1. Confirms your reason for being: Do your board directors, members and stakeholders have a shared understanding of your organization’s mission, values and goals? A strategic plan gives your organization clear understanding of what the organization is trying to achieve and a road map for how to get there?
2. It allows you to be S.M.A.R.T: A well-developed strategic plan includes S.M.A.R.T Objectives -Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time based. Here is an example:
Increase membership and revenue
Increase current membership by 10% by fiscal year-end
Increase net revenue by 20% by fiscal year-end
3. Understanding of where you fit in the world around you: A solid strategic plan is built on a foundation of valid interntal and external research. What are you doing well? Where can you improve? Who are your allies and competition? What are your organization’s greatest strengths and weaknesses? What are the potential threats? Where are the opportunities that will allow you to thrive, grow and succeed?
4. Keeps you on track: Once you start seeking opportunities, you will find them everywhere. It’s tempting to jump on them all, especially when they seem glamorous or fall into your lap. Your strategic plan helps you objectively evaluate opportunities. How does this opportunity help you meet your goals and objectives? If you can't find tangible links, then maybe it’s best to pass and focus your valuable time and resources on opportunities that do.
5. Gets everyone working in the same direction: By making your making the development your strategic plan an inclusive and collaborative process you are able to work together to establish your objectives, develop strategies and create an action plan that clearly defines roles. Now everyone understands the expectations and how they contribute to your organizational success.