(Over the past three years I have contributed to over 25 pro bono projects for non-profits, primarily aimed at business plans and strategy.
I focus on creating a detailed business model of current and planned operations.
This business model takes the form of business operations diagrams (“what you do today, or want to do tomorrow”) with comments and evaluations (goals, issues and ideas) about the diagram.
Examples can be found at actionmap.com/clientexamples.
The model can usually be created in two 2-hour online workshops. The resulting work products are exported in PowerPoint and Excel.
In a third workshop, these work products can then be turned into detailed action plans, which can be organized into a higher level (e.g. strategic) activity plan.
These work products contain or point to all the information needed to create the remaining detailed documents for a project (e.g. business plans, standard operating procedures, grant proposals, etc.
PLEASE NOTE: I provide planning support and coaching for detailed document creation, not the creation of those documents.
The key is creating strong shared understanding of organization operations and plans to improve and expand them. That understanding and the work products can be applied to a wide range of non-profit needs, including:
– business plans
– grant writing and fund raising
– process improvement
– Board and volunteer engagement
How does it work?
An initial conversation will cover:
– The assumption that strategic development will mostly be extending what your organization is doing now.
– Agreement on who should attend the workshops.
– Could be just one person, or a group of up to about 12.
– Who will be the broader audience for the work products and how they would be able to receive, review and comment on the work products.
– How the work products will support final document creation (e.g. a detailed business plan) and/or your specific planning goals.
Benefits of this approach:
– Produces strong shared understanding among stakeholders of the current overall operation (this is useful for many other purposes).
– Low overhead (just schedule the workshops, no prep or training required)
– Fast results: “Hours and days instead of weeks and months”
– Workshops can include other volunteer consultants, and results can be shared with and accelerate their work.