Strategic Planning

More and more stakeholders (boards, donors, patients) are asking for evidence of impact and outcomes. Strategic planning can be valuable to an organization because it provides a sense of direction and outlines measurable goals to demonstrate impact.

Strategic planning is the process of

  • determining the goals your organization intends to achieve and,
  • how resources will be directed to accomplish those goals over time.

An effective strategic planning process offers a clear sense of purpose and direction that can help teams make everyday choices about which opportunities to pursue, and which to pass. It is a useful tool for guiding day-to-day decisions and, evaluating progress and changing approaches.

At the Fall 2017 Members’ Meeting in Chicago, we heard from an expert facilitator of strategic planning who provided an in-depth perspective on the “how to” regarding framing the strategy and next steps for either organizational or programmatic planning. Following this overview, attendees heard first-hand how these methods applied to a fellow HRA member organization. Members had an opportunity to apply these components to create a mock strategic plan for a ghost program or organization during a facilitated workshop.

  • Strategic Planning Session summary
  • Strategy in Action, Melissa Stevens, MBA Executive Director, Center for Strategic Philanthropy, Milken Institute
  • Strategic Planning for the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Jackie Hausman, MPP, MPH Program Officer for Health, Kenneth Rainin Foundation

Lessons learned

  • Carefully message to your core constituents
  • Engage innovators from outside your field
  • Look for leverage
  • Be disciplined yet flexible

Speaker2: Jacki Hausman, MPP, MPH – Program Officer for Health | Kenneth Rainin Foundation

Kenneth Rainin is a young foundation which is focused on collaboration, and getting new investigators in the field of IBD research. Their resources expanded very quickly and they needed to think strategically how they would spend these new resources which necessitated prioritizing goals and strategies. They started by asking key stakeholders where are the big gaps. Everyone they asked recommended they look at impacting the valley of death and translational science.

Kenneth Rainin’s strategic planning process

  • Identify key opinion leaders (started with grantees, SAB, pharma partners). From there, they invited a large group (~30 people) with diverse representation of opinions and perspectives such clinical researchers, basic science researchers and other funders to participate in their process.
  • They hosted a 1 day in-person retreat focused on
    • what’s currently going on
    • where are areas of need
    • what are successful models
  • Jakie’s key takeaways
    • People bring their own agendas, and advocate for their own constituency. Even setting the agenda is difficult.
    • The more diverse voices are represented the greater the impact
    • If possible, use outside facilitators.
    • Be open to the fact that the outcome may not be what you thought it should be – be open to change.