By Kim Perkins
Why Strategic Planning is More Important than Ever for Non-Profits

Strategic planning is important to any organization and any time we come across studies that support that theory we like to share them.  Below is a blog from Charitable Advisors on a study about strategic planning for nonprofits by the Association for Strategic Planning and University of Arkansas Department of Political Science.

A landmark national survey regarding successful practices in strategic planning for non-profit 501c3 organizations was conducted in March 2012 by the Association for Strategic Planning (ASP) and the University of Arkansas Department of Political Science. Initial findings of the 1000+ responses were reported during the May 2012 ASP Annual Conference. These findings included the following three items of significant interest to advocates for the strategic planning process in the nonprofit sector:

  • The driver for strategic planning in high success organizations is “Routine periodic process in our organization.” Whereas in low success organizations, the driver for planning is “Driven by significant risks/challenges”
  • Successful organizations report having successful plan implementation practices; low success organizations report that they do not have successful implementation practices. (Read that again – sounds like the cliché of “A good plan, well-implemented, beats a great plan that is not implemented” – Bryan)
  • Highly successful organizations report that strategic planning has high impact on overall organizational success. Low success organizations do not report strategic planning as key to overall organizational success. (So, a strategic plan can strengthen a good organization but will probably not rescue an organization in trouble because their inability to execute is likely why they are struggling – Bryan)

The report highlights common approaches and factors for organizations who do planning themselves and those who use external consultants.

For additional details of initial findings presented at the ASP national conference please click here.