A Brief Introduction to Strategic Planning for Boards

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Centre for Professional Excellence
Ron Hayes


Strategic Planning is a systematic approach to developing long term plans to guide the organization over a period of time. The time period can be from one to several years. Comprehensive strategic planning requires more time, money, and expertise than most nonprofit boards have available. The essential concepts in strategic planning can be applied over time to accomplish strategic planning without the need for extensive resources applied over a short period of time.

Strategic Thinking is essentially taking the major concepts and activities involved in strategic planning and incorporating them into regular board meetings. One of these major activities is adopting a questioning approach to change that relates all decision making to the major Roles, Responsibilities, Duties and Operational Goals of the board. These are listed in the chart below:

This straight forward guide walks non-profits through the strategic planning process from visioning to carrying out goals. It contains an annotated reference list, which provides an excellent starting point for delving deeper into the ideas contained in this brief guide.

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Conceptual Frameworks & Approaches
Planning and Evaluation

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