Nonprofit Strategic Planning | Successful Nonprofits Consulting

No one plans to fail, but many fail to plan

Strategic Planning Done Right

No one plans to fail, but many fail to plan

Strategic Planning Done Right

by GoldenburgGroup

You Deserve a Strategic Plan That…

    • Aligns Board, staff, and donors around your mission and objectives
    • Guides and nurtures program growth
    • Offers a roadmap for governance
    • Supports the chief executive in management decisions
    • Serves as a fundraising tool

Nonprofits that develop a robust strategic plan build more effective programs, experience more fundraising success, and encounter fewer operational issues. The opposite is also true: charities that fail to plan typically struggle with programs, fundraising, and operations. For this reason, the strategic planning consultant you choose will have a significant impact on your organization for years to come. 

Praise from a Strategic Planning Partner

Dolph and his team at Successful Nonprofits® were incredible to work with. They took us through a strategic planning process that was thoughtful, insightful, engaging, and productive. They helped us quickly reach a consensus around a shared mission and vision, and facilitated the process effortlessly. We will definitely be calling again in a few years to build our next strategic plan!

– Allison Mayfield, CEO
Humane Society of Northeast Georgia

Our Strategic Planning Philosophy

Strategy eats chaos for breakfast, and a strong strategic plan can help your nonprofit see beyond the false emergencies and focus on achieving your mission.

In fact, a good strategic planning process re-energizes your nonprofit organization by engaging your Board, staff, funders, and constituents in a meaningful manner. To help promote this higher level of inclusion, our strategic planning process develops a general consensus about your organization’s strategic direction, long-range objectives, and tactical goals. When the process has finished, everyone in your organization will have the ability to articulate:

    • Where have we been and how did we get here?
    • Where do we want to go and how we will get there?
    • What resources do we need to achieve our goals and how will we garner them?
    • What roadblocks might exist and how will we overcome them?
    • How will we measure the achievement of our goals?

Our Strategic Planning Process

After years of facilitating strategic planning projects across the U.S. and even internationally, we have developed a process that enables our strategic planning partners to develop an effective plan they can actually implement. This process and the final strategic plan have propelled many organizations to greater levels of success. Over a six to eight-month period, we help with every step outlined in the planning process:

Our Secret Ingredient: A Work Group

The strategic planning work group sets our process apart from the vast majority of other consultants.

We help your organization form a work group that typically includes 4 to 6 Board members, your executive director, 2 or 3 staff members, and 2 or 3 leadership volunteers. With the guidance of on of our trained, experienced facilitators, the work group:

    • Conducts the environmental scan
    • Drafts proposed changes to the mission, vision, and core values
    • Reports their findings to the full Board
    • Designs achievable tactical strategies and objectives
    • Reviews the draft plan

Work group members finish the process with more knowledge, enthusiasm, and excitement for your organization.

Praise from a Strategic Planning Partner

Dolph Goldenburg led us through our first professionally led strategic planning process . . . and helped us to develop a workable plan.

He is a sensitive, calm and diplomatic consultant with a reasoned and detailed approach for managing both current and future needs of an organization. As a former nonprofit executive director, he has a practical, rather than just a theoretical, understanding of organizational management which sets him apart from other consultants.

– Rainie Jueschke, Executive Director
Innovative Solutions for Disadvantage & Disability

Two Most Common Strategic Planning Questions

Almost every nonprofit executive and Board member ask the same two questions:

What is your role as a strategic planning consultant?

The role your consultant plays in strategic planning will ultimately determine how much they charge for a quality strategic plan. Your consultant can play one of two roles: 

Role 1: Consultant as  Facilitator

As a facilitator, the consultant merely facilitates your strategic planning process, providing a general structure, templates and tools, facilitation, and project management. The work group is fully responsible for the environmental scan and writing the final plan. This is often the least expensive option because the heavy lifting is done by the work group.

Role 2: Consultant as  Facilitator and Planner

This is the most common role for a strategic planning consultant in the nonprofit sector, and the role your Successful Nonprofits® consultant will play in your strategic planning process. A consultant in this role not only provides tools, project management, etc. But they also take on the heavy lift of conducting your environmental scan and drafting your plan. 

(2) What do you charge for a strategic planning project?

Pricing Option I

  • Create timeline and framework for planning 
  • Facilitate all work group meetings 
  • Provide all project management 
  • Share advice and research on best practices 
  • Analyze metrics of Board performance 
  • Create 3- to 5-year financial analysis
  • Create 3- to 5-year fundraising analysis
  • Create 3- to 5-year program analysis
  • Conduct staff focus groups
  • Analyze stakeholder feedback
  • Facilitate review of mission, vision, and values
  • Draft presentation and materials for the Board retreat
  • Facilitate Board retreat 
  • Draft strategic plan (with feedback from work group and Board)
  • Quarterly implementation check-ins for one year after plan approval

Estimated Cost: $24,500*

Pricing Option II

  • Includes everything listed in Option I
  • Plan and facilitate a Learning Journey with an organization that has achieved many of the goals in your strategic plan
  • Create a dashboard for tracking plan KPIs
  • Facilitate a “deep dive” with Board prior to plan approval

Estimated Cost: $29,000*

*Plus travel expenses if your nonprofit organization is more than a one-hour drive from I-285 in Atlanta, GA


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