A change container is tipped over with pennies and dimes spilled out onto a table. The image is a metaphor for financial sustainability during a financial downturn.

We originally wrote this blog post several years ago during the recession. Looking at it in light of today’s global pandemic, it seems even more clear that your strategic plan has to be financially sustainable in order to survive impossible-to-predict disasters. We have updated a few of the points below to take the current situation into account.

You spent months and lots of money crafting your strategic plan.  Almost everyone was happy with the goals and new sense of community.  But are you really using it?  One great indicator of whether your strategic plan is really being implemented is financial sustainability. Have you stopped and examined your financial sustainability within the framework of your plan?  If the answer is no, your plan is just a pretty picture of what your organization could be under the best of circumstances.

Financial sustainability must be at the core of planning and the establishment of goals followed by how to achieve your mission and vision given that financial outlook. For most organizations,  the last few years (or months) have changed their sustainability levels.  Now is the time to stop and re-visit your strategic plan:

  • Are your stated goals still accurate?
  • How does your financial framework need to change?
  • Do you need to focus on fundraising, or drawing down services?
  • Can you streamline processes and services?
  • What new revenues and services would you like to explore?

When hard times hit, strategic plans can provide necessary structure and direction. But, simply putting your head down and working harder will not get you through a financial downturn. Now is the time to stop and evaluate your plan to maximize what you have and prioritize what you need.

As always, let us know how we can help.