What We Do
Fundamental Strategic Planning
Your Team + Your Stakeholders + Prosper Strategies + 12 Weeks = Your Fast Track to Strategic Plan Success
With our Fundamental Strategic Planning package, you will receive the expert guidance, facilitation and tools you need to develop the essential elements of your next three-year strategic plan over the course of 12 weeks of work together.
It’s a great fit for organizations that want to get the most important parts of their strategic plan in place quickly while still engaging their stakeholders in meaningful ways, and those that are comfortable working through our proven process.
Here’s how the fundamental strategic planning process works, week by week:
Like all of our work, Fundamental Strategic Planning engagements are based on the Shared Power StrategyTM philosophy, which centers your nonprofit’s beneficiaries and other stakeholders, and ensures their priorities are heard and addressed in your strategic plan.
With that in mind, we begin all Fundamental Strategic Planning engagements by having you complete a stakeholder audit where you tell us more about the stakeholders who are important to your organization (beneficiaries, board members, donors, funders, community etc.) and share how accessible they are for participation in a survey and listening sessions during the strategic planning process. Then, we’ll survey all available stakeholders for insights about your nonprofit’s strengths, challenges and opportunities.
We’ll also ask you to provide us with some additional background information that will set the later phases up for success. You’ll be responsible for sending us documents like your past strategic plans, financials and fundraising materials, and completing a questionnaire about your organization and other nonprofits in your ecosystem.
Finally, we’ll guide you in putting together a primary planning committee made up of several of your staff members who will participate in all remaining strategic planning sessions, and advise about how to involve your board and other stakeholders later in the strategic planning process, via listening sessions.
What Happens When in Phase 1?
- Up to one week before we begin: You send us relevant materials (such as past strategic plans, financials and fundraising materials), you complete a stakeholder audit form.
- Week 1: Kickoff meeting with Prosper Strategies and your executive director (or similar role). You begin recruiting participants for the primary planning committee and listening sessions based on our guidance. You distribute the stakeholder survey.
- Week 2-3: Survey sent to stakeholders, open for 2 weeks. You complete organization and ecosystem questionnaire.
- Week 4: We analyze stakeholder survey and questionnaire responses, prepare for Strategy phase.
Next, we move into the Strategy phase of the strategic planning process, which begins with a session with the primary planning committee. In this half day session, we’ll ensure everyone on the committee understands the strategic planning process, discuss key takeaways that emerged from the stakeholder survey and organization and ecosystem questionnaires, discuss your three year vision for your organization, and brainstorm the strategic questions you will need to answer over the next three years. This first session helps the primary planning committee begin to develop a strong rapport, and ensures everyone is working with the same foundational information as we move deeper into strategic planning.
Then, in week 6, we facilitate another half-day strategic planning session with the primary planning committee in which we lead you through the process of choosing the three to five strategic plan pillars around which your next strategic plan will focus, and identifying the objectives that will be necessary to bring those pillars to life.
Next, we host two hour-long listening sessions with your stakeholders to get their input into your plan pillars. The first is with your board members and the second is with a group made up of other stakeholders, such as your beneficiaries, community members, donors or funders. Many organizations end up further shaping their pillars and objectives as a result of the valuable feedback these groups provide.
What Happens When in Phase 2?
- Week 5: Strategy session 1 with primary planning committee (half day)
- Week 6: Strategy session 2 with primary planning committee (half day)
- Week 7: Finalize pillars and objectives, prepare for listening sessions
- Week 8: Listening sessions with board and stakeholders (1 hour each)
After listening sessions are complete, we come back together with the primary planning committee to refine pillars and objectives based on stakeholder feedback. We then facilitate a workshop focused on setting measurable key results associated with each objective. Your staff will continue to work on these for the next two weeks. We come back together with the committee one more time to refine and finalize key results and provide guidance on activity planning, measurement, and the cadence of meetings you should put in place to ensure your organization is successful in bringing its strategic plan to life.
We leave you with a template strategic plan document and objective and key results dashboard that is easy to fill in based on all the work we’ve done together up to this point.
Once you complete these documents, it will be time to seek approval from your board of directors and begin implementing your strategic plan. We’ll be there to support you through the process and help you work through any roadblocks that come up with three one-hour check-in meetings with your executive director (or similar role) in each of the three months following our initial 12-week foundational strategic planning engagement.
What Happens When in Phase 3?
- Week 9: Progress session 1 with primary planning committee (2 hours)
- Weeks 10 and 11: Primary planning committee works on setting key results
- Week 12: Progress session 2 with primary planning committee (2 hours)
- Immediately following week 12: you complete your strategic plan document, activity planning and objective and key results dashboard
- Once per month for three consecutive months following week 12: check-in with executive director or similar role (1 hour)
At the end of 12 intense and rewarding weeks, you’ll have clarity on your strategic plan pillars, objectives and key results, all vetted by the stakeholders that matter most to your organization. You’ll also have all the tools and templates that will help you document your strategic plan, track and measure your progress and bring your plan to life. If you need a more customized approach, see our Intensive Strategic Planning option.
Are you ready to hit the ground running? You’re a good fit for Fundamental Strategic Planning if:
- You’re ready to commit 12 consecutive weeks to strategic planning based on the timeline outlined above
- You are comfortable with a strategic planning process that follows a proven approach with limited opportunity for customization
- You are clear on who needs to be on your primary planning committee, and that group involves no more than 7 people
- You are comfortable with a focused approach to engaging your stakeholders in strategy development (utilizing surveys and listening sessions)
- Your organization serves one region or geography or you are an affiliate of a national organization that has its own strategic plan
- You have an annual operating budget between $1M and $5M
- You are comfortable pulling all of the work we’ve done together to develop your final strategic plan document and objective and key results dashboard on your own
- You are able to manage the process of getting your board and staff to adopt your strategic plan on your own or with light support from us
- You are looking to evolve your organization’s approach rather than completely reinvent it
- Your organization is unlikely to face a period of massive transformation over the next 3 years
If you think you may need a different approach, take a look at our Intensive Strategic Planning offering.
- Duration: 12 weeks
- Location: Typically remote via Zoom
- Facilitation: 6 sessions facilitated by Prosper Strategies
- Stakeholder Engagement: Survey and listening sessions
- Deliverables: Three to five strategic plan pillars; Supporting objectives for each; Strategic plan template; Objective and key results dashboard; Recommended meeting cadence
- Follow Up Support: Three hour-long check in meetings in the three consecutive months following our initial 12-week planning process
- Customization: Limited
- Investment: $35,000
Note: Mission, vision, values and theory of change work is not included in the Fundamental Strategic Planning package but can be added (additional fees apply, see below).
- Executive director or similar role completes stakeholder audit form, sends past strategic plans and other relevant materials, completes organization and ecosystem questionnaires (2-3 hours)
- Staff and board respond to survey (20-30 minutes)
- Other stakeholders such as beneficiaries, donors, community members respond to survey (20-30 minutes)
- Primary planning committee of up to 7 staff members participate in 2 strategy sessions, 1-2 listening sessions and 2 progress sessions, and complete at least 2 hours of homework
- Select group of board members participate in one listening session
- Other stakeholders such such as beneficiaries, donors and community members participate in one listening session (optional, pending their accessibility)
Related Elements: Mission, Vision and Values
Add-ons available upon request*:
- Mission development or re-evaluation: $5,000
- Vision development or re-evaluation: $5,000
- Values development or re-evaluation: $5,000
* Each of these add-ons requires an additional 3 hour session in the Strategy Phase of the strategic planning process. Mission and vision sessions should include primary planning committee and board representatives. Values session should include the primary planning committee and additional staff members.