NPOs Strategic Planning

180 Degrees Consulting Waterloo
3 min readMar 17, 2022


A strategic planning process aims to identify strategies that will best enable a nonprofit to achieve its goals. Nonprofits that are skilled at strategic planning are better prepared to deal with any surprises, both good and bad, that may arise. There are a few approaches that nonprofits can take to develop their strategic planning.

This guide will help your nonprofit’s strategic plan, whether it’s creating an emergency plan to respond to unexpected external circumstances or simply creating your strategy for the coming year. With all of the different models and elements involved in the creation of your plan, you’ll need to consider which formats best meet the needs of your nonprofit. Here are some things to think about:

Which strategic plan model is best for your nonprofit?

Different circumstances and objectives will necessitate a distinct type of nonprofit strategic plan. There are 5 planning models available in the nonprofit world that you can use to meet your specific needs and goals. Choose a strategic planning model based on your organization’s current circumstances and outcomes. The planning models you can choose from are, Basic strategic planning process model, Issue-based strategic planning model, Alignment strategic model, Scenario strategic planning, and Organic strategic planning model.

Identify organizational strengths and weaknesses using various strategic analysis models such as SWOT or PESTLE.

Creating mission, vision, and value statements (some prefer to do that as the first step in planning). As a result of what is going on inside and outside the organization, establishing goals to achieve over the next (usually) three years or so. determining how those objectives will be met (strategies, objectives responsibilities and timelines).

Specify the components of your nonprofit strategic plan:

Before you can begin working on your nonprofit strategic plan, you should be aware of the various components that go into its development. The first step is to realize that your development plan goals are directly tied to your goals. Use your organization’s budget to determine what your finding needs to look like to achieve your goals and then break them into categories for how you will raise the money (Bloomerang, 2022). Some of the fundraising and marketing strategies your organization can take into consideration include:

  • Major gifting fundraising: major contributions are an essential component of any nonprofit’s fundraising strategy. Only the top 12% of donors contribute approximately 88 percent of all nonprofit funds (Bloomerang, 2022).
  • Online fundraising: what the majority of your donors will most likely prefer to give online. It’s convenient if your fundraising page is properly optimized.
  • Direct mail fundraising campaigns: they help you’re nonprofit reach a wider audience and create additional touchpoints with supporters.

A strategic planning process identifies strategies that will best enable a nonprofit to achieve its goals. As staff and board members participate in the process, they should become committed to measurable goals, approve priorities for implementation, and commit to revisiting the organization’s strategies on an ongoing basis as the organization’s internal and external environments change (Bloomerang, 2022). Many nonprofits begin the process by identifying the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, also known as a “SWOT” analysis. It is critical to consider both external and internal factors (such as your nonprofit’s staff capacity to achieve its goals).

The outcomes of your strategic plan should result in updates to different branches of your organization. Consider whether your new strategic planning goals and strategies are directly aligned with your products and services. Should your organization’s job descriptions and performance goals be updated? Finally, should your board committees be reorganised to become more aligned to contribute to the achievement of your new strategic goals?

Looking ahead and planning for the future are always ongoing. As changes occur to the nonprofit’s plans, revisit the plan and the nonprofit’s strategic priorities, making adjustments to adapt to new conditions and expectations.

Need help with strategic planning? 180 Degrees Consulting Waterloo provides affordable consulting services for nonprofits and social enterprises. Contact us at


Heflo. (2018, September 22). 5 strategic planning process models to choose from. HEFLO BPM. Retrieved March 9, 2022, from

Love, J. (2022, February 16). The Ultimate Guide to Nonprofit Strategic Planning. Bloomerang. Retrieved March 9, 2022, from

McNamara, C. (2022, January 18). Developing your nonprofit strategic plan. Free Management Library. Retrieved March 9, 2022, from

National Council of Nonprofits. (2020, August 17). Strategic planning for nonprofits. National Council of Nonprofits. Retrieved March 9, 2022, from

Written by: Mahnoor Ifran



180 Degrees Consulting Waterloo

Student led organization enhancing Non-Profits and social enterprises through Consulting services.