Strategic Planning for Not-for-Profits Presents Unique Challenges

However, these challenges have solutions! Erin Currie, CPA shows the creative planning that must take place in the not-for-profit world:



In today’s not-for-profit world, it is extremely important to have your yearly budget in place and continuously reviewed. However, your strategic plan is what really holds the key to your future. Funding and staffing constraints can often limit a not-for-profit from reaching its full potential.  A strategic plan allows the organization and management to focus on the long-term solutions and funding needed to expand their reach.

Many organizations have a strategic plan for the year ahead, but they do not look further due to funding or resource limitations. Not-for-profits are unique in that when the economy takes a turn for the worse, it becomes a not-for-profit’s busiest time. However, this is when a long-term strategy is most important.

Corrigan Krause can help you with this. Let’s take a look at a few unique tips for setting your organization apart when it comes to your strategic plan:

  1. Strategic planning objectives should not all be on the programming side. Ensure IT, human resources, legal, and finance are all included
  2. Remember that not-for-profit is a tax strategy, not a business plan. Organizations should consider building an operating reserve and monitoring and forecasting unrestricted net assets and net cash flow.
  3. Have a policy in place to set aside surplus cash for seasonal fluctuations and downturns in giving. Corrigan Krause monitors books for organizations and assists in these analyses to present for decision makers to review.
  4. Strategically partner with different audiences by considering what could be of value to them in your partnership. They may wish to sponsor your organization’s programs for the advertising opportunity.
  5. Consider an IT subscription to assist in areas such as donor management, records retention and management reporting. An IT subscription will provide hosting, support and functionality at a lower cost than an internal IT department. Often not-for-profits receive a discount. Be sure to ask.

As you can see, it’s important to think outside the box when considering your not-for-profit’s strategic plan. Every organization is different, so think about what your organization’s needs are and call us if you need a hand.