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Planning for your Organization is no longer an option

Our Liberian Diaspora Organizations are in constant problems and it forces me to pause and wonder how we are doing with planning. Why this came about thinking about the many issues in our Liberian Diaspora organizations, the concepts are applicable to any organization.

Your organization should come up with a plan of where you want to see the organization and how you can get there as a group. It begins with the the good old SWOT analysis to determine your strength, weakness, opportunities and threats and then decide how to move forward considering what you can do well, what you need to improve upon, what are the (external) positive and negative factors outside your control that you need to be aware of.
from https://ormondrankin.files.wordpress.com

  1. SWOT Analysis
    1. Strength (internal positive factors)
      1. What advantage does your organization have?
      2. What does your organization do well?
      3. What can your organization do better than anyone (group) else?
      4. What unique potential can your organization draw upon and others can’t?
      5. What do others (similar organizations) see as the strength of your organization?
      6. What resources does your organization have such as people (knowledge, education, skills, reputation, etc.) or tangible assets such money etc.?
    2. Weakness (internal negative factors - things within your control)
      1. What could your organization improve?
      2. What factors that would detract from your organization’s ability to get where she wants to be?
      3. What does your organization lack (expertise, skills, technology, etc.)?
      4. What should your organization avoid?
      5. What are people (other organizations like yours) see as your organization’s weakness?
      6. What factors will make you fail in whatever your organization wants to do?
    3. Opportunities (external positive factors)
      1. What good opportunities are there for your organization?
      2. What interesting trends are there or does your organization know of?
      3. Some useful opportunities
        1. Changes in technology and markets
        2. Changes in government policies related to each nonprofit organization
        3. Changes in social patterns, population profiles, lifestyle changes, etc.
    4. Threats (external negative factors -outside your control)
      1. What obstacles does your organization face?
      2. What are your competitors (other organizations like yours) doing?
      3. Can your organization's weaknesses threaten her existence?
  2. Decide what your organization wants, what is important to the group or what you really want for which you formed the organization in the first place. First, understand the purpose of your organization (why does it exist) and what are the desired outcomes. Come up with a vision which is the optimal desired future state of your organization. Where do we want to see your organization in the next 10 or 20 to 50 years (all things being equal)?
  3. Develop  a strategy on how to get to that optimal desired future state or achieve the vision
  4. Develop SMART goals –your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound.
  5. Develop  a budget or estimate the cost of implementing your plan
  6. Evaluate (measure success) and Refine your plan on an ongoing basis

With the road map above, here are 7 notable quotes about planning that should get you fired up to plan, plan and plan:
  1. Always plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.” Richard Cushing
  2. “Few people have any next, they live from hand to mouth without a plan, and are always at the end of their line.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
  3. “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin
  4. “Planning ahead is a measure of class. The rich and even the middle class plan for generations, but the poor can plan ahead only a few weeks or days.” Gloria Steinam
  5. “Reduce your plan to writing. The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire.” Napoleon Hill
  6. “A goal without a plan is just a wish” Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  7. “If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there.” Lewis Carroll

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