How to do strategic planning for your NGO

Most people believe that strategic planning is just thinking of strategies for a certain time and that this is enough to achieve the objectives of your organization.

But strategic planning is much more than that, which is why today I invite you to read the article prepared by María Acevedo, consultant at Ágora Social, in which she explains how to make a strategic plan for your NGO in 7 steps.

I’ll leave you with her!


De la misma forma que cuando inicias un viaje necesitas saber tu destino y cómo llegar, una organización debe tener una guía que te permita saber dónde estás y adónde quieres ir.

Esta guía es el plan estratégico, un valioso documento que incluye, entre otros, los objetivos propuestos por la ONG y las estrategias a desarrollar para alcanzarlos.

En este post encontrarás los pasos que debes seguir para desarrollar con éxito el plan estratégico de tu organización:

1. Preparación del proceso de plan estratégico

Antes de ponerte manos a la obra, debes asegurarte de que tu organización está lista para este proceso. Quizás no disponéis del tiempo o los recursos necesarios o el contexto no es el más apropiado.

También es importante reflexionar sobre el punto de partida. Es recomendable contar con una idea preliminar de lo que le está sucediendo a la organización y hacia dónde debería moverse. ¿Hay alguna meta concreta o una amenaza importante en el horizonte?

2. Define or adjust an ideology

If your NGO is at the right time to develop its strategic plan, the next step is to check that the vision is correct.

you must set or adjust the following points:

  • Purpose. It is the cause to which your organization intends to contribute. For example, “find a cure for disease X”.
  • mission. It is your organization’s contribution to this purpose. For example, «encourage and compare scientific research to find a cure.»
  • Look at. It is the organization it aspires to be and the place it wants to occupy in its environment. For example, «to be a reference organization for both patients and the scientific community that investigates the disease.»
  • Values. These are the ones that tell you how your organization should be. For example, “commitment”, “independence” or “professionalism”.

3. Analysis of the current situational

This analysis should be done at three levels:

  • Analysis of the general context. It is necessary to review the main changes of recent periods, the current situation and the trends and predictions in the economic, political, technological, social and environmental fields.
  • External analysis. To analyze the environment or “market”, we must pay attention to the interested parties or interest groups and publics, to the sources of financing, to the competition and to the image.
  • Internal analisis. Here it is necessary to analyze, among other things, to what extent the impact that the organization proposes is being achieved, as well as resources, economic management, personnel, culture
  • and communication.

It is highly recommended to organize all this information, for example with a SWOT analysis, to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the organization, as well as the threats and opportunities in the environment.

From this analysis, you will be able to identify the strategic priorities, that is, the change projects to be addressed in this period.

4. Define goals and strategies

These strategic priorities must be translated into concrete objectives. Make sure they have these five features CREAM:

  • Scheduled
  • Relevant
  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable

5. Action plan and implementation

With the specific objectives defined, the action plans will be established, that is, the specific actions that will be carried out. Within these,

it will be necessary to specify who will carry them out, what resources they will need and within what calendar.

The level of detail of these plans will depend on the complexity of the action.

6. Design of monitoring and evaluation system

Once you know what you are aiming for and how you will achieve it, it is advisable to create an evaluation system that allows you to:

  • Follow up on actions as they develop. Focus on the most operational aspects such as activities, resources and deadlines.
  • Evaluate the results to draw conclusions. It is performed at the end of the period or as the actions end.

7. Drafting of the strategic plan

It must be simple to understand so that the people involved can execute it. You can create different versions for different audiences, adjusting the language, emphasizing what may be of interest to them. You can also include a summary or outline to highlight the essentials.

These are the basic steps that we at Ágora Social believe every organization must take to develop a rigorous strategic plan. If you want to know more about how to develop strategies to raise funds, you can visit our blog.