Philanthropy Northwest

Build. Connect. Inspire.

DIY Strategy Improvements

DIY Strategy Improvements

Publication date: 
September, 2016

What comes after “strategic...?” If you said, “planning,” you’re not alone. And for many leaders of community foundations, especially small ones who don’t have the time or money for a big process, anxiety is the feeling that follows. If that’s the case, this guide is for you.

It invites you to test-drive some activities to bring your current program, operations and  leadership strategies into focus before you decide whether to create a plan or not. It helps you discover ongoing strategic practices and decide whether to keep them or not. If you've already made a strategic plan, but it's languishing on a shelf, this guide will help you refresh it.

PART A: Good Strategy Takes Practice (Not Just Planning)
PART B: Do Your Discovery
PART C: Jumpstart Your Strategy Narrative
PART D: Bring It Together
Looking To What’s Next

As we introduced this guide, we noticed that describing each activity isn’t the same as experiencing it as an engaged group. These can’t be abstract, dispassionate assessments. We’re seeking to create experiences. Similar to a strategic plan, it’s important to try these activities — not just read about them.

This guide aims to guide a strategic process that emerges in an organic, inclusive way. Look through these activities and find something that you think speaks to a place where you’re stuck in your foundation. Try it out. Where are you now, where are you stuck, where are some of the places where you might want to be?

Start building strategy conversations and exercises into your existing meetings. Slowly, over time, try using different tools to get people more flexible about talking about strategy. And tell us how it’s going, so that we can make this guide a living document, too.

Download PDF file