HOT TOPICS: Organizational assessments and planning

February 4, 2015

HOT TOPICS: Organizational assessments and planning

by Kim Carpenter Drake

CNM Vice President

As we try to recapture our old, familiar routines after the holiday season, it’s easy to abandon the dreams and good intentions of our New Year’s Resolutions. But what about those resolutions to make your organization a better, more productive, more successful and happier place in 2015? How are you planning to turn those goals into realities while staying mission-focused? We suggest you take it one step at a time, starting with the facts.

  1. Get the “up front” work done. It’s easy to get excited and jump right into planning for the future. But it’s essential to first take an honest look at the present with an organizational assessment.

According to an article in the Nonprofit Times: Begin by first getting to know where the organization is and what internal obstacles might be hindering them.... Only when this intensive “up front” work is completed can the work on the strategic plan actually begin. Read the full article, featuring a few oft-ignored but important strategic planning steps, here.

  1. Know Your Numbers. Whether you bring in an outside perspective or start your assessment with your own team, you will need to know the statistics that drive your organization. Is our donor base growing or shrinking? What percentage of our clients return for services after their first visits? How long will it take to implement that new program? Many of the software tools to manage these data sources can be available to you at little or no cost through TechSoup. If you don’t already know about TechSoup, check it out - this will make your day!
  1. Consider an expert. CNM has a great team of strategic planning and organizational assessment experts, and each has a unique approach. Did you know that one of our experts has extensive experience working internationally, here in Nashville and in Washington, D.C., is fluent in Spanish, and has a Master of Divinity along with a PhD? Meet Brad Gray.
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