PLANNING

Based on the planning needs of your organization, the selected training will vary, but all will include time to assess how your organization works and provide recommendations and assistance specific to your needs.

Examples of the planning services you may choose may include, but are not limited to:

See below for descriptions of each service and contact Janeen Maxwell at 717.871.7178 or at janeen.maxwell@millersville.edu for more information.

STRATEGIC PLANNING

LISTEN TO OUR STORIES: Hear from NRN customer, Compeer Lancaster, about our Strategic Planning Services

Strategic planning is organizational level planning the creates vision for the future of the community if the organization is s100% successful at meeting its mission. Based on that vision, the organization then determines their own mission and identifies the core values that guide their decision-making processes. The NRN's planning process clarifies the community that is serves, then determines the key focus areas for the the next 3-5 years, create action steps with associated costs (time and $), deadlines and persons responsible to ensure the work gets done.

Organizations that have accessed NRN's Strategic Planning Services include:

  • Suicide Prevention Coalition
  • Bright Side Opportunity Center
  • Conestoga Valley School District
  • Theatre for Transformation
  • Compeer Lancaster
  • Coalition for Smart Growth
  • YWCA Lancaster
  • Coalition to Improve Victim Services
  • Family Design Resources

 

Other NRN services that frequently get tapped into in this process include:

Facilitation Services
NRN's facilitation is the primary methodololgy that is used to guide planning work, using group processes such as open-ended questions, silence and prompting to engage participants.
Phone Interviews & Online Surveys
Phone interviews and/or online surveys are tools that are used to gather information that is more traditionally gathered through SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). Questions are tailored to the needs/desired results for each group.
Focus Groups
On the front end of strategic planning, NRN uses focus groups group gather information that is more traditionally gathered through SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). At the back end, the NRN has used "focus groups" to engage the community in implementing aspects of the completed strategic plan.
SUCCESSION PLANNING

To be successful, "succession planning" is an ongoing initiative that starts with top leadership and goes beyond the traditional one-time training process where information is passed from trainer to audience. For best results, the NRN recommends this training as only the first-step to introducing your organization to the concept of succession planning. In fact, rather than talking about succession planning--which generally focuses on top level positions in a time-limited format--the suggests using the term "succession management." Succession management focuses on attracting exemplary employees for the long-time future. Topics that may be included in this training may include but not be limited to:

    • Alignment of leadership development efforts with mission,vision and core values
    • Characteristics of "Level 5" leaders and how employees evolve
    • Creating a culture of Appreciative Inquiry
    • Insider vs. Outsider Perspective
    • Talent Pool Creation

BUSINESS PLANNING

Traditionally, business plans have been a focus of the for-profit sector; however, they are equally valuable as a tool for nonprofit organizations. For nonprofits, the business plan can be considered a management tool that will steadily guide your organization through a changing environment. The business plan articulates what your organization does and how it will be managed. It clearly defines the organization’s goals and objectives and provides a mechanism for monitoring and evaluating progress. The business plan should be developed after the organization has completed its strategic plan. The business plan is a management tool for:

    • Articulating specific goals and objectives
    • Promoting efficiencies
    • Identifying opportunities for improvement
    • Establishing performance guidelines
    • Raising funds
    • Guiding the implementation of capacity-building strategies

Business plans are usually updated annually if not twice a year, or whenever new program and funding opportunities arise. Once the board and management approve a new program, it should be included in an updated version of the business plan. Because the business plan is a detailed account of how the organization will operate, it becomes the key document for investors, or donors, when soliciting financing, funding or major contributions. Therefore, the business plan should promote the organization’s capacity and should be viewed as a major communications tool.

Remember, too, that one plan does not fit all. A business plan should be written to meet the needs of a specific audience. If you are using the business plan to solicit financing from a bank or corporate investor, you must include material these individuals consider important. For example, if you want to acquire funding from a major corporation to build a facility, you will want to clearly express not only the relevance of your mission to the local community but to demonstrate how the corporation will benefit in turn.

The NRN brings this training to you in partnership with SCORE Lancaster.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY PLANNING

Information Technology Planning

Information Technology (IT) is a powerful enabler.  Information Technology (IT) permeates almost every aspect of a nonprofit, is expensive, long lived, has a systemic impact and is a critical factor in determining the success or failure of a nonprofit.   

Hardware, software, data, and related staffing and business processes  - IT - needs to be aligned with the mission, vision and goals of the organization; however, that is easier said than done.  Too often, there is a divide between business and technology people making it difficult to work efficiently and effectively towards the common goal of creating an IT Strategic plan.  Many times, if a plan is created at all, technical people develop it in isolation from the business people. The challenge is that an IT Strategic Plan needs to be part of any strategic thinking initiative and both business and technical people need to be involved

Such a plan provides an assessment of your current IT environment, compares it to your vision for the future, and then develops a roadmap so that you can achieve your vision. It answers questions such as “Is our technology providing the right level of service to the people served?”, “Do we have the right policies in place to manage IT?”, or “Are there some risks we have not thought about?” . 

During this training, you will learn skills necessary to undertake, or at least actively participate in an IT Strategic Planning initiative.  Concepts will include the IT strategic process; current environment assessments; setting a clear direction and implementing your vision; budgeting; IT governance; management, support and staffing; and more.

  • The first step to engaging in this process is learn more about it. The Nonprofit Resource Network can bring this understanding to your door--including some initial assessments, templates and tools that you can use.