Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Relationship of Strategic Planning to Other Forms of Planning

Often there can be some confusion and disagreement about the definition of strategic planning and its relationship to other forms of planning in nonprofit organizations. I have tended to view the strategic plan as a 3-5 year “strategic blueprint” that serves as the foundation for these other forms of planning. I recently conducted a webinar entitled "The Relationship of Strategic Planning to Program Planning and Business Planning”.

In preparing for the session, I came across an excellent article “Business Planning for Nonprofits: Why, When — and How It Compares to Strategic Planning” by Brigette Rouson. The article describes three approaches to defining the relationship of strategic planning to other forms of planning. According to Rouson, the three approaches include selection (opting for one over the other), synthesis (bringing elements of both approaches together) and sequencing (ordering one before the other). If you want to explore this relationship further, check out this article and others included in the resource bibliography I developed for this recent webinar:

Collection of Business Planning Resources for Nonprofits: The Bridgespan Group has assembled an excellent set of resources on business planning for nonprofits. In “Business Planning for Nonprofits,” Bridgespan draws on client experience to illustrate the key components of the business-planning process. http://www.bridgespan.org/kno_themes_businessplanning.html

Business Planning For Nonprofits What It Is and Why It Matters

For an impressive example of business planning in the nonprofit sector see the Harlem Children’s Zone business plan. http://www.bridgespan.org/kno_case_hcz.html

Business Planning Toolkit by Seedco. http://nvn-toolkit.seedco.org/businessplanning/

Business Planning for Nonprofits: Why, When — and How It Compares to Strategic Planning by Brigette Rouson. http://www.1000cranes.com/downloads/Alliance.1kcranes.Article.pdf

Thinking about a Revenue Generating Venture as a Sustainability Strategy for your Nonprofit Organization by Mike Burns http://www.brodyweiser.com/pdf/RGVforNonprofits.pdf

Business Planning by Carter McNamara, Authenticity Consulting http://www.managementhelp.org/plan_dec/bus_plan/bus_plan.htm

Basic Guide to Nonprofit Program Design and Marketing by Carter McNamara. http://www.managementhelp.org/prog_mng/np_progs.htm

Strategic Planning for Your Organization and Its Fund Development by Lori Bertman