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Evaluating Your Efforts. Is your Strategic Plan on Target?

"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together."
Vincent Van Gogh

Whether you run a small business or a nonprofit, it is important to evaluate your activities as they relate to your established goals within your strategic plan.

A solid strategic plan is a great tool that will help for-profit and nonprofit leaders optimize their performance and results, and ultimately the bottom line. Resources are always limited. All leaders need to be especially careful when making financial decisions. When done well this ensures maximum and most efficient impact for each dollar spent.

There are generally three overarching questions leaders should be asking at any point,

  • What results are we trying to accomplish?
  • What goals and activities will help us get there?
  • What are we doing to evaluate our efforts to know if we are on track (Carttar, 2023)?

When you have answers to these questions, you will know if your efforts are paying off for the long-term results that you want.

Your action plan should reflect the goals and metrics laid out in your strategic plan. This measurement data should be clear and concise, not ambiguous or vague. There are many ways to capture this information and each can have advantages and disadvantages. Consider your audience, the type of data you are seeking, the ethical and legal implications (if any) of obtaining this, who would collect this, and how you plan to analyze and interpret and report this information.

Hope is not a plan. Evaluations help you to decipher if things are working! If the data are not what you had expected or hoped for, you can use this information to make more informed decisions to get you back on track.

Evaluations are an important part of your business or nonprofit, however this is only one part of your overall strategy. At Woodland Strategies, we can assist you in all aspects of your strategic planning and marketing, as well as business development, customer and client relationships, fundraising strategy, and much more. Our strategic planning agency works with many kinds of organizations to help leaders and teams develop a plan to meet goals and achieve success. Please contact us by filling out our contact form or giving us a call today at 952-303-4594.

Cattar, P. Strategic planning and evaluation: Tools for realizing results. Standford Social Innovation Review. March 21, 2014. Retrieved online August 8, 2023 https://ssir.org/articles/entry/strategic_planning_and_evaluation_tools_for_realizing_results Stanford University. McNamara, C. Basic Guide to Program Evaluation. Adapted from Field Guide to Nonprofit Program Design, Marketing and Evaluation. October 12, 2005. Retrieved online August 10, 2022. https://www.unm.edu/~egrong/web/docs/R3_Basic%20Guide%20to%20Program%20Evaluation.pdf University of New Mexico.

This article or any other promotional material(s) from Woodland Strategies, Inc. is in no way intended to be a comprehensive plan.

Please note all markets, circumstances, and results vary. Any strategic plan or marketing initiatives must follow all State and Federal laws and regulations, accordingly.

Please contact us directly for a complete assessment and plan for your individual organizational needs.

Ten Steps to a Successful Strategic Plan

Strategic planning is a significant undertaking. It requires energy, creativity, time and money. Your resources are important and limited. Get what you want! This is what we do at Woodland Strategies. Here are a few tips as you consider your upcoming planning project.

Choosing the Right Consultant

Consultants can provide valuable service and offer an objective perspective to assist organizations and team members in a variety of areas. Woodland Strategies, a business consulting firm in Minneapolis, MN, offers an assortment of consultancy services including Strategic Planning, Marketing Strategy, Development and Fundraising Strategy, and also Leadership Coaching.

How long does a typical strategic planning process take?

This is a question we are regularly asked at Woodland Strategies. Typically, a full strategic planning process can take up to six to eight months, depending on how in-depth the organizational planning team wants to take things.Your messaging – your values, mission and vision statements – can, and should, last between eight and twelve weeks. This is really the most fundamental part of your plan. It should never be rushed.

Succession Planning for Your Nonprofit Board

Leadership transitions within organizations can be anticipated or be quite sudden. Transitions may be due to a personal change for a board member or staff, or they may be the result of a thoughtful and long-term decision to make a change. If you are looking to keep your nonprofit sustainable, you will want to be sure that you have a written succession plan ready to go.