Why Nonprofits Should Prioritize Planning (strategy, succession, etc.) When They Are Drowning in the Day-to-day

Busy, busy, busy.

We are all so busy that sometimes we lose sight of what day it is, never mind the goals we are trying to achieve.

We see it in our own company, and we see it with clients all the time. The activities and tasks that we are so busy managing often eclipse the larger strategic decisions that need to be made about organizational direction.

So, how can nonprofit leaders prioritize planning when they have neither time nor energy to give?  The answer is this – leaders are responsible for elevating out of the day-to-day.

When nonprofits can reframe planning from another to-do item to an essential function of leadership, then priorities shift, and the time and space needed can be created.

Board and staff leadership must exemplify this behavior so that it becomes embedded into the norms and culture of the organization.

  • Are leaders on retreat once a year?
  • Are leaders assessing their performance once a year?
  • Are leaders spending time forecasting and thinking ahead, or are they always reacting?
  • Are leaders taking time to read industry articles and then share the insights?
  • Are leaders funding professional development for the organization, and are they attending conferences or webinars themselves?
  • Have leaders ensured that the appropriate plans are in place, and are those plans reviewed regularly?

We are not Pollyanna, and we know this is hard to do, but we have seen organizations move to new levels of performance when leadership commits to planning processes.

Our team has written extensively about strategy, succession, and fundraising plans. The following hyperlinks refer to past articles. Use them as tools to assist in carving out time from your busy days to accomplish this critical work.

When you do, both board and staff culture will improve, and your mission will have an even greater impact.

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