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Posts Tagged ‘Strategic Planning’

Getting Strategic: Board and Staff Set the Course

Working with nonprofit clients to establish or update a Strategic Plan, the course should be set in a collaborative manner with staff working closely with Board on defining direction.
Once the Strategic Planning Committee has drafted Goals for the future (in three or five-year chunks) it’s time to craft a few objectives and strategies for accomplishing those objectives within each Goal.
Organizing working teams to craft the language including measurable outcomes (objectives) and person(s) responsible for achievement, a timeline should be included.
This work by small teams comes back to the committee for overall discussion and challenge…and language created to bring to the Board.
Ultimately, it’s the Board that approves the plan. But staff and volunteers need to feel the plan makes sense and is achievable.
In this way the organization develops a plan that has a good chance of being carried out. And not sitting on some proverbial shelf.

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The Strategic Board

I am working now with a Housing Authority on a strategic plan. The most interesting part of this work is helping a group determine what needs to be done that isn’t getting done now, what stuff that is getting done needs to be stopped, and who are the customers and stakeholders to listen to to sort all this out.
I look forward to speaking at the Tri-State Housing conference in Meredith NH in September to explore how a group that’s relied for decades on federal $ can explore initiatives that will attract new money sources that can help get new stuff on the agenda. And deliver new service to folks who need it.
Complicated issues. Like sorting out elderly housing needs from housing for disabled from housing for the single parent household dealing with severe poverty.
Other than that, life is but a dream.

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Concentration of Wealth and Impact on Public Welfare

We seem in the USA to be on a track of more concentration of wealth in the hands of a very few. And then we hope that Warren Buffet and Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg et al will use their wealth for public good.
There are many foundations that direct wealth to nonprofits with a plan and with a reliable history.
There are individuals like Mr Zuckerberg who has a big idea and works with State of New Jersey to impose a new approach to education to the Newark schools.
Many of our fellow Americans think the super rich can work their magic on major national security problems or major social welfare challenges. Clearly, this is a serious misunderstanding.
We need to identify the right examples that actually bring improved conditions and apply tax and foundation assets to those. In a thoughtful and well-informed way.
The road we’re on at the moment is wasting valuable resources of the USA and not bringing us to resolution.

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NH Nonprofit Leadership Summit Big Hit

Congratulations to Mike Ostrowski, Interim CEO NH Center for Nonprofits for the work of his team to present a topnotch conference. Jeanine Tousignant, VP of the Center’s Board, served as Master of Ceremonies.
Steve Zimmerman, Spectrum Nonprofit Services, opened with “The Capacity to Endure.” His Six Key Questions starting with “What do our constituents need?” were provocative and can help a nonprofit establish and maintain a proper focus. Aren’t we in business to serve our primary customers? Those who need our service?
Kim Klein of Klein and Roth Consulting followed with her stimulating talk: “Less is the New More.” The work to downsize government, cut taxes and leave more $ in the taxpayers pockets has resulted in more competition for the charitable dollar and not enough new dollar sources from all the tax savings to serve the needs of various client groups. Among other things, Kim contends that “public” schools are disappearing and raising more and more money in the community to cover more children’s programs that used to be paid for with tax dollars.
Meanwhile, the top 1% accumulate more and more wealth while the rest of us stay stagnant.
What is wrong with this picture?
Some may argue that Kim is feeding a cultural war on the wealthiest Americans.
The point truly is, there is minimal trickle down.
And we’re in a rut…by many measures, the US is falling behind in its pursuit of happiness.
Nonprofits discussed at table talk: What can we do?
Results will be captured and reported back to NHCN members.
Stay tuned!

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Psychology of Change and Implications for Nonprofits

Dan Gilbert gave a very popular TED talk: “The Psychology of Our Future” http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_gilbert_you_are_always_changing?language=en.

He cites studies of how much people think they changed over the past 10 years, and how much they will change in the coming 10 years.

The findings are interesting: We actually change (including who is our best friend, what is our favorite music, what issues and nonprofits were/will be important to us) much more than we believe we will.

The psychology of this phenomenon is important to grasp when talking to clients of our nonprofit and supporters of our nonprofit. Change happens. And will continue to happen. Are we prepared at our organization to deal with what comes our way?

Nonprofit organizations go through strategic planning exercises. And then they think they are done. Planning is great at building a sense of shared values among a board and staff. But if we don’t also determine how we’ll implement the changes we just agreed to. And recognize that the constant going forward will be change…we won’t be ready to deal with what the future has in store for us.

Check out the link to the Dan Gilbert video. Think how that applies to you. And to your organization. And next board meeting, let’s consider the issue and how we can deal with life going forward.

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