Operational IMPACT Partners LLC
Nonprofit Management Expertise: Sustainable Impact



"A strategy delineates a territory in which a company seeks to be unique"
Michael Porter

Sustainable Strategic Transformations

Strategic Planning:  What It Is — and Isn’t

More than a few strategic planning efforts have run aground because they were based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what a strategic plan is. Sometimes strategic planning is confused with other planning modalities, each valid in its own right but geared toward a different end result. To put it simply, not every plan is a strategic plan.  

  • A strategic plan is a tool that provides guidance in fulfilling a mission with maximum efficiency and impact. If it is to be effective and useful, it should articulate specific goals and describe the action steps and resources needed to accomplish them. As a rule, most strategic plans should be reviewed and revamped every three to five years.
  • An operating plan is a coordinated set of tasks for carrying out the goals delineated in a strategic plan. It thus goes into greater detail than the strategic plan from which it is derived, spelling out time frames and the roles of individual staff and board members, for example. It also has a shorter horizon than a strategic plan— usually one fiscal year.
  • A business plan is typically focused on the actions and investment necessary to generate income from a specific program or service. A business plan includes information about an organization’s products, competitive environment and revenue assumptions.
  • A case statement is geared toward marketing and fundraising rather than planning.  It describes the organization’s goals, capabilities and strengths and the benefits it provides. Its purpose is to secure contributions and grants from individuals, foundations, corporate giving programs and other philanthropic entities. 
OIP Strategy Mapping Solutions

Strategy mapping is a concept that originated in the business domain that has valuable cross-over appeal for nonprofits.  Similar to the well established Logic Model concept used in the nonprofit sector, a stategy map is a visual presentation of your strategy, the resources and interdependencies required to communicate and implement your strategy.

What are strategy maps?

Strategy maps are diagrams that allow you to quickly visualize the performance of your balanced scorecards.  If you don’t know balanced scorecard terminology yet, it’s a good idea to start there first. The concept originated in the private sector and shares many similarities with the well established Logic Model process widely utilized in the nonprofit sector-a visual presentation of your strategy, the resources and interdependencies required to communicate and implement your strategy.

The main idea is that each strategic objective is represented by a shape, usually oval or square.  These shapes are then grouped by perspective and lines are drawn to show the cause and effect chain.

OIP offers strategy mapping workshops to our clients-these can be board of director specific, executive team or executive director specific, staff specific or constituent specific workshops-or a combination of these. This drives communications ensuring all constituents are on the same page with stategy, goals and objectives-and most importantly, the resources needed to get there.  Let OIP help you with your strategy mapping process.

Click here to request strategy mapping information.

Operational Planning:

What is Operational Planning?

Simply stated, operational planning is the conversion of strategic goals into managed execution. 

strategy provides the vision, direction and goals for the organization, but operational planning translates that strategy into the everyday execution tactics of the business that will ultimately produce the outcomes defined by the strategy. Simply stated, operational planning is the conversion of strategic goals into managed execution.

The Critical Role Operation Planning Plays in Strategy Execution:

Corporate strategy can be thought of as a message packet that must be passed through the organization, understood by all and acted upon in orchestration.  If the message is garbled, ambiguous or not communicated well, the intent will be lost in translation and operational execution will become misaligned with the corporate strategic goals.

Superior operational planning requires proactive and innovative thinking to enact strategy within the operational layer of the business.  Operational planning must produce the plan outcomes while managing constraints on time, money and resources.

Call us today so we can perform a complete financial analysis on your organization. 

Nonprofit Management Expertise: Sustainable Impact


(650) 579-1210