According to Bryson (1995), strategic planning is the process of making choices. Strategic planning is intended to reinforce the leaders to become global in their goals and methods. This is a managerial tool, which is used for the purpose of assisting the organization to perform better. The organization vision and priorities are streamlined towards the dynamic environment. This ensures that organization’s members are pursuing the same goal.
Strategic planning in nonprofit organization
This process involves a systematic process by which the organization builds its commitment to prioritize on missions which are responsive to the organization. The key stakeholders are committed and guided towards achieving the set priorities through allocation and acquisition of resources. This involves choosing the best way to respond to the circumstances which are dynamic and hostile environment.
The acquisition and allocation of resources are guided by the strategic planning. Decisions are made about the funding in non-profit making organization. Those decisions are about opportunities and spending for the programs and administrative needs to the situations (Allison & Kaye 2005).
Because of the ever changing environment, the strategic planning defines the direction of the activities of the non-profit making organization. Strategic planning consumes time and resources for any non-profit. However, the organizations usually do a better job through helping its leaders by motivating them. This is a leadership and a management tool. As a management tool, it makes sure that the organization is doing things right. Results are only produced when there is a sober implementation of the plans. Desired result in the organization will most likely be guaranteed by how well the plans are developed. Hence, the members of the organization focus towards their priorities (Smith & Associates, Inc. 2000).
What a nonprofit organization would need to address strategically planning
Strategic planning for non-profit organizations should be designed with the sole purpose of avoiding failure and bringing success. This is done through capitalizing on the strength and capabilities of the non-profit organization. The opportunities are exploited, and the risk linked to the organizational weaknesses and threats from the environment are reduced (Riggio and Sarah 2004).
When strategic planning takes place, there are two main dimensions that should be addressed in any non-profit making organization. Non-profit strategies will allow the organizations have an excellent opportunity of hitting the targets and satisfying the performance. In addition, the strategic planning should not expose the organization to risks which might make its performance fall. Strength of the nonprofit organization must be implemented fully while all the weaknesses must be rectified. The impacts of the greatest threats should be reduced, and there should be strict, relevant and practical strategies. The staff must be engaged in implementation, and this should be unique rather than following the imitation in other organizations. This should be done in view of helping the organization as well as non-profit mission.
A list should be generated containing a list of strategic options. In this list, they must address all the fundamental issues surfaced in the set targets. This can be done through the use of SWOT analysis stages of the strategic planning. The organization should avoid being overwhelmed by attempts to do many things, and accomplish many possibilities. There is an absolute need to develop a new program strategy or modify the current ones. There might also be bundling and unbundling of services in combinations to appeal to different clients or constituency group (Allison & Kaye 2005).
Those obvious possibilities are stated but still the effective process is not easy to carry. There must be focused attention to the current and the competing providers and the current and future needs. The impacts of the other functions of the organization must also be anticipated. The financing of the pilot project and service delivery initiatives must be also be considered.
There are issues facing the non-profit making organization, hence, there is a need to involve effective strategy. Those guide the choosing of the methods of producing services and goods offered to the community. This calls for the redesigning the management and the way the organization carry its activities and its supportive functions. The strategic functions should cover a range of considerations in terms of the scope, nature, location, and the nature of the groups being served. This should also focus on the organization structure and the managerial accountability. Hence, they need to look at the organizational design and strategic planning. The organization should review the financing structure. For example, non-profit should also consider integrating fundraising as a source of their funds.
Currently, many organizations have human resource strategy. In few cases, strategic planning issues the identification which will lead to planning of workforce strategy. In non-profit organization, the distinctive corporate strategy is warranted by the strategies of developing, recruiting, and deploying volunteers (John 1988). There are still some unforeseen risk in non-profit, and they should be planned for, and the appropriate structures of management and practices put on place. There is a great need for any organization however, acceptable it is, to manage the relationship they have with all other interest groups. This means that attention should be paid to the matter of corporate social responsibility. This strategy is always put ahead of the actual level of performance for which they belong. This will protect the organization from too much scrutiny over their performance. This is always seen as an intrinsically motivated venture because they do it in a well behaved way.
In strategic planning, there are other strategies set forth in response to the target of the organization. There must be a strategy in productivity improvement, attitude, quality management, cultural improvement, and rate of growth. When changing social attitude, the organization needs to be more strategic in their approach. When religious organization needs to integrate strategic planning, they are also supposed to adopt business like management practices, which will lead to the growth of the church (Bacher & Copper 2007). Therefore, the strategic planning is not limited to any organization and should also adopt those corporate strategies that will enhance performance.
The strategic planning will ensure that the broad strategy proposal that emerges will now be relevant to the organization overall strategic situation. Therefore, the strategic direction considered will be relevant to a non-profit making organization particular strategic situation. After the strategies have been put in place, there is a need to evaluate those strategies. This will allow the planner to make sure that the strategies are in line with the set goals and objectives. Secondly, the strategies must be put into the actions with the aim of reaching the set target of the non-profit organization (Allison & Jude 2005). Lastly, there must be a close monitoring of those strategies. This is to ensure that for each stage, there is a desirable outcome to assist the organization (Barry 1997).
The acquisition of resources and allocation is guided by the strategies used in planning. Decisions are made about the funding in non-profit making organization. The decisions made should cater for the administrative and [programs need of the situation. As the above research has indicated, there is a strong need for any organization however, praiseworthy it is, to manage the relationship they have with all other interest groups. This means that attention should be paid to the matter of corporate social responsibility. According to Koestenbaum (2002), for organizations to be cost-effective and sustainable in the long run, there must be an outstanding leader and strong leadership model guide them.
Allison, M. & Jude, K. (2005). Strategic Planning for Nonprofit organization. New Jersey:
A practical Gide and Workbook. CA: John Wiley & Sons.
Allison, M., & Kaye, J. (2005). Strategic Planning For Nonprofit Organizations: A
Practical Guide and Workbook. (2nd Ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Bacher, R. N., & Copper, M. L. (2007). Church Administration: Programs, Process, Purpose. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.
Barry, B, W. (1997). Strategic Planning Workbook for Nonprofit Organizations (Revised
And Updated). Saint Paul, MN: Amherst H. Wilder Foundation.
Bryson, J. M. (1995). Strategic Planning For Public and Nonprofit Organizations
(Revised Edition). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
John, M. B. (1988). ‘A Strategic Planning Process for Public and Non-profit
Organizations: Long Range Planning’. Pergamon Journals Ltd. Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 73-81.
Koestenbaum, P. (2002). Leadership: The inner side of greatness, a philosophy for leaders. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Riggio E. R and Sarah S. O. (2004). Improving Leadership in Nonprofit organizations.
San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Smith, B & Associates, Inc. (2000). The Complete Guide to Nonprofit
Management (2nd Ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.