Strategy: Where do you Start?


Leadership and Marketing Update from H. LEINER & CO.

There are 8 building blocks of an excellent strategy for a nonprofit organization.

A strong strategy is:

1. Successful at igniting passion: If the people in the room creating the strategy are passionate and excited about the strategic vision, you know you have a good starting point.

  1. Outcome driven: There are countless organizations today asking for money, so donors need to know that you have a clear strategy headed toward specific goals that will make a difference in the community.

  2. Aligned with the donors who care: Donors who care about your organization will gladly give if they know that the goal for your nonprofit has value.

  3. Built on existing capabilities: It’s possible you’ll need to hire new experts to execute your plan, but in order to have credibility, the strategy you craft should be based on what you already do well.

  4. Clear about the ends but flexible about the means: You have to know your end goal, but you also need to know that you cannot be certain about the details needed to get there. Circumstances change and the intricacies of your strategy will need to change too.

  5. Low on details: Writing out every detail of the strategy, such as monthly milestones, the exact budget, and the time-frame, gives you the illusion that you’re in control, but it is more realistic to write down a general sense of where you would like to head instead of listing each specific detail.

  6. Examined for potential problems: Before you get in too deep, take a step back and analyze your idea, checking to see which issues can get in the way of your success and how you would approach each setback if it happens.

  7. Easily conveyed to staff, donors, and beneficiaries: Clarity about what you are trying to accomplish is extremely important for all stakeholders to trust you and invest in your new strategy. Make sure the strategy for your organization matches these criteria for it to be a success!



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