operations plan

Is it too much?

Is it too much?

Posted in executive director / operations plan / staff team

The current year is wrapping up. Planning is well underway for next year. Non-profit boards will meet to write their strategic plan and then hand it to the staff team to turn into programs and services for the next operating year. Sometimes, in the excitement of operational brainstorming...


Now what?

Now what?

Posted in operations plan / staff team / programs and services

The strategic planning session is done. The board is happy with the results. The goals, outcomes, and indicators have been decided. Everything is handed over to the executive director for the next step. Now what? I don’t know what to do! A non-profit executive director’s part in...


3 steps to keep a non-profit chart of accounts simple...

3 steps to keep a non-profit chart of accounts simple...

A chart of accounts is a numbering system to organize a non-profit’s financial transactions. You can compare a chart of accounts to the Dewey Decimal System at your local library, where different groups of books have different number codes. In a non-profit, revenues have different number codes...


Keep Your Cool with Negative Feedback

Keep Your Cool with Negative Feedback

We’ve all been there. A participant didn’t like the way a program was handled. An evaluation is filled with negative comments. A volunteer doesn’t agree with the new direction the organization is headed. An anonymous survey seems to bring out the nastiest responses. A client makes a snap...


Write a Report for the Board Without Creating Anything New

Write a Report for the Board Without Creating Anything New

Posted in strategic plan / operations plan

In the relationship between governance (the board of directors) and operations (usually the executive director and staff team), there is a nice balance. The board, using their linkage to the stakeholders, creates a governing vision for the organization, called the strategic plan. The...


Good Old-Fashioned Survey

Good Old-Fashioned Survey

Posted in strategic plan / operations plan

Each year, a non-profit will create a strategic plan that is responsive to the needs of clients, members, and stakeholders. But, how do you know what those needs are? You ask, and here’s how. Throughout its operating year, a non-profit will offer all different kinds of programs and...


Create a Program Evaluation to Gather Useable Information

Create a Program Evaluation to Gather Useable Information

Evaluation, measurement, KPIs and assessment are all part of the work of a non-profit. Feedback is collected to help determine if the organization is meeting its strategic priorities. But that flow from strategic plan to program to feedback and back around, can feel overwhelming and the creation...


Non-Profit Budget Basics

Non-Profit Budget Basics

Posted in financial management / operations plan

A non-profit budget is a partner to the operational plan. Together they provide the road map for what the organization aims to work on for its operating year. It sounds so simple, but when it comes time to sit down at the computer to create a new budget, that blank spread sheet can make the...


The Impact of a Non-Profit’s Vision and Mission Statements

The Impact of a Non-Profit’s Vision and Mission Statements

When a non-profit first starts up, a handful of strategic documents are created to chart the course for the road it will travel over the years. Each year after that, the non-profit will hold a strategic planning session to examine the needs of clients/stakeholders/members and adjust the...


Can you describe what your non-profit does, in ONE sentence?

Can you describe what your non-profit does, in ONE sentence?

Posted in operations plan / marketing

Non-profits are complex organizations. There are usually many programs, many services, different clients, and a complicated set of strategic priorities and outcomes driving the work. If you had to condense all of it into one simple sentence, could you do it? Not a marketing ploy. There...


How to debrief, well, …anything

How to debrief, well, …anything

In the heat of the moment, everyone has a comment (or 15) about the workshop/event/meeting they are experiencing (usually about the bad coffee). A week later, at the official debriefing meeting, the comments have dried up and no one really has anything to share. Don’t waste an opportunity for...


One Metric Your Non-profit Should Track

One Metric Your Non-profit Should Track

Posted in strategic plan / operations plan

Maybe you’ve heard the term key performance indicators. Did it make your head spin? Maybe you looked at all the outcomes in your non-profit’s strategic plan and THAT made your head spin. Non-profits need to track stats but when the organization is small, or there is a long history of doing the...


Easily Create Evaluations Questions for Your Non-Profit Programs

Easily Create Evaluations Questions for Your Non-Profit Programs

Posted in strategic plan / operations plan

Does this sound familiar? You’ve got a great program that’s about to wrap up. Maybe this is a program you’ve offered a few times over the years. You start wondering if the program was successful. You collect a few pieces of information about the program, such as participation numbers,...


Finishing Strong

Finishing Strong

Posted in operations plan / year end

Many of the non-profits I work with are starting their 4th quarter in January, with a year-end date of March 31st. That means 3 short months to complete the operations plan for the year, and to have met the priorities outlined in the strategic plan. Sometimes, in that final stretch before year...


Is Your Strategic Plan a Little Dusty?

Is Your Strategic Plan a Little Dusty?

Posted in strategic plan / operations plan

Have you ever wondered how a non-profit’s strategic plan ties into its operations plan? Where does the information come from? How does it all tie together? Would it surprise you to learn that a non-profit’s strategic plan and operations plan are pieces in the circle of data flowing through...


Are you keeping secrets? I am. I’m sorry. I’ll do better.

Are you keeping secrets? I am. I’m sorry. I’ll do better.

Posted in operations plan / staff team

I’ve been with my organization for almost 10 years and while I have no thoughts of leaving, a nagging question keeps coming up, am I doing tasks that might be hard for someone to take over when I retire. I’ll give you two examples. I handle all the bookkeeping* using Sage50 Pro. I know...


Mapping

Mapping

I spent the last month writing my year-end report for a major funder. I know - a whole month?? Yeah, it's a big report. There’s so much data that’s required and it takes a lot of planning to ensure everything is collected and reported. As is often the case, an evaluation question was...