Strategic Planning Guide

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1 Planning Guide Social Enterprise Start-Up Tool Kit Emily Bolton, Enterprise Development Manager, 1

2 Plan Process Clarity Priorities Resource Implications Performance Metrics Objective To develop a concrete description of the impact for which the organization will hold itself accountable and create the organization s theory of change to explain how their work will achieve that impact. Theory of Change To determine the specific actions and activities that must take place to achieve the intended impact. Assess the financial, human and organizational implications of the proposed program structure and create a plan to secure the resources needed. Establish the quantitative and Plan qualitative milestones that will be used to measure progress toward the intended impact Method A half day board and staff offsite led by a facilitator to focus on defining the primary impact and theory of change. Evaluate organization s current programs in terms of cost, mission alignment and efficacy. Assess whether there are program gaps in light of the new theory of change. Assess the HR, Infrastructure and Financial impact of the recommended program structure. Determine the long term and intermediate metrics and milestones that are aligned with the organization s desired impact and theory of change. Output Agreement on the primary aim of the organization. A draft theory of change that can be the basis for the strategic plan development A map of where programs are aligned with the theory of change, where there are program gaps and where current programs are peripheral Analysis of current programs in terms of costs and outcomes Recommendations for program modifications A recommended program structure that is aligned with the theory of change If appropriate a revised org chart plus hiring and training recommendations A financial forecasting model based on the new program costs Analysis of the funding gaps in the new model Recommendations for addressing projected funding gaps Recommendations for additional infrastructure needed to support the new model Two to three key metrics and milestones for each program area A measurement plan that the organization can implement Source: Bridgespan whitepaper Business Planning for Nonprofits Please do not distribute without prior permission from 2

3 Plan Process Clarity Priorities Resource Implications Performance Metrics Please do not distribute without prior permission from 3

4 Clarity: Key Questions To develop strategic clarity the organization needs to answer the following questions: Who or what are we ultimately trying to serve? What are the specific outcomes for which we want to be held accountable? What activities must we undertake to achieve concrete and measurable results? How does our specific portfolio of programs and services lead to change? A concrete description of the impact for which the organization will hold itself accountable. The organization s theory of change to explain how their work will lead to that impact. Source: Bridgespan whitepaper Business Planning for Nonprofits Please do not distribute without prior permission from 4

5 Theory of Change Framework The theory of change can be developed using the following framework: What is the main problem you are trying to solve? Strategies (What strategies will you use to solve the problem? These are high level themes rather than specifics) Activities (What are key activities for each strategy that will help you reach your outcome?) Short Term Outcomes (What are short term outcomes of your long term goal? What will change as a result of your strategies?) Ultimate outcome you want to achieve (What is your ultimate goal?) xx xx Please do not distribute without prior permission from 5

6 Plan Process Clarity Priorities Resource Implications Performance Metrics Please do not distribute without prior permission from 6

7 Priorities: Key Questions To develop strategic priorities the organization needs to answer the following questions: How well does each of our current programs or activities align with our mission and intended impact? What are our full costs, both direct and indirect, for operating each program? Do all of our activities use our core capabilities and expertise or are we stretched too thin across different services? How well do we perform compared to peers? Are there other organizations that do some or all of what we do? Are there services we should modify or add to maximize impact? An outline of the specific actions and activities must take place to achieve the intended impact Source: Bridgespan whitepaper Business Planning for Nonprofits Please do not distribute without prior permission from 7

8 Priorities: A Decision Making Framework Prioritization should be done using the following framework: These activities can generate income to fund other programs. However, if an organization devotes too many resources to these activities staff will be distracted from activities more aligned with the theory of change. + These activities generate income and are aligned with the theory of change these are activities are winners and you should keep them Income Opportunities Clear Winners Net Financial Margin ($) 0 Distractions Investments These activities cost the organization money and don t help to advance the theory of change. These are distractions. - Low Alignment with Theory of Change High These activities are strongly aligned with the theory of change but need funding from other programs or external funders. Source: Bridgespan, Daniel Stid Please do not distribute without prior permission from 8

9 Plan Process Clarity Priorities Resource Implications Performance Metrics Please do not distribute without prior permission from 9

10 Resource Implications: Key Questions To outline the resource implications the organization needs to answer the following questions: Do we have the right organizational structure in place to implement the plan? Does our existing staff have the skills and expertise to execute our strategic priorities? How much new work does the new plan entail? If so, how much capacity does our current staff have to take on new work? Do we need to add positions, or scale back our goals? If not, what roles do we need to create? Where do we find the right people to fill these roles? What new or improved systems do we need to do our work more effectively (e.g. IT, performance measurement, financial)? What HR systems should we put in place to manage our organization (recruiting, orientation, training, evaluation)? Can we manage the budget required by the human resource and infrastructure investments? How will the new costs affect our cost per outcome? How is the funding community likely to respond to the spending plan? Can we raise the money we need? A outline of the financial, human and organizational resources needed to implement the strategic priorities A plan outlining how to secure the resources needed Source: Bridgespan whitepaper Business Planning for Nonprofits Please do not distribute without prior permission from 10

11 Plan Process Clarity Priorities Resource Implications Performance Metrics Please do not distribute without prior permission from 11

12 Performance Metrics: Key Questions The organization needs to answer the following questions to set performance metrics and a measurement plan: What are the long term social outcomes goals? What are the intermediate measures of progress towards these goals? How will we assess whether we have achieved our long term and short term goals? How do we implement a performance measurement process? Quantitative and qualitative milestones that make it possible to measure progress A plan for implementing performance measurement Source: Bridgespan whitepaper Business Planning for Nonprofits Please do not distribute without prior permission from 12

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