Effective Stewardship Starts with Your Strategic Plan Part 4
This series outlines the key steps to a strategic plan that can be a living document for our church. If you missed the prior entries, you’ll want to go back and explore how to develop the three key components of the plan and conduct the best analysis of your strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities. In the last post, we shared how best to boil down the SWOT analysis feedback into themes and then 3-5 key priorities.
Now that you have the areas you want to focus on for the next several years, the next step is to put measurable goals in place. Each goal should have a measurable outcome, completion date, and a way to measure progress and success against it.
Some of your priorities may only need one or two measurable goals. Others may need many. There is not a specific number of goals to strive for – do what is necessary to achieve each priority you’ve identified.
Take the time to write clear goals and specific outcomes with deadlines. A poorly stated goal would be “Establish remote communications systems for the church.” Well stated the same goal: “Implement a system for remote team communication by 4/26/24.” Or another example of a concrete goal: “Increase annual giving revenue by 7% each year through 2027.” Once the goals are established, assign someone to be accountable/lead staff for each.
Unite your values, vision, and purpose components with the strategic plan priorities and goals in a three-page document. Nothing is magic about three pages, but having that as a goal will force you to keep it tightly focused. Don’t create a long strategic plan that no one will use. Long plans have a greater tendency to go on the shelf. Having a three-page plan on everyone’s desk and at every conference table is a good way to let people know you are committed to the plan and process. And giving it visibility will help guide your (small and large) decisions for the next several years.
Your strategic plan is the filter you will use to decide everything from budget items to donor asks and ministry-specific decisions. Without it, don’t launch a campaign – or even a stewardship drive.
Enjoy the process! It’s a tremendous chance to talk about the unique character of your church, its mission, and future with your donors, volunteers, and members.
Building (or Refreshing) Your Strategic Plan Now!
Less is more when it comes to strategic plans. This easy-to-use guide leads you to a concrete strategic plan in three pages or fewer.
The quality of time you spend. The final document’s length will not shape your church’s mission, membership, and development work going forward.
We give you the tools to produce a simple, straightforward strategic plan.
A Nonprofit DNA partner, Mike Meyers has over 20 years of nonprofit experience in fundraising and leadership within organizations and as a consultant. He has served as Chief Development Officer for three large nonprofits. And as CEO of Food for the Hungry, where he led global strategic planning. Mike has been involved in nonprofit work in more than 60 countries and led fundraising efforts on six continents.