Why you should focus on tactical plans

Non-profits, be they large or small, work around a central mission the essential goal of which is to do some kind of good work and make a positive impact on the world. Sometimes it feels though that between mission and action things can fall apart. There are real-life issues that need to be addressed like expenses and programming logistics and volunteer commitment and all the daily-grind details that can add up, become overwhelming and halt the gears of progress.

Many people throw a great deal of weight behind strategic plans. A strategic plan is a document used to communicate the organization’s long-term goals looking three to five years out, the actions (in big terms) that are needed to achieve those goals and other critical elements needed in support of the goals stated.

A tactical plan sets specific short-term actions and plans regarding the organization’s basic functioning for the next 12 to 18 months: board, committee, finances and programming and can be the key to making organizational progress with or without a strategic plan. A tactical plan is vital for the overall health and happy running of an organization. It gives a clear path to those involved: board members, committee members, volunteers and constituents. Tactical plans allow organizations to see the progress they are making and feel encouraged and empowered to accomplish more.

For smaller organizations, ones working with only one or two professional non-profit staff or, as is most common: working with only volunteer board members, a tactical plan is a great way of clearing up logjams and worries by putting the most immediate concerns down, plotted out with actions needed, responsible parties, due dates and expected outcomes.

Throughout the month of February, we will be exploring the ins and outs of tactical plans. At any point, if you have questions or would like more information, please feel free to emails us at jennifer@urbanaskew.com.

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