“Who should we include in our strategic planning?” Is a question we are often asked by prospective clients.
Rose City Philanthropy advocates for an inclusive process that is not insular nor confined to the board or executive level. We call this participation-based planning and we think it is a superior approach.Strong relationships get things done. One of the most effective ways to engage staff in executing on a plan is to include them in the creation of the plan. Here's why. #strategicplanning #nonprofit Click To Tweet
Board members are the keepers of the vision while the staff executes on that vision.
Simply put: the board decides what should be done; the staff decides how it should be done. This is the fundamental difference between governance and operations and we need both perspectives for a cogent plan that works.
We encourage at least one joint visioning meeting with board and staff; sometimes the groups prefer to meet separately.
We’ve found that getting board and staff members in the same room to collectively create the future results in powerful benefits beyond the strategic plan. This teamwork allows staff to understand the role of board members and board members, in turn, develop a deeper understanding of and appreciation for their staff.
We often hear from board members that they weren’t previously aware of the unique talents and dedication of the staff until they participated in a planning day. Team members frequently comment that they deepened relationships in the process.
Strong relationships help to get things done.
By far, one of the most effective ways to engage staff in executing on a plan is to include them in the creation of the plan. We lead teams through a series of meetings and activities, out of which emerges key themes.
After negotiating goals to support the themes, we then synthesize the information into a written strategic plan.
This is where a lot of folks stop and that is why so many plans collect dust on a shelf.
We take it a step further and equip the staff with work planning tools to create their own metrics, scheduling, and tracking of the plans. In a sense, we help them to put the plan into work boots so that strategic priorities are present and accounted for each day.
I am a trusted nonprofit consultant with 21 years of experience serving mission-driven institutions. At Rose City Philanthropy we specialize in strategic, people-centered fundraising solutions. We love walking teams through feasibility studies, strategic planning, and capital campaign development. We bring a data-informed approach that is rooted in best practice and honors the unique culture and values of the organizations with whom we work.