The Strategic Planning process should be an exciting time for your organization, bringing members together to dream about what things you'd like to change in the world and visualize the impact you can make. It's a time to take stock of what you've accomplished, evaluate what has and hasn't worked, and figure out how to optimize your many strengths and opportunities. It should unify your staff and board around future direction, aligning the members of your organization around common goals and outputs. It should address the specific issues or services your organization is in a unique position to fix or provide. Above all, it should be a simple, streamlined process that includes the voices of your members and constituents.

Integrating Financial Planning into the Strategic Planning process allows your organization to determine future funding and human resource needs as well as serve as the basis for long-term fundraising efforts. It allows your organization to accurately estimate the amount of funding needed for each year of your plan and quantifies the cost of the value you bring to society. This gives you the advantage of being able to develop and plan in advance for future fundraising activities.

After completing the Integrated Strategic and Financial Planning process, your organization will have developed a tool that:

  • Serves as a roadmap to guide work towards achieving your mission
  • Reflects the direction agreed upon by your members (staff and/or board)
  • Establishes a ranked set of priorities within the goals and objectives
  • Determines metrics to aid in measuring your organization's progress and success
  • Acts as the basis for developing annual operations plans
  • Creates quantifiable fundraising targets for the future

Once your plan is completed, there will be a need for evaluation to makes sure you still on track. Are there new circumstances that should be addressed? Does your plan need to be modified? If so, make necessary adjustments and ensure your plan continues to serve as a guide to help your organization achieve your long-term goals.

Case Study: Fundación Natura

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