Good Governance: Making strategic planning (relatively) painless for a small organization

7 key ideas to consider

Strategic planning time! Do I hear groans or cheers?

In my experience sitting on boards and employed as a nonprofit staff member, I typically hear some grumbling when the topic of strategic planning comes up. Volunteers (or very minimally paid directors) are usually not so excited about adding several more hours to their meeting obligations, especially when the process takes six hours (or several days). Yet, board participation to create goals, objectives and project plans is the key to ensuring your organization and its staff stay focused on community benefits with clear direction.

I recently helped lead the creation of a three-year strategic plan for the Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership, a nonprofit with a mission of protecting and improving the watershed resources in our area of southwest Colorado. Here is how we accomplished our successful strategic planning process. I hope that you can find some useful ideas to help you get through your next process with as little pain—and as much gain—as possible.


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