Refreshing Your Strategic Plan? Five Questions to Ask Before You Begin

Your strategic plan is coming to an end and you are facing the prospect of creating a new one. After initial discussions, you find that some board or staff think that the expiring strategic plan is still relevant and why not refresh it instead of starting again? Sound familiar? Sound tempting? Here are the questions we ask to help an organization decide if refreshing their expiring strategic plan is the right course of action.

Read more »

Strategic Layers in Planning

  It is easy to get confused or distracted by all the jargon used in strategic planning: goals, tactics, strategies, directions, objectives, issues, activities, etc. No matter what terms you use, the information in a nonprofit strategic plan is often organized in layers. Understanding the purpose of these layers reduces the importance of their names,

Read more »

Rescuing Outcomes from Measurement

Measurable outcomes is a phrase we hear a lot in nonprofit management. It comes from the practice of outcomes management or performance management – i.e. “What gets measured gets done” – and gets used a lot in planning, grant writing, and evaluation.  We want measurable outcomes because they help us set achievable goals (think SMART

Read more »

Mission, Vision, and Values Examples

Writing a mission, vision, and value statement for your organization is hard. Read our article and resource Revising Mission Statements: What good? For Whom? Then come back and take a look at this collection of mission, vision, and value statements for inspiration. We’ve picked organizations that have interesting mission and vision statements (and included value statements when available). See our comments after each one.

Read more »

Demystifying Theory of Change

Recently I wrote a free e-Study about theory of change for the Hubert Project at the Humphrey Institute (University of Minnesota). Theory of Change is one of those terms that can elicit groans from nonprofit practitioners. Who has time to think about theories? And the word “change” makes people sweat a little. But, every organization I’ve worked with

Read more »