An Inside-Out Approach to Strategic Planning

An Inside-Out Approach to Strategic Planning

By: Juan Pablo González and Kate Richardson

Strategic planning that emphasizes targeted revenue and membership growth may be neglecting an essential part of the process. Planning that has the association's mission as its polestar can help boards focus their decision making.

There is often a mismatch when traditional strategic planning approaches are applied without giving full consideration to the fundamental differences between nonprofits and commercial businesses. A commercial enterprise's highest objectives include profitability and market share. An association's objectives center on mission attainment. Public companies must answer to the expectations of their shareholders and customers. Nonprofits exist to serve their members and constituents....