Almost every nonprofit leader has emerged from the pandemic recognizing that their nonprofit needs a strategic reset. But traditional strategic planning simply isn't enough. In today’s world of tight budgets and political division, economic instability, climate change, and a host of other uncertainties, it doesn’t make sense to spend from $10,000 to $60,000 or more to create a static strategic plan that can’t keep up with your nonprofit’s constantly shifting internal capacities and external environment.
There are many reasons:
Annual “check-ins” to assess progress, ”communicating” with staff to let them know about the plan after adoption, and board or staff retreats to enlist (or dictate) support are simply misguided attempts to put band aids on a flawed process.
Lean strategic planning starts by engaging your staff to evaluate your nonprofit’s current capacities and risks. Then it turns to gather information from your two separate groups of customers – end users, who receive and use your services, and donors, who give your nonprofit money based on your promise of positive results. Using this data, combined with an analysis of your nonprofit’s external environment, lean strategic planning guides your staff and board to identify important, achievable customer-centered objectives.
But it doesn’t stop there. Lean strategic planning keeps your strategic imperatives at the top of everyone's mind, encouraging work on those issues as part of normal operations. It also helps you implement a proven learning and problem-solving process that your team can use to thrive even during crises or political uncertainty. With lean strategic planning, your nonprofit becomes more customer-centered, people-powered, and resilient.
Our CEO, Ted Bilich, recently published Managing Your Nonprofit for Resilience (Wiley 2023), based on years of research and work in lean risk management and process improvement.
We can help you develop a robust, actionable strategic vision using our lean strategic planning methodology. We are intimately familiar with the challenges facing nonprofits, both internally and externally. Furthermore, we can do this work for much less than traditional strategic planning.
To begin benefitting from Risk Alternatives lean strategic planning, take the following steps:
Reach out to us for a free, brief strategy session to help us assess whether our process would meet your needs; and
If you’re interested, ask us for a proposal so we can get started in transforming your organization for good.
You need to act now to help your nonprofit function effectively in a dynamic environment. You need to gain peace of mind, rally your team and board, and move forward with confidence.
Otherwise, you are left with two poor choices. You can delay strategic planning, leaving yourself in the same predicament, older but not wiser. Or you can fall into the trap of traditional strategic planning, with its high cost, waste, and frustration.
You want your nonprofit to not just survive, but thrive. You want alignment up and down your organization, so that everyone sees the important role they play in your nonprofit’s success. You want accountability and progress. In short, you want lean strategic planning with Risk Alternatives.