No matter what their size, all organisations need to plan. Doing so will highlight both the opportunities and challenges it faces. This will not only strengthen the organisation, but will also enable it to deliver more effectively to meet the needs of its beneficiaries.
Planning can be simple and straightforward. It can be a creative process that brings demonstrable benefits. There is a direct link between effective planning and long-term sustainability. As such, it is the first step towards sustainable funding.
Have a look through our dedicated section exploring the strategic planning process in the strategy section of the website. The section explains:
- How to create a strategic plan.
- A four phase process of strategic planning
- How to make the most of the process so that your organisation becomes even more successful.
It's hard to plan without good information - so also take a look at our sections on changes in the funding environment.
To plan effectively an organisation also needs to understand its cost base and be able to assess and measure the impact of its work.
You may also be interested in our sections on:
- Full Cost Recovery: Understanding and costing the full overhead costs of activities and services provided, such as: the cost of management and leadership; research, development and innovation; and support functions - the price of premises, financial and personnel management, is essential to the ongoing sustainability of organisations.
- Outcome funding: Focusing on outcomes is a way of focusing not so much on what we do as what we achieve. Outcome funding refers to the process whereby funders fund for the change brought about (the 'outcomes') by particular activities (the 'outputs'), not simply the delivery of outputs themselves.
- Download the free Introductory Guide to Sustainable Funding - the first in the six-part Introductory Pack to Funding and Finance, produced by the Sustainable Funding Project for the Finance Hub. It includes sections on effective planning and managment and tools to help you plan. Download the Guide to Sustainable Funding (PDF, 632Kb).
- Strategy resources library A succinct list of key strategy reports and guides available as free downloads and to buy.
- Mission Impossible Consultancy nfpSynergy have released a guide to assist organisations to create a powerful mission and vision. A summary (173kb) or complete version (1.04Mb) of the report can be downloaded from www.nfpsynergy.net/freereports.
- Your project business plan This guide from The Big Lottery Fund provides a clear overview of what a business plan should cover and how it should be presented. Download the PDF.
- The Complete Guide to Business and Strategic Planning For Voluntary Organisations published by Directory of Social Change.
- Risk assessment information on our website examines information on risk.
- A comprehensive range of information on budgeting on our website.
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