Strategic Planning Resources

A Community Health Center’s Board of Directors guides long-term and strategic planning for the center.  The following resources are intended to help health center board members understand their responsibilities and guide their centers into strong and successful futures.

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Strategic Planning
Additional Strategic Planning Resources
Mission and Vision Statements
Additional Mission and Vision Statement Resources

STRATEGIC PLANNING

According to Chapter 19: Board Authority of the Health Center Program Compliance Manual, “The health center governing board must provide direction for long-range planning, including but not limited to identifying health center priorities and adopting a three-year plan for financial management and capital expenditures.”  In order to prove compliance with this requirement, the board minutes or other relevant documents should confirm that the board has conducted “…long-range/strategic planning at least once every three years, which at a minimum addresses financial management and capital expenditure needs.”

Organization-wide strategic planning identifies factors influencing current and upcoming change, setting measurable and time-specific goals and objectives to best position the center for future success.  This process should focus the organization’s resources on key priorities, while using internal and external input to build consensus about future efforts.  The planning process is often vision-based, identifying a preferred future and determining the steps to reach that vision, and may include issues-based components, identifying current challenges and identifying tactics to address them.

Standard components of the strategic planning process include:

  • Self-examination/assessments, e.g., review of mission, vision, and values; Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) Analysis, review of operational capacity, financial status, etc.
    • Planning often begins with a review of the health center’s mission and purpose, to ensure the decisions made during planning align with this intent. (Refer to the Mission and Vision Statements section below.)
  • Review/scan of the environment in which the center is operating, both now and in the future (e.g., researching marketplace/competition issues, gathering stakeholder input, etc.).
  • Determination of the potential consequences of various planning opportunities.
  • Goal setting, including the development of objectives related to each goal.
  • Development of an action plan, to include activities needed to meet the desired goals and steps to monitor progress and evaluation of efforts.

ADDITIONAL STRATEGIC PLANNING RESOURCES

501 Commons – A Resource for Nonprofits. A Partner for Philanthropy.
Strategic Planning Resources
https://www.501commons.org/resources/tools-and-best-practices/strategic-planning-1

BoardSource
Strategy and Planning
https://boardsource.org/fundamental-topics-of-nonprofit-board-service/strategic-planning/

Capital Link
Toolkit for Health Centers: Creating a Dynamic and Useful Strategic Plan
http://www.caplink.org/images/stories/Resources/publications/Toolkit-Creating-a-Dynamic-and-Useful-Strategic-Plan.pdf

Community Tool Box
Developing a Strategic Plan
http://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/structure/strategic-planning

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Health Center Program Samples and Templates Resource Center
Community Health Center Succession Planning Manual (Part 1. Develop a Strategic Plan)
http://bphc.hrsa.gov/archive/technicalassistance/resourcecenter/governance/samplesuccessionplanningmanual.docx

ManagementHelp.org
All About Strategic Planning
http://managementhelp.org/strategicplanning/index.htm
Framework for a Basic Strategic Plan Document for a Nonprofit
http://managementhelp.org/freenonprofittraining/strategic-plan-framework.htm

National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)
Developing a Local Health Department Strategic Plan: A How-To Guide
https://www.naccho.org/uploads/downloadable-resources/Programs/Public-Health-Infrastructure/StrategicPlanningGuideFinal.pdf

National Council of Nonprofits
Strategic Planning for Nonprofits
https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/tools-resources/strategic-planning-nonprofits

Smartsheet
What is Strategic Planning? Free Strategic Planning Templates
https://www.smartsheet.com/free-strategic-planning-templates

Stanford Social Innovation Review
Five Essentials of Strategic Planning, Article by Paul Redman (October 2013)
http://ssir.org/articles/entry/five_essentials_of_strategic_planning
The Strategic Plan is Dead. Long Live Strategy, Article by Dana O’Donovan and Noah Rimland Flower (January 2013)
http://ssir.org/articles/entry/the_strategic_plan_is_dead._long_live_strategy

MISSION AND VISION STATEMENTS

An effective mission statement must be a clear, concise declaration describing the reason an organization or program exists.  Mission statements provide framework and purpose.  They should be practical, tangible tools that can be used to make decisions about priorities, actions and responsibilities.  The mission drives everything that the organization does and is the internal anchor for all that you do in your organization.  A mission statement captures in a few succinct sentences the essence of an organization’s goals and philosophies underlying them.  It signals what the organization is about to its clients, employees, volunteers and the community.

Mission statements contain three elements:
Cause, Actions, and Impact.

Mission statements do two things:
Tell the world why what you’re doing matters.
Lead an organization to do what matters.

A mission statement must answer four essential questions:

  • What do you do?
  • How do you do it?
  • Whom do you do it for?
  • What value are you bringing?

To help craft a mission statement, ponder these questions:

  • What type of entity/program?
    • E.g., a nonprofit, volunteer program, event, business, etc.
  • Why do you exist (problem/needs)?
    • E.g., Millions lack access to primary care.
  • What is the broadest way to describe the work?
    • E.g., Providing access to health care.
  • For whom do you do this work?
    • E.g., To people without access.
  • Where do you work (geographic boundaries)?
    • E.g., In underserved communities.

A vision statement is a broad view of how your organization is going to leave an impact on clients and the greater community.  It should describe the clear and inspirational long-term change resulting from your work.

Questions to consider when creating a vision statement:

  • What needs to be changed? What are the major issues or problems?
  • Why should issues be addressed? What are their costs to the involved parties?
  • What are the strengths and assets? Both of the organization/program and those being served.
  • What is your dream end-state? In a perfect world, what would this look like?
  • What would success look like? Specifically, for this particular organization/program.

ADDITIONAL MISSION AND VISION STATEMENT RESOURCES

BoardSource
Mission Statement
https://boardsource.org/resources/mission-statement-2/
Tips for Developing a Mission Statement
https://boardsource.org/developing-nonprofit-mission-statement/
Mission vs. Vision
https://boardsource.org/mission-vs-vision-3/

Community Tool Box
Proclaiming Your Dream: Developing Vision and Mission Statements
http://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/structure/strategic-planning/vision-mission-statements/main

Grant Space
Defining Mission and Vision On-Demand Webinar (Free)
https://grantspace.org/training/defining-mission-and-vision/

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Health Center Program Samples and Templates Resource Center
Vision Statement, Mission Statement and Core Values
http://bphc.hrsa.gov/archive/technicalassistance/resourcecenter/general/visionmissioncorevalues.pdf

ManagementHelp.org
Basics of Developing Mission, Vision, and Value Statements
http://managementhelp.org/strategicplanning/mission-vision-values.htm

Nonprofit Hub
Nonprofit Mission Statements – Good and Bad Examples
https://nonprofithub.org/starting-a-nonprofit/nonprofit-mission-statements-good-and-bad-examples/

Top Nonprofits
Guide to Creating Mission and Vision Statements
https://topnonprofits.com/vision-mission/
Creating Mission and Vision Statements Worksheet
https://topnonprofits.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Mission-Vision-Worksheet.pdf