I always tell clients that strategic planning never looks just one way. The planning process and the output must look like the organization’s mission, size, maturity and level of participation. In other words, it’s a reflection of the organization itself.
Some clients require “re-visioning” where we take a step back and focus on their mission, vision and values. Then we constructively prepare them to meet that new mission. Other clients have a solid sense of what they are and where they want to go, they only need our help defining those next steps. And certainly clients exist at all stages in between.
Strategic Plans are road maps. They are intended to give organizations concrete direction so they avoid the ad hoc movements so many of us practice in our work (and personal lives). Initially some executive directors fret that the plans will permit their board to more closely monitor, and interfere, with their work. Another way to look at this scenario is that the executive director now has permission to concentrate on top priorities and to avoid projects not in scope. (As board members we’re all guilty of dreaming up creative but unrealistic expectations for the nonprofits we serve.)
Below are suggestions to make the planning process effective and painless:
Seeds for Change Consulting prides itself on guiding organizations through the strategic planning process in a way that puts the group on sure footing and without hassle.
~ Bergan Casey, SFCC communications and organizational development consultant
Seeds for Change founder Stacy Ehrlich has another project successfully completed – this time the project’s collaborative partners proved to be close to her home and heart. Stacy’s teenage daughter has authored and published a bilingual children’s story – Chuy El Chihuahua. Simms based Chuy on childhood bedtime stories told to her by her dad.
Simms has donated over 800 books to local non-profits – all current and former Seeds for Change clients. SFCC team member Sarah Andrews was the lead graphic designer and high school friend Chloe Ezell brought the book to life with her colored illustrations. Stacy guided Simms in launching a late fall 2018 Kickstarter campaign to raise over $5,600, made possible through the generous support of 89 backers. You can read more about the project from the BookSpring November blog post https://www.bookspring.org/2018/11/chuy-el-chihuahua-a-kickstarter-campaign/.
Local non-profits receiving Chuy books include BookSpring, Partnerships for Children, The Jeremiah Project, and People’s Community Clinic. Simms will be doing a select number of in-person storybook reading engagements throughout Spring 2019 including National Charity League – Hills of Austin Chapter and several BookSpring Title 1 partner schools. A select number of books are available for purchase in 2019 at Austin book retailers BookPeople and Over the Rainbow.
Guiding her daughter through a successful philanthropic project as well as networking and connecting all of the project partners were Stacy's biggest achievements for this project. Developing a homegrown community service "do gooder" and philanthropic champion was icing on the proverbial cake.
As we all know, the holidays are a time for giving and an important time for nonprofits to showcase the work they have been doing throughout the year to make positive changes in the world.
In fact, end-of-year campaigns can often have a huge impact on an organization’s annual budget. Studies show that 30 percent of annual giving occurs in December, with 10 percent of donations coming in during the last three days of the year.
So, how can your organization harness the momentum of this generous season and rise above the noise of commercialism and the many other online appeals hitting inboxes and mailboxes in December?
Here are 5 tips you can use to increase your fundraising success at the end of 2018.
The Seeds for Change Consulting SEEDS OF WISDOM blog has contributing authors from our fabulous team of consultants as well as occasional guest authors. With over 180 years of non-profit professional, employee, board and volunteer experience, we love to share what we know with you. Please comment so we can continue to tailor our blogs to meet your needs, wants, and thirst for knowledge.