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Causey's Leap: Overcoming Nonprofit Strategic Hurdles for Effective Action Plans

Photo of Megan Drapcho Megan Drapcho

Ted Bilich, a seasoned colleague and expert in nonprofit risk assessment, recently penned an insightful article on the hurdles faced during the implementation of nonprofit strategic plans. We found his analysis to be not only accurate but also profoundly resonant with the challenges we aim to tackle head-on with our innovative software, Causey.

This article uses Ted’s framework that he laid out to address each of the challenges and how Causey seeks to address them.

Let’s dive into an exploration of these challenges and how Causey provides an effective response.

1. The Challenge: Planning/Action Gap

If you’ve ever participated in a strategic planning process, you may have experienced the common challenge that often arises after a plan has been documented and it’s ready to be implemented. It can be challenging to translate detailed plans into steps due to a static view of the plan and it’s often during the implementation phase that plans get put on a shelf to collect dust. Creating a plan is relatively easy but executing it is the hard part.

The Solution: Causey acknowledges the gap between planning and action by breaking down the strategic plan into actionable steps (focus areas, action items, and goals) with clear responsibilities (assign a champion and key team members) and timelines (add start and end dates for your actions and view your plan on a timeline). The software is the tool that helps you implement an ongoing process to ensure accountability. Note: If you or your team uses different language to structure your plan, no problem, Causey can handle that!

2. The Challenge: Incommunicado

Insufficient communication with stakeholders often leads to a lack of alignment and understanding of the strategic plan’s objectives. We often hear from executive leadership about their boards that, “we’re not on the same page” or of team members, “they don’t see the bigger picture.”

The Solution: Foster ongoing, transparent communication with all stakeholders involved in the strategic plan. Inviting team members and board members to engage with your plan in Causey will help them understand the what, how, and why of the plan to create alignment and shared purpose. Whether it’s simply being able to view the plan or edit and report on it, making the plan visible and easily acessible will go a long way to being aligned.

3. The Challenge: Fragility

It’s common to experience inflexibility in adapting to changing circumstances which can lead to failure in regularly reviewing and adjusting the plan.

The Solution: Emphasize adaptability in the implementation phase to navigate changing circumstances effectively. We believe that regularly revisiting and adjusting the plan helps it to stay relevant and “top of mind” which also helps you respond to new challenges and opportunities. Causey’s format makes it easy to access and update at any time and its automated messages help inform team members of when it’s time to revisit the plan to make progress updates and to score goals.

4. The Challenge: Resource Misalignment

A mismatch between available resources and those required for plan implementation often leads to stalled initiatives.

The Solution: Causey helps you decide what resources are needed for your goals. If a goal falls off track as noted in progress updates, you will be able to make more informed decisions about resource allocation adjustments to help get it back on track.

In addition, Causey has a timeline view that allows you to visualize the plan like a Gannt chart. This can uncover if the same people are going to be executing too many goals at the same time.

5. The Challenge: Lack of Monitoring

The absence of robust monitoring and evaluation mechanisms results in challenges in tracking progress and making informed decisions.

The Solution: Causey includes monitoring and evaluation tools to gauge progress, learn from experiences, and make informed decisions. These tools include goal progress tracking, a reports sub-app, and the metrics sub-app.

In addition, Causey’s filters will allow you to narrow down the plan to just those goals that are the responsibility of particular people, goals that are off track, or goals that haven’t been scored recently.

By addressing these common pitfalls and adopting proactive strategies, nonprofits can successfully implement their strategic plans and navigate toward a more impactful and fulfilling future. Implementing your plan is crucial and requires clarity, communication, adaptability, resource alignment, and diligent monitoring and evaluation, all of which can be supported with Causey.

Meet the author

Megan Drapcho

Megan Drapcho

Marketing and Support

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Exciting News: Causey to Exhibit at the 2024 Public Library Association Conference in Columbus, Ohio!

Photo of Ricky Chilcott Ricky Chilcott

Causey, strategic planning execution software for libraries, is excited to announce our first-time participation as an exhibitor at the 2024 Public Library Association (PLA) Conference in Columbus, Ohio from April 3 to 5, 2024. Visit us at booth #2039 to learn how Causey can help your library effectively plan, execute, and track your strategic initiatives.

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