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Strategic Planning Guide

Strategic planning can be the most valuable investment of time and energy your group ever makes. This toolkit brings together TREC’s essential strategic planning resources to guide you from your organization’s first thoughts about implementing a new plan to having it a living plan in your organization’s daily life.

If you’re starting from scratch, we recommend reviewing the resources in order. If you are at a specific step in the process or refreshing your knowledge, feel free to jump to the area you need.

Toolkit Resources

Introduction to Strategic Planning

Strategic planning can be the most valuable investment of time and energy your group ever makes. With TREC’s Strategic Plan guide, we offer ideas for making the most of your next strategic planning process, to help you: • Develop a process that fits your group’s unique needs • Identify the most important questions to explore […]

Threshold Questions to Begin Your Strategic Planning Process

Good strategic planning requires time and effort. Before you dive into the strategic planning process, prepare for the process by asking your group important questions to prepare. These pivotal questions will help you properly measure the time, investment, and energy that are necessary for the process before you.  And ensure sure you and the others […]

Getting Started: Forming Your Team and Focus for the Strategic Plan

Start your strategic planning right by engaging the right people, setting realistic timelines, and having the right conversations from the start. This resource assists in the formation of a planning team by reviewing how to find leaders who are prepared to engage others and dedicate themselves to creating the organization’s plan. It will also encourage […]

Gain Perspective of Your Organization While Strategic Planning

During your Strategic Planning process, it essential to take the time to step back and gain perspective of your organization’s effectiveness. TREC uses an Organizational Ecology Model to assess key indicators of an effective organization, by retrospectively reviewing your own Program, Money, and People and systems, you can gain valuable information before proceeding further with […]

Strategic Planning Retreats

If you have the resources and time, a full team retreat in the middle of the planning process is desirable. This resource can help guide you through the logistical and strategic planning process for your next strategic planning retreat. It covers: Agenda & Meeting Plan Locations Logistics Materials (handouts & timing) Participants The Retreat Itself

The Basics of Drafting Your Strategic Plan

When you are ready to draft your strategic plan, it is advisable to have a plan and approach prepared for tackling the actual task of documenting the organization’s thinking and goals on paper. This resource reviews the ins and outs of writing your organization’s strategic plan, from the style to the framework in detail. Refer […]

Adopting Your Strategic Plan

Formally adopting a strategic plan is one of the most fundamental responsibilities of a board of directors. This resource reviews the process between the planning committee, staff, and board from review to adoption of your new strategic plan.  

Putting Your Strategic Plan to Work

You’ve completed your strategic plan, congratulations! Now what? How much do you communicate with your funders and when? How do you pay for and staff the new programs? This resource will help answer these questions and more as it walks you through the first stages of implementing your new strategic plan.

Your Living Strategic Plan

Once you’ve completed your strategic plan, it’s important to treat it like a living resource through regular reporting, monitoring, and renewal. This brief resources will help with a clear path forward.

Supplemental Resource: Marrying Financial Planning to Strategic Planning

This tutorial reviews the key components of linking strategic planning to financial planning. We'll examine approaches to strategic planning from Good Enough to The Works; and also how to budget for revenue gaps and surpluses, determine where to put your fundraising focus, and determine the sustainability of each of your programs.

Supplemental Resource: Theory of Change Overview and Approach

A TOC (Theory of Change) describes the overall focus and approach for creating change: a process of planned social (or other) change, from the assumptions that guide its design to the long-term goals it seeks to achieve. This TREC resource will give you a greater understanding of the role a Theory of Change plays for your organization and how to develop and apply one for your organization.

Background Image: American Rivers | Scott Bosse