January 15, 2016

When Is It Time to Update Your Strategic Plan?

When is it time to update your strategic plan? This sidebar from "Living Into Your Strategic Plan: A Guide to Implementation That Gets Results" outlines a number of situations that could signal your organization needs to update its plan.

By: Laura Lanzerotti, Jacquelyn Hadley, Adam Nathan

 In Bridgespan’s experience, changes in any of the following can signal that it is time for an organization to develop a new plan:


  • Funding environment
    Are you seeing major shifts in the type and level of support your traditional funders are offering? Do you have a new funder who is concerned about the viability of your organization?
  • Policy environment
    Have new policies created opportunities or challenges that will dramatically affect what you can achieve as an organization?
  • Competitive environment
    Are new program models emerging that create opportunities for you to serve your beneficiaries more effectively and efficiently? Have new competitors or potential collaborators entered the space in which you’ve been operating?
  • Organizational leadership
    Do you have a new executive director or new board leadership at your helm?

Alternatively, it may simply be time to revisit your strategy if your current plan is expiring (i.e., if you are in the third year of a three-year plan). If any of these circumstances pertain to your organization, it may be useful to review Bridgespan’s article "Business Planning for Nonprofits: What it is and Why it Matters."


Return to Living Into Your Strategic Plan: Introduction


Go to Living Into Your Strategic Plan: Steps Overview

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