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Case Study: Strategic Planning

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Client Profile

An educational foundation was participating in and depending on a large collaborative community event each year as its flagship fundraising initiative. Although the event was extremely successful in terms of meeting the fundraising goal, the partnership resulted in a blurring of identity between the organization and the fundraiser. Without clear definition, the organization struggled to achieve strong community awareness of its mission.

Action Steps Taken

The Nonprofit Consulting Services team joined with the foundation’s leadership to help raise their public profile. The team created a plan to increase recognition of the organization’s role within the community and foster ongoing community involvement and donor support. The team:

  • Conducted workshops and presentations at the foundation’s board meetings, outlining steps to clearer mission definition and strategic plan development
  • Drafted a strategic plan and gained approval from the executive director
  • Created goals, action plans, measurement metrics and an ongoing timeline for leadership to follow
  • Held weekly phone calls with the executive director to maintain momentum on the action plan
  • Performed a review of messaging and marketing resources to ensure staff and leadership were equipped to launch the strategic plan
  • Created a distinct mission statement to help community members and donors differentiate the foundation’s work from the annual fundraising event
  • Consulted with community members who had benefited from the school and used their comments to create impact messaging that captured the school’s mission and its impact on alumni


  • Empowered the board through educational sessions to commit to the creation of a strategic plan
  • Designed a comprehensive strategic plan with revenue goals, accountability metrics, and joint approval and commitment from the executive director and the board
  • Equipped the communications team with a plan to develop a mini documentary on the school’s mission as a storytelling outreach to donors and the community at large
  • Continued to facilitate discussions on the advancement of the organization’s mission, attainment of its goals, progress toward building a unique identity and strategies for deepening donor relationships 

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