An effective nonprofit strategy specifies a long-term objective and focused direction that leverages an organization’s internal situation and accounts for the dynamic, competitive external context. There are many schools of thought, resources, and approaches to creating your organizational strategy. But the end result is your organization’s magic eight ball.
Well, it’s a well-informed, non-random magic eight ball.
In the other words, strategy provides the credibility and direction to say “yes” or “no.” Imagine a situation that requires an important decision or action. Should we apply for this competitive Federal grant? Should we focus more on advocacy? Is our current facility and database sufficient? Can we grow our volunteer program? With a strong strategy, you now have a rubric by which to answer those questions.
A well-informed strategy will indicate where the outlook is good and if the signs point to yes, as well as what to do if the sources say no. Having a clear focus and goals will help the Board say, “It is decidedly so,” or “Don’t count on it” with more confidence and consensus than ever before. There will be times when the reply is hazy and you need to ask later, which is why strategies are meant to be flexible and adaptable (but that’s another blog post).