HOW DO WE GROW OUR ORGANIZATION?
The Center for Western Civilization
For nonprofits faced with daunting social challenges, aspirations often outstrip resources. To achieve success, it's best to have a plan. This is true whether an organization is looking to increase revenue, build capacity, or communicate more effectively.
But not just any plan will do. It must be a plan that has a good chance of working. Strategic plans work when they fit an organization's particular situation, account for its strengths and weaknesses, and wisely marshal its human and financial capital. Successful strategic plans tell the story of where an organization has been, where it's going, and how it's going to get there.
Yet for many organizations putting together a strategic plan is hard. Refereeing different organizational interests and factions is risky. Carving out time to do such planning is burdensome. To action-oriented managers, executives, and trustees, planning may even seem like navel-gazing. And while it is easy to proliferate documents like "wish lists," these activities are not strategic. So the strategic planning process is indeed formidable, but it can be successful with experienced and independent support.
THE CENTER FOR WESTERN CIVILIZATION:
The Center for Western Civilization at the University of Colorado at Boulder "seeks to encourage critical reflection on the distinctive traditions, languages, and issues that characterize the cultures of Western civilization, in order to help the citizens of Colorado and the United States understand and appreciate their past in itself and as the basis of a free and creative future."
As a wildly popular teacher, Director E. Christian Kopff knew how to share his vision with college students. But he knew he needed help in figuring out how better to share his vision with other stakeholders—including prospective donors. He also wanted help in concisely and compellingly articulating the Center's mission, vision, and goals. He needed a strategic plan.
American Philanthropic walked Dr. Kopff and his colleagues through the strategic planning process. As a consequence, the Center gained insights into what its main objectives ought to be, and how it would get there. The Center also emerged with a beautiful, four-color document that it could use to communicate its plans and vision with others.
- Strategic planning.
- Messaging development.
- Development-program audit.
- Philanthropic marketplace analysis.
- Annual reports, prospectuses, brochures, and other collateral material.