Do we have a plan in place to manage them? Do we have a line of credit we can draw on in emergencies? © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com

Balance sheet:

Balance sheet © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com

Funding stability:

Funding stability What percentage of our annual revenues come from: Fees for service Multi-year or renewable service delivery contracts Endowment or investment income An established annual campaign of individual/major giving An established annual event(s) that consistently net revenue What percentage of our annual revenues come from: Grants or short-term service delivery contracts Other sources (what?) © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com Next Question…

5. How much of our program capacity is being used?:

Program Capacity © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com 5. How much of our program capacity is being used?

Program capacity:

Program capacity © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com Next Question…

6. How many different types of stakeholders do we have?:

Organizational Stakeholders © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com 6. How many different types of stakeholders do we have?

Stakeholder views:

Stakeholder views Sometimes there are factions or groups among an organization’s stakeholders that have very different ideas about the organization and its mission. © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com

Stakeholder conflict:

Stakeholder conflict Differing views of the organization among stakeholder groups makes strategic planning more complex The more strongly-held or fundamental the differences are, the more carefully you will need to design your strategic planning process © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com

Stakeholders all nonprofits have:

Stakeholders all nonprofits have Staff or volunteers (service delivery) Service users Board of Directors (governance) Larger community --> tax exemption © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com

Nonprofit boards as stakeholders:

Nonprofit boards as stakeholders Boards of directors are supposed to act for the larger community (tax exemption) Many nonprofit boards are structured so that board members represent other interests Treat the interests as separate stakeholder groups © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com

Other nonprofit stakeholders:

Other nonprofit stakeholders © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com Next Question…

7. Who are our key staff leaders?:

Leadership—name names! © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com 7. Who are our key staff leaders? Next Question…

8. Who are our key volunteer leaders?:

Leadership—name names! © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com 8. Who are our key volunteer leaders? Next Question…

9. How effectively does our board function?:

Leadership © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com 9. How effectively does our board function?

Board function:

Board function Do we have good, reliable attendance at board meetings? Do our board committees have clear tasks, meet regularly, and deliver the work needed from them? Do we have a good set of “foundational documents” (bylaws, governance policy, etc.) that accurately represents how our board functions? Do we have “new blood” coming onto the board on a regular basis? Are there any factions or “cliques” on our board that sometimes generate conflict? Do board officers take an active leadership role, and have the support and respect of members? Is there a positive board/executive relationship? © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com Next Question…

10. How effectively does our board meet our leadership needs?:

Leadership © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com 10. How effectively does our board meet our leadership needs?

Leadership by the board:

Leadership by the board Do we have a range of different skills and talents among our board members, and are they a good “fit” with what the organization needs? Do board members participate actively in making sure the organization has the resources it needs to operate? Are there board members who work to build positive relationships with institutions and community members to benefit the organization? © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com

Leadership by the board:

Leadership by the board Do our Treasurer and/or finance committee have a good understanding of nonprofit financial operations, and perform an active role in overseeing our finances? Can we count on board leaders to provide support, active work, financial or other assistance to deal with sudden emergencies? Do board members have a good understanding of the needs we meet, the people we serve, and/or the issues we address? © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com Next Question…

11. How effectively does our program administration function?:

Leadership © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com 11. How effectively does our program administration function?

Program administration function:

Program administration function Do we have that “crisis to crisis” feel about our operations, or do they seem steady and reliable? How well do we retain key employees and volunteers—is our turnover rate good for our field of endeavor and the community we work in? Do we have a good ratio of costs per service delivered/person served? Do funders, contractors, and/or licensing agencies usually approve our work and/or evaluations? Do the people who use our programs/services give positive feedback about their experiences? © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com Next Question…

12. How well are our program and administrative leadership needs being met?:

Leadership © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com 12. How well are our program and administrative leadership needs being met?

Program / administrative leadership:

Program / administrative leadership Do staff and volunteers feel a sense of investment in the organization’s well-being? Are our service locations well maintained, welcoming, and suitable for our activities? Does everyone share the same clear understanding of the mission? Is there a sense of passion for the mission? Is the organization trusted by the people we want to serve? Is it trusted by the larger community? Is our organization familiar to the people we want to be serving? Do they know how to find us? © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com Next Question…

13. What do we think works best about our organization?:

SWOT © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com 13. What do we think works best about our organization? Next Question…

14. What is our organization’s most troubling deficiency?:

SWOT © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com 14. What is our organization’s most troubling deficiency? Next Question…

15. Are there any opportunities we should be taking advantage of / preparing for?:

SWOT © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com 15. Are there any opportunities we should be taking advantage of / preparing for? Next Question…

16. Are there any major external challenges we should be dealing with or preparing for?:

SWOT © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com 16. Are there any major external challenges we should be dealing with or preparing for? Last Question…

17. What do we need from a strategic plan?:

Strategic Planning Results © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com 17. What do we need from a strategic plan?

What a strategic plan can do:

What a strategic plan can do Plan for contingencies in times of rapid external change and/or challenge Address internal uncertainties or conflicts about the organization’s future Refocus programs and services to adjust to changing or emerging needs Figure out why the organization isn’t meeting goals or achieving expected success Broaden the support for the organization among funders, the community, service users, etc. ( among other things—these are most common ) © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com

Can’t we do it all?:

Can’t we do it all? Short answer: No Longer answer: How much money and time do you really want to spend? Prioritize! ( Hint: Try the “Which Lens Are You Using” Exercise ) © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com Final Steps…

Now what?:

Now what? Do a brief review of the session answers. Flag areas of concern. Review (here or after the meeting) the “Strategic Planning Recommendations” section of FundS ense ’s “Strategic Pre-Planning Guide.” Make a decision about who will map out your planning process. Determine when and how you will review and decide on the map. © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com

Congratulations! You pre-planned!:

Congratulations! You pre-planned! © 2010 FundSense www.fundsenseconsulting.com

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