10 Big Decisions Nonprofits Make

Has your nonprofit organization made the following big decisions?

Mission: Describes what your organization will do, who it will do it for and how it will achieve the vision. Your mission guides your work. (1-3 sentences)

Vision: Tells everyone the type of community or world your organization envisions as a result of its work. Write your vision in the present tense. Your vision inspires your work. (3-5 sentences)

Values: Describes the principles and beliefs that guide the operations of the your organization. Your values influence how you work and make decisions. (Pick 3-5, unranked)

Goals: Describes what you want to accomplish. Goals should be concrete and measurable. Your goals describe what your organization is going to do. (Prioritize 2-4 goals)

Objectives: Describe how you will accomplish your goals, who will be responsible for doing the work, and when you plan for it to happen. (Decide as many as you will need to accomplish your goals).

Board Leadership: Your Board governs your organization and you need to be intentional about who and how you will approach potential board members. (Prioritize 2-5 people to approach)

Budget: How much will you raise and what will you spend this year? (Develop a detailed spreadsheet)

Hiring/Firing you Executive Director: Your ED guides the day to day for your organization and you wan to make sure you hire the right candidate. (Pick the best!)

Fund Development Planning: Who will you approach for funding and how will you approach them. (Prioritize sources and strategies)

Other Big Issues that Come up…: Big decisions come up on a variety of other topics, mergers, campaigns, events, policies, etc. I welcome any of your feedback for other big decisions your organization needed to make. (Don’t panic)

Because these are big decisions, I suggest you give your organization’s leadership the needed time to reach agreement. Retreats are an ideal place to give you the extra time and space to make these decisions. If you need help planning or facilitating a retreat, please contact me.

About Ron Milam

I work to build the capacity of organizations and collaborative change initiatives in Southern California through facilitation, training and coaching. I specialize in the areas of organization development, collaboration, strategic planning, team building, board development and fundraising. Since 2005, I have served over 145 organizations.
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