Forging the link between your organization’s vision and its strategy is the single greatest issue that nonprofits face as they struggle to elevate themselves and achieve their mission.
It’s not that organizations don’t have vision statements. The problem is that the demands of everyday activities take over and the vision is forgotten. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
3 Steps to Achieve Your Nonprofit’s Vision
Here are three to turn your vision into reality through strategies, plans, and goals:
- Deconstruct Your Vision
Visions can often seem lofty and over-ambitious. The best way to overcome that is by breaking it down into something that is actually attainable.
To do that, we need to deconstruct vision into what needs to be accomplished year by year. If your organization’s vision is to “Train 300 million people worldwide how to _________ by 20XX,” then you need to determine what that means in annual increments.
This is why it’s so important to have a vision that is quantifiable, so you can begin deconstructing it and get some sense of the intermediate steps—the strategic initiatives—to fulfill it.
Once a vision is in place, we can begin developing an annual plan.
- Align Your Goals with Your Vision
Our vision tells us where we want to be in three to ten years, and we have strategic initiatives to move us in that direction over the next year or a little longer. Now we need to define the annual objectives of the organization. Achieving those objectives will lead to the strategic initiatives being accomplished, which ultimately will lead to realizing our vision. This is what is meant by organizational alignment.
- Break Down Your Goals into Specific Plan of Action
The final step is to create a game plan, or action plan, to achieve your annual and quarterly goals. This simple chart identifies the necessary components, including priorities, objectives, resources, ownership, milestones, and measurements:
A clear grasp of all of these elements is critical to understanding how we’re going to reach our goals and, ultimately, our vision.
Is your organization’s vision integral or irrelevant to your strategic and annual planning process? Do you intentionally align your goals with your vision?