Organizational sustainability is a universal concern among nonprofits and university centers. Skilled leaders recognize that they need to stay aware of changing local environments and shifting funding priorities and sometimes adjust their priorities and services. Some partners choose to undertake formal planning processes to understand their organizations' strengths and guide future directions. These plans may be conducted internally or by external consultants, and have been referred to as business plans, strategic plans, or environmental scans.
Below are some resources on strategic planning gathered from the network over the years.
- Starting a Data Intermediary: NNIP's Guide to Starting a Local Data Intermediary describes the role of a local data intermediary, the process of identifying a home for the intermediary, and how to think about its initial fundraising and activities. This guide is written for stakeholders thinking about the broader environment of community information and the various challenges of establishing a local data intermediary.
- The Business of Community Information: In this session at the September 2012 NNIP partners' meeting in Providence, two partners from Boston and Grand Rapids share their experiences in strategic planning.
The Pre-Meeting Session on Business Planning: In this session held the day before the October 2014 NNIP partners' meeting in Denver, sixteen partners attended a workshop where they learned how to apply a lean canvas planning tool to visualize and hone their business model.
- Workshop description (available to NNIP partners only)
- Select business model canvases (available to NNIP partners only)
- Video of the Meeting Report Out from the Pre-Session (available to NNIP partners only)
- Publications shared by local NNIP partners related to organizational planning.