Martin Luther King Didn’t Yell “I Have A Strategic Plan”

Strategies Are Useless; Dreams Are Priceless

Really, strategy without dreams is useless. They have to start with dreams. I know metrics are important but unless you base your plans on big ideas that inspire they are useless. You know why? Because there are hundreds of pages long, they’re in really pretty notebooks with these very expensive covers, and you spend a whole day or even two in a retreat, and you go through it and everybody presents, you’re all gung-ho when you go back to your office, and you put it on your shelf, go on to the next thing, and it’s done. But nothing is done.

The point of a strategic plan is to actually plan—based on aligning your donors’ dreams with how you can help achieve them. What are you going to do, where are you going, and how are you going to get there? And, if you answer those questions to three important things, pick three key areas of focus. Pick three things that you are going to accomplish that year, with your donors’ help and make it happen. This level of focus will definitely show progress. You’ll keep the focus where it needs to be—on your donors and programs that support their interest in giving. So, the next time you decide you need a plan make sure it’s because you have an inspiring dream.