TSB 028: 10 Essential Elements of a Nonprofit Strategic Action Plan

capacity building governance growth leadership nonprofit strategy the saturday boardroom Apr 29, 2023
TSB 028: 10 Essential Elements of a Nonprofit Strategic Action Plan

Read Time: 2 minutes

This week's tip: Before you implement your newest strategy, make sure you have an action plan in place. 

As a nonprofit leader, you are constantly implementing new strategies to address emerging challenges, and you need to have a strategic action plan in place.

But what exactly does that entail?

Let's go over the 10 essential elements of a nonprofit strategic action plan:

  1. What and Why statements: the first element of a successful strategic action plan is to have clear what and why statements. The "what statement should articulate what you hope to accomplish, while the "why" statement should describe the problem you are solving.

  2. Objectives: once you have your what and why statements in place, the next step is to define your objectives. Your objectives should be the steps you need to take to achieve that "what."

  3. Stakeholder Analysis: it's important to understand the various stakeholders involved in your nonprofit organization, including donors, volunteers, and the community. A stakeholder analysis will help you identify their needs and expectations, and tailor your strategic action plan accordingly.

  4. Budget and Resources: your strategic action plan should also include a clear budget and plan for acquiring the necessary resources, including funding, staff, and equipment.

  5. Timeline and Milestones: to ensure that you stay on track and meet your goals, it's important to create a timeline with specific milestones. This will help you track your progress and make any necessary adjustments along the way.

  6. Communication Plan: effective communication is key to the success of any nonprofit organization. Your strategic action plan should include a communication plan that outlines how you will communicate with stakeholders, including newsletters, social media, and events.

  7. Evaluation and Measurement: to ensure that your strategic action plan is effective, you need to regularly evaluate and measure your progress. This will help you identify areas that need improvement and make necessary adjustments.

  8. Risk Management: no nonprofit organization is immune to risks, whether they be financial, legal, or reputational. Your strategic action plan should include a risk management plan that identifies potential risks and outlines steps to mitigate them.

  9. Implementation Plan: once you have all the elements of your strategic action plan in place, it's time to put it into action. Your implementation plan should outline the steps you need to take to achieve your goals and objectives.

  10. Flexibility: it's important to remember that your strategic action plan should be flexible. As your organization evolves and circumstances change, you may need to make adjustments to your plan to ensure its continued effectiveness.


By including these essential elements, your nonprofit organization can achieve its goals and make a positive impact in the community.

That's all for today. I'll see you again next Saturday!

Whenever you're ready, there are three ways we can help you:

  1. Register for one of our upcoming workshops here
  2. Book me to speak at your upcoming event here.
  3. Explore our consulting services here.

Want Helpful Tips on Workplace Culture?

Join the nonprofit leaders who benefit from our weekly insights.

You're safe with us. We'll never spam you or sell your contact info.