Take time to plan

I recently broke a bone in my foot. No, this is not a plea for sympathy. I was forced to slow down and this frustrated me to the max. But as days turned into weeks, I came to appreciate the time my lack of mobility gave me to reflect, prioritize and plan my work and my life.

We all know that planning is important, but sometimes the busy-ness of your everyday workload makes it seem impossible.

But being sure you are busy working on the right things is worth the time.

Many organizations find that they have added programs over the years, or continue long-standing programs because they have always done them. But do these programs still make sense today? Do they work well together so that they are greater than the sum of the parts?

A few key questions will get your organization’s planning juices flowing.

How has our clientele or target population changed in the past several years? How will it continue to change?

Does our mix of programs make sense today for our clientele?  Will they still make sense 5 years?

What additional resources (staff, volunteers, board members, funding) will we need to meet the needs of our target population in the future? Are we poised to be able to have those resources?

Now ask yourself these same questions regarding your donors. Has your donor base changed? Will it? Does it need to?

Does your mix of development and communication strategies fit with tomorrow’s donor base or yesterday’s?

Are your activities aligned with your goals? It can be difficult to answer that question until you take time to plan.

Don’t wait until you break your foot!  Call me today with your questions about strategic planning.

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About Susan Suarez

I am a nonprofit management and fundraising consultant. I have 30 years experience in the philanthropic sector including senior level positions in management, fundraising and grantmaking. I started consulting in 2003, working with local nonprofits and with community foundations nationally. My experience as Executive Director of Eden Autism Services Florida, President of the Community Foundation of Collier County, Vice President of Marketing and Development for the Community Foundation Silicon Valley, and Development Director for the American Red Cross in Palo Alto, CA provides a deep background in philanthropy and management to benefit my clients.
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