Planning Post Covid: How Should You Move Forward?
Between fundraising uncertainties, fear among staff getting sick, volunteers getting bored to tears, and staff feeling exhausted from the demands placed on them for the last 14 months, it’s hard to know how to plan for the future. So, how does an organization conduct meaningful strategic planning post Covid?
The answer is…you can’t, at least not realistically. It would be like trying to nail Jello to the wall. It’s just not possible.
So, as the leader of a nonprofit, what should you do, when the future is so uncertain? There are a few things you can do to make the most of this time of doubt and challenge. Sometimes challenging times provide a good opportunity to get back to the basics.
6 Focus Areas for Strategic Planning Post Covid
1. Capacity Building
Review how your processes worked or didn’t work during the height of the pandemic. Then, edit accordingly. The stress put on your organization, people, and processes during that time may show you weak spots or misalignment that you can now take time to assess and redesign.
2. Board Development
Coming out of the pandemic is a good time to review the composition of your board and its performance during the crisis. What skills or traits do you wish you had had on the board when Covid hit your community? Can you develop a list of those gaps and start identifying candidates to be recruited to your board?
3. Client Services
What did your client base — those whom you serve — experience in the last year? What do they need today? How has your client base grown or changed since the start of Covid? You might want to assess your programs and see if they are still the most important service you can provide to them.
4. Marketing and Outreach
Does your messaging, or the language used in your appeals and on your website, still make sense? Or, do they need to be revised to make things more clear? Are you actively reaching out and participating in the conversation on social media?
5. Your Leadership
Did your circle of leaders in your industry help you navigate the last year well? What did you learn and how did they help you lead your organization? Do you need to develop a new circle of confidential, professional relationships in order to improve your leadership?
6. Your donor base
How well have you kept in touch with your supporters? What did you learn about these key partners during Covid that you can use coming out of it? Did they feel like they were adequately informed? Did you lose many supporters? How do you go about re-recruiting the ones that may have strayed away from you?
This is your opportunity to change all the things that never really worked and create a “new and improved” version of your agency. Don’t miss out on it. And, know that I am interested in helping you figure all of this out.
Are you struggling with strategic planning moving out of the pandemic? I can help. I’ve worked with many nonprofit leaders during tough times. If you need a little insight, or someone to help get your board and team back on track, please reach out.
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