How to undertake strategic planning for your NGO

Dr Saumya Arora About Dr Saumya Arora

Dr. Saumya Arora is a development professional with cross-disciplinary experience in project management, resource mobilization, donor relationship management, community mobilization and project execution at the field level. She is currently working towards building fundraising and resource mobilization capacity of community-based organizations, apart from developing functional linkages with donors across the world.

Someone has rightly said that without a plan, a goal is only a wish. In the context of your NGO also, it holds true. Despite having a mission and a vision, an organization might be going on a path to nowhere, as these are very broad statements, and do not provide a clear direction, or do not ‘steer’ the organization. To have a clear and actionable plan, it takes a lot of churning of ideas and experiences sharing among all the key stakeholders, which will direct the board to have a strategic plan for the organization.

It can be said that there cannot be good governance without a strategic plan. A good balance is required in the mission and vision with which the organization was formed and current challenges and the complex milieu where the organization is placed.

         Here is how to form a strategic plan for your NGO:

  1. Decide who will facilitate the discussions and who will participate. Ensure all key stakeholders participate in the process, as that is the best way possible to devise a strategic plan.
  2. The analysis must begin with an attempt towards understanding the internal environment, which means identifying strengths and weaknesses of the organization. What are the core strengths, core competencies of your NGO? Why are donors giving to your NGO? What makes your organization thrive in a competitive and complex environment? These are some of the questions to answer to better understand the internal strengths.
  3. Next comes the analysis of the external environment. This involves studying what are the opportunities and threats that the external environment holds. What are the pain points and critical issues in front of the NGO?
  4. Prioritise: After listing these, there is a need to prioritize the things to be done. Now, as per priorities, you will need to write short term plans in sync with the larger goals of the organization.
  5. The next step is to plan for any additional resources requirement, including financial resources; and then to allocate these resources.
  6. Now after reaching the planning phase, financial planning is the most important and crucial step. Involve your finance team also for a sound financial planning.
  7. For strategic planning and organization-wide implementation, the systems and processes for monitoring and evaluation must be put in place. Without knowing the progress or failures, one cannot learn, and hence monitoring and evaluation is very important.
  8. Now you can proceed and start implementation of your strategic plan.

Some important things to keep in mind:

  • The key to a successful strategic planning is to involve everyone! Everyone means the board, the management, and all the key stakeholders. Remember that when everyone owns the process, the chances of success increase manifold.
  • Reinforce the message: You will need to hold regular meetings and keep reinforcing the messages to implement the plan organization-wide successfully.
  • Remember, this is certainly not an overnight process, and will take a long time to succeed the way you have planned it to. But even small steps count in a long journey. Take a small step, and the giant leap will follow!

Latest Funds for NGOs

ARIMNet2 Joint Call 2017: Preparing the New Generation of Young Researchers!

Australian Embassy in Belgrade: Seeking Applications for Direct Aid Program

Internews in Kazakhstan: Small Grants for Conducting Journalistic Investigations

KILROY Foundation’s Fall Grant Program 2017: Improving Education Opportunities

Impact Fund Grants Program: Advancing Human Rights, Environmental Justice and Poverty Law

Apply for Newton Fund’s Researcher Links Biodiversity Travel Grants!

British Council: Newton Fund Researcher Links Regional Biodiversity Workshops (Latin America)

Australian Embassy in Ukraine: Seeking Applications for Direct Aid Program (DAP) 2017-18

EU Call for Proposals: Preventing Sexual and Gender Based Violence against Women and Girls in Developing Countries

U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of ILAB: Improving Enforcement of Labor Laws in the Agricultural Export Sector of Costa Rica

UN Women Call for Proposals: Capacity Building of Providers of Services for Women Survivors of Violence

UN Women Call for Proposals: Monitoring the Implementation of the National Strategy and Action Plan on Gender Equality 2016-2020

DHHS-CDC: Supporting Health Systems Evaluation for Improved Performance in Mozambique under PEPFAR

DHHS-CDC: Implementing Innovative Activities to Reach Epidemic Control in Mozambique under PEPFAR

U.S. Embassy in Uganda: Ambassador’s Special Self-Help (SSH) Program

Australian Embassy in Ha Noi: Seeking Applications for Direct Aid Program 2017-18

Foundation for Children: Supporting the Health and Welfare of Children in Australia

UNICEF Innovation Fund: VR/AR Technologies to Solve Real Human Problems

The Australian Government: Inviting Applicants for ILC National Readiness Grants Round 2

DHHS/CDC: Comprehensive Community-Based HIV Services in Areas of High Prevalence to Key and Priority Populations in Zambia under PEPFAR

IPA Peace & Recovery Program: Seeking Proposals to Support Field Experiments and Research

National Geographic Society: Requests for Proposals for Changing Polar Systems

National Geographic Society: Requests for Proposals for Big Cats Conservation

National Geographic Society: Requests for Proposals for Long-Distance Animal Migration

Comments

  1. Rodrice Durocher says:

    Hello,

    It’s my first visit to this wonderful and exiting page. Happy to stop by ! Hope we can take the opportunity of that great community to achieve important projects in the world. even though my favorite working field is Haiti, but I have no objection to move anywhere on earth as long as it’s for a positive mission, it will always be a pleasure. I can not wait to see what we can do together. I look forward to having a productive experience around here. Rodrice

* indicates required

You have Successfully Subscribed!