Strategic planning is a critical and often overlooked element of organizational management. Heritage Conservancy works to support other nonprofit organizations in the development of strategic plans in order to help build and sustain the capacity of our partners and friends.
Many smaller organizations have never gone through a strategic planning process and could greatly benefit from it. For example, many watershed associations have conservation plans that guide the restoration work on the ground. However, these rarely address the long-term viability of the organization charged with implementation of that conservation plan. Strategic planning looks at internal capacity and direction and compares that with external trends in the world around them. Through a detailed facilitated process, strategic planning helps create a guidance document for an organization to achieve its goals in the best way possible.
Facilitation and consultation are the critical elements of our strategic planning services. The Conservancy’s staff has expertise in facilitation, and its senior staff has experience in strategic planning with the National Park Service. This combined experience enables the staff to work closely with the board and staff of an organization to create the strategic plan. The steps include assessing internal and external factors, gathering and evaluating data, developing a strategic plan, developing an operational plan, and guiding implementation.
The Conservancy makes strategic planning tools available to its partners either as components or as a comprehensive process. Our history of working to build capacity within smaller non-profits has informed our work, and will continue to do so.
Heritage Conservancy was involved in the establishment of the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Partnership, a watershed advocacy group for a highly urbanized watershed in Philadelphia. Consequently, when it came time for the newly formed organization to develop a strategic plan, the Conservancy stepped up to help out. The process was an intense one, spanning just six months, and involved several working sessions with the diverse partnership. The strategic plan document and more information about the Conservancy’s role in the planning process will be available soon.
Heritage Conservancy also helped to create a strategic plan the People and Predators Fund, a budding conservation non-profit in Tanzania that works to combat the effects of conflicts between the largely pastoral people of Tanzania and the large predators and other wildlife that inhabit the region. You can read that strategic plan [934K PDF]. Heritage Conservancy will continue to partner with the People and Predators Fund to establish a Lasting Landscape in Tanzania.