Philanthropic strategic planning

Our goal in the strategic planning process is to guide the activities that will provide the institution’s board and staff with a clear, agreed-upon direction for realizing the institution’s long range philanthropic goals. 

First, we review all parts of the philanthropy operation to determine how the program is performing, where there are opportunities for growth and weaknesses that must be addressed. 

We work with your key stakeholders to help you develop a strategic plan that is shared by the people who will need to fund and carry it out. Starting with broad goals, we use an iterative process to help you distinguish between the desirable and the essential goals. One of our methods is benchmarking with peer institutions and an understanding of your philanthropic landscape.

We utilize the following steps as we partner with the organization to craft its philanthropic strategic plan:

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1.     Research and Data Collection, to conduct a deep dive into your organization and its philanthropy program.

2.     Internal Assessment and Philanthropic Environment Scan to Support the Fundraising Performance

3.     Series of Staff, Board and other Stakeholder interviews to prepare for the Strategic Planning Retreat, during this time we vet your identified goals and conduct a SWOT analysis

4.     Board and Staff Retreat, depending upon the scope of your project, this may be conducted in a one or two-day retreat.  We advise including your board in at least a portion of the retreat.


The Retreat:

The retreat, which is a culmination of the strategic planning process, is designed to build board and staff engagement and partnership as well as informing and guiding the development of the philanthropic strategic plan.  It is critical that all stakeholders have buy-in in the process and the outcome(s).  Our goal is to elevate your critical partnerships!

The retreat is designed to be highly interactive, promoting discussion that is facilitated by the consultants within the agreed upon agenda.

The details and agenda for each day will be fine-tuned during our analysis and discussed and agreed upon in consultation with the advancement director.

We invite the client’s input on the time, place and length of the days. Materials are provided to staff and board in advance to prepare and guide the discussions. We want to make sure that everyone comes to the workshop with an understanding of its purpose, the agenda and the desired outcomes. This process helps to promote clear and shared expectations amongst all participating in preparation for a successful workshop and strategic plan.

This will enable the consultants to provide the organization with the guidance it needs to write a practical yet aspirational actionable plan with a goal of achieving its philanthropic objectives and elevating the philanthropy program within the agreed time period.

This process helps your organization determine the resources—staff, facilities, expertise, and budget that will be required to achieve your goals. Out of this process, the consultants produce, in partnership with the client, a well informed strategic plan.


The Deliverable:

Informed by the retreat outcomes and driven by the institution’s vision and strategic plan, the report will be designed to be a multi-year plan that focuses on immediate and long-term goals with a practical action plan that identifies a clear set of priorities for the program that will enhance productivity.

The report will also address SWOT findings and make recommendations that are practical and realistic for shoring up deficiencies.

VPG promotes best practices that oftentimes utilizes phasing, considering the client’s current situation.

The report will identify goals and priorities that are aligned with institution’s strategic plan and needs while elevating the philanthropy program’s short-term and long range performance. Ultimately, our goal is to provide the organization with practical yet aspirational guidance that it needs to set the course for the future.

Once completed, we will share a draft copy with Vice President for Development and CEO for their comment. In order to be successful, the plan must be embraced and adopted by the board. We guide the client and make recommendations for this process.

Fee:  The engagement is contract by a fixed fee for all components of the strategic planning process and deliverable.