It is important to mention that it is the size of the organization matters more than for-profit or non-profit status in determining the objectives, steps and activities in the Strategic Planning process. Small non-profit and for-profit organizations have a similar manner of conducting business and planning activities that are different from larger non-profit and for-profit organizations.
However, there are certain characteristic distinctions between non-profit and for-profit organizations in relation to focus of the planning activities. Unlike for-profits, which tend to focus primarily on profit-maximizing activities, the non-profit organizations generally are more focused on matters of board development, fundraising and volunteer management. Hence, Non-Profit Strategic Planning concerns keeping in mind the interests of the board, its development and the well-being of its units. It is also aimed at laying stress on raising funds, while the other aspects of planning take a backseat.
New non-profit organizations need to take down strategic plans on paper and create a formal plan, including all the number of considerations a starter non-profit organization needs to take care of.
In case of old or pre-existing non-profit organizations, Strategic Planning requires preparing a long-term map delineating the sequence of activities over several years, from where one is today to where one aims to be in the future. Usually, a period of 3 to 5 years is covered by a strategic plan. The following are to be presented in the plan:
- Mission statement of organization, stating the reason for its inception and activities.
- Vision statement throwing light on what the organization is hoping to become.
- Values to be adhered to by the organization in the conduct of its activities.
- Assessment and description of the needs to be fulfilled by the non-profit organization.
- The organization’s immediate goals.
- An assessment of the organization’s present status.
- Strategies adopted to meet the goals and objectives.