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How to make a successful strategic plan for your NFP

1 April 2016

Achieving a high return on investment is of particular importance for the not-for-profit (NFP) sector. Precious funds arrive from donors or taxpayers, who anticipate that virtually every cent will be contributed to achieving positive outcomes.

A carefully-crafted, strategic plan is an essential tool for CEOs seeking to maximise the impact of their NFP in the community.

The fundamentals of strategic planning

Strategic planning shapes an organisation, guiding both what it does and its reasons for doing it. It helps to articulate an organisation’s direction, but also defines what success will look like.

At the very basic level, a strategic plan must set out the vision, mission, goals and objectives of the organisation, as well as the actions required to achieve them. A good plan will influence almost every facet of the organisation, from budgeting and business planning, right down to the activities of volunteers.

A good strategic plan should also:

  • incorporate KPIs and performance targets that are specific, measurable and realistic
  • encourage investment from key internal and external stakeholders
  • have built-in mechanisms for review and refinement as necessary

Not-for-profit strategic planning: What’s unique?

What works for BHP Billiton won’t work for the Brotherhood of St Lawrence – NFPs are a different ball game. In this particular sector there is a heightened need to respect the spirit and culture of the organisation, while also maximising impact and outcomes.

Not-for profit groups often rely on large numbers of volunteers who work alongside employees. A good strategic plan will recognise the different needs and motivations of these two groups – fostering collaboration and keeping each excited for their particular role.

Why studying an MBA will help

The most successful not-for-profit organisations in the world are driven by effective strategic plans, crafted by highly skilled CEOs.

Some of the most effective leaders in this sector hold an MBA.

A Master of Business Administration from SCU Online will arm you with the right mix of hard and soft strategic planning skills, and the ability to crystalise aspirations while balancing budgetary considerations, good governance and effective human resource management.

Enrolling in an MBA could be the best thing to happen to you and your organisation. Find out more about studying an MBA with Southern Cross University Online by calling us on 1300 589 882.