The Case for Integrated Planning

The term “strategic planning” gets attached to a wide range of nonprofit planning—for programs and services, budgeting, communications, information technology, etc. But these address very different kinds of issues, and should involve different participants, processes, tools, and products. We’ll look at the various kinds of planning needed by a nonprofit, see how they can intersect with and reinforce each other, and consider an approach that is more strategic, more effective, and less stressful.

Takeaways:

  • How to think about planning comprehensively.
  • Why strategic, business and program planning are best kept separate.
  • How to differentiate different planning needs, and how to integrate their results.
  • Some effective planning tools.




Sam FrankSam Frank founded Synthesis Partnership to assist nonprofits with strategy, planning, and organizational development and change. He advises and has served on the boards of local and national nonprofit organizations addressing arts and culture, education, health care, preservation, homelessness and the environment. Sam frequently offers workshops on planning at national conferences and writes an e-newsletter, Critical Issues in Strategy, Planning and Organizational Development (http://bit.ly/SyParchive) and a blog on nonprofit issues (http://bit.ly/blogSyP). He conceived and directs the Wednesday Webinars at nonprofitwebinars.com. Prior to Synthesis Partnership Sam was Director of Architecture and Design at Corning Incorporated, and Dean of Architecture and Design at Rhode Island School of Design. He was educated in English literature at Princeton University, architecture at Harvard University, and architectural history, theory and criticism at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Synthesis PartnershipSynthesis Partnership assists nonprofits with strategy, planning, and organizational development and change. The foundation of our approach to any assignment is attentive listening to the situation, needs, culture and aspirations of the client. Our clients have represented a variety of sectors (including education, arts and culture, health care, and social services), sizes (no staff to hundreds of staff; budgets in the low six figures to the high eight figures), maturities (start-ups to well over a century old) and experience (organizations new to planning and organizations with extensive history and experience of planning). Our breadth of understanding of nonprofit sectors and issues helps us to ask the right questions and explore the relevant concerns to assure integrated explorations and solutions. Case studies of some of our projects and articles on strategy, identity, capacity and facilities can be found at www.synthesispartnership.com.

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