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Pages tagged "Strategic Planning"


Forget plans, try planning

A pile of post it notes, everyone's favorite Strategic Planning Tool"Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential." - Winston Churchill

It's time for a new Strategic Plan!

For those of you who just groaned out loud, know that I am actually a huge fan of Strategic Plans...or rather, of Strategic Planning. The process of taking a detailed look at the organization and creating a path towards a more successful future is one that every nonprofit organization should approach with excitement. While it’s possible to get trapped in the process of developing the absolutely perfect strategic plan, it’s better to forget the drive towards perfection and word-smithing. Instead, push forward into the toughest of questions and let your MVV (Mission, Vision, and Values) be your guide to determine the best path towards the future.

YNPN-TC is currently on its last six months of the previous Strategic Plan (more on that below), so we are in the process of developing our newest plan that will be launched for 2018. This new multi-year plan will be developed over the course of the next six months, and it will be published for our members to see once it’s complete.

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So you’ve got an idea... Now what?

You have an ideaThe beginning of the year is a time for optimism, planning new changes, and gearing up for greater impact than the year before. It’s a time of inspiration, but how often have you felt stymied, misunderstood, or rejected when trying to get the rest of the team on board?

There are many challenges in translating ideas into action. First, getting the idea from fuzzy dream to clear concept. Then, getting others to understand your vision for change. If you’ve made it this far (congratulations!), now you need to translate the ideas into actions, not to mention figuring out the implementation and (if you were right) the impact.

Still inspired? Fortunately, even our breakthrough innovations can follow in the footsteps of past brilliance. There are tools, steps, and process that can reduce your risk and guide your direction. Let’s go through the steps.

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On relevance and innovation

I recently read a case statement for funding from my museum. It spoke about threats to arts and cultural organizations such as an uncertain economic future, a decline in federal grants, increased competition for leisure time and visitor dollars, and funders moving from general operating support to project-based grants. These are critical factors facing arts and cultural organizations, and other nonprofits, at this very moment.

The ironic part? The case statement was from 1995.

Nearly 20 years have passed and we’re still facing many of the same issues we did 20 years ago (well, what my museum faced 20 years ago. I was learning fractions in 5th grade).

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Pay attention to that board behind the curtain: 2013 YNPN board retreat

The YNPN-TC Board BondsOrganizational transparency is key for businesses and nonprofits to operate successfully, unless you want to run things like the Wizard of Oz (a lying magician who rules through smoke, curtains, and quid-pro-quo agreements). YNPN Twin Cities is no Oz, and we are eager to share about the inner workings of our board, including our most recent board retreat in June. This year’s retreat was my first, but from what I hear, every YNPN board retreat is different, fun and makes the leadership team stronger. I can say all of my expectations were met—and then some!

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How to make better decisions with stakeholder engagement

main.jpgStakeholder engagement. There’s some nonprofit jargon that can easily overwhelm anybody. But it’s really just about who to involve in decision making, when to involve them, and at what level - all pieces that are essential to working with clients and others. 

As a nonprofit consultant at Aurora Consulting, I talk with my colleagues about stakeholder engagement in relation to organization assessments, program evaluation, strategic planning, nonprofit governance, and many other areas. The questions of who needs to be heard from, what quality of information we need, how important consensus is, where will authority lie all become very important. 

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Blowing up the box: YNPN-TC's three year strategic plan

planparts.pngHave you heard? The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network is one of the nonprofits to watch in 2012, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Here in the Twin Cities, we hope you’ll be watching (and participating or helping) as we roll out our three year strategic plan. This plan has been in the works since this summer when the YNPN-TC Board gathered for a series of retreats to contemplate how to most strategically provide and promote opportunities for the development of young nonprofit professionals and bring our vision closer to our reach.

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Art of Hosting: Getting Grounded For Our Next Steps

by Kelly Rowan
follow me on Twitter: @kellykay30

"Successful leaders are able to disappoint their followers at a rate they can tolerate." – Ronald Heifetz

Mac Antigua and Bryan Schachtele opened our 2011 YNPN Twin Cities’ board retreat with these interesting words from Ronal Heifetz. Not the jolt of inspiration you might expect a facilitator to use to get a group of board members riled up, but it was exactly what we needed to ground us in the reality of some of our tough challenges ahead. With that said, we have much to be optimistic and enthusiastic about (stay tuned)!

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Taking a strategic step forward

This blog is by Stephanie Jacobs, YNPN-TC's board retreat facilitator.

If you come to a YNPN-Twin Cities event, it’s almost guaranteed that you will be welcomed and greeted by one of the organization’s board members. These dedicated young nonprofit professionals not only put time and energy into their events, online presence, and partnership activities, but they are also committed to the organization’s long-term impact in the nonprofit community. They care about providing the most valuable opportunities to the members of YNPN-Twin Cities, and they are taking new steps to ensure those opportunities align with the organization’s mission and vision for the future.

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Our mission, vision and values guide all that we do at the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of the Twin Cities (YNPN-TC).

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