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, the strategic planning process can re-energize your nonprofit organization by engaging board, staff, funders and constituents in a meaningful manner. To help promote this higher level of inclusion, our strategic planning process will develop a general consensus about the organization’s strategic direction, long range objectives and tactical goals. When the process has finished, everyone in your organization should 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 we will garner them?
- What roadblocks might exist and how we will overcome them?
- How we will measure achievement of our goals?
Tactical Planning: Never waste a crisis
A tactical plan makes more sense for organizations finding themselves in crisis because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the worst recession of our lifetime or abrupt leadership change. The sole purpose of a tactical plan is to provide your organization with a short-term playbook for thriving during and after the crisis.
The process for creating a tactical plan is much more intense and faster than traditional strategic planning. In fact, a strong tactical plan can be completed in just 6 to 8 weeks. The tactical plan’s lifespan is also significantly shorter at 12 to 18 months because it is designed to help your nonprofit emerge from the crisis stronger and better positioned to grow.
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.
He has a great sense of humor and the ability to make the strategic planning process enjoyable as well as productive. He can see the big picture while still being able to drill down to the process and detail level. Dolph is also flexible and adaptable, he was able to make changes when challenges arose during the process to keep us on track. He promised a high level of service and that is exactly what we got!
– Rainie Jueschke, Executive Director
Innovative Solutions for Disadvantage & Disability
Our Strategic Planning Process
As a strategic planning consultant for many nonprofit organizations in Atlanta and other cities, Dolph Goldenburg has 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.
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. Organizations we have served agree that our process strengthens your organization, builds your board’s effectiveness and engages key constituents (and funders).
The Secret Ingredient: A Work Group
Do you know what sets our planning process apart from the vast majority of other consultants? The strategic planning work group.
We help your organization form a work group that typically includes 4 to 6 board members, your executive director and 2 or 3 leadership volunteers. With the guidance of a trained, experienced facilitator, 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 (or writes) the draft plan
Work group members finish the process with more knowledge, enthusiasm and excitement for the organization.
We offer you two great planning options:
Full Service Strategic Planning
Successful Nonprofits® guides organizations through a strategic planning process that achieves broad buy-in from key stakeholders and offers quantifiable benchmarks to measure progress. Our full service planning usually includes facilitating your work group meetings; project management of stakeholder conversations; evaluating your board, fundraising, and finances; facilitating your strategic planning retreat; and ensuring a high-quality strategic plan is completed.
Based in Atlanta, we lead strategic planning processes for nonprofit organizations throughout the country.
Successful Nonprofits® offers Tactical Planning for organizations in crisis that need a short-term 12- to 18-month plan developed quickly. The planning process still includes a broad array of stakeholders, though the environmental scan is completed entirely by the consultants with staff and board input at multiple points in the process. Tactical planning also includes a half-day virtual retreat designed to fine tune and build alignment on the final plan.
Learn more about our Tactical Planning Option >
Feedback from a Strategic Planning Partner
Dolph is an incredibly talented leader who helped to change the course of our organization, assessing our community and steering our board toward a solid strategic plan.
He is incredibly organized and professional and also brings fun and expertise to goal setting and organizational guidance. I am so pleased with his work and would recommend him to anyone seeking to take their mission to the next level.
Dolph is also very well connected and helped Zebra Coalition gain more attention on a national scale.
– Heather Wilkie, Executive Director