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Is it Time to Update Your Strategic Plan?

StategyOne thing we’ve learned from 2020 is that we need to be flexible in an ever-changing world. Goals and initiatives set a year or so ago may no longer be relevant as your organization has had to adapt services, seek new funding sources and redefine staff and volunteer capacity. In such cases, you may have to change your organization’s outlook and revise your strategic plan.


Before jumping ahead to gather staff and board members for a virtual strategic planning retreat over Zoom, consider these steps.

  1. Conduct a needs assessment. Community needs have shifted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic uncertainty, equality unrest and environmental disasters. What services within your organization have been impacted and how are you serving the community in new ways? Do you have the infrastructure to transition programs through new service delivery? Has your clientele changed due to services provided?
  2. Review your latest year of funding sources. Even if a vaccine is close on the horizon, it will take a while for our social patterns to change. A gala that was postponed in 2020 may not yet be likely to occur at the same capacity in 2021. Did you need to increase your direct mail or digital fundraising tactics? If so, how is that reflected in your current strategic plan?
  3. Evaluate your marketing strategies. Methods for reaching your constituents and donors in the past may be different today. Do you need to focus more on digital marketing tactics rather than guerrilla marketing techniques? Do you need to create branded items to accommodate our current lifestyles such as face masks instead of canvas tote bags?
  4. Examine your staff and volunteer structures. What worked in 2019 may not be as efficient of a structure today. Do roles have to shift or be adjusted to new services provided? Are new skill sets and knowledge required to deliver online programs or a line of service to more constituents?

If your organization has experienced large shifts in these areas, it may be time to update your strategic plan. To learn more or to receive a proposal for strategic plan consultation contact AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising at

Written by:

Melissa provides fundraising counsel for AMPERAGE’s nonprofit clients, leading feasibility studies and providing solutions that drive successful fundraising campaign results. A Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), she uses her experience and extensive skill set to continually advance her fundraising practices and develop campaign-specific strategies, materials and training to help clients reach their campaign goals and advance their mission. Melissa has vast experience working in the nonprofit sector, having served in development and leadership roles with Sisters of Mercy and the Alzheimer’s Association. In addition, she has served as a volunteer and board member with local nonprofits, such as the Catherine McAuley Center. Faith-based organizations and causes are of particular interest to Melissa. Melissa moves the needle by always looking for new opportunities and ways to improve professionally. She is currently president of the Eastern Iowa Planned Giving Council and a past president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Eastern Iowa Chapter. Melissa holds a Master of Strategic Leadership degree from Mount Mercy University. This busy professional, wife and mother enjoys sports and live music in her free time. A fan of Cubs baseball and Iowa Hawkeye football, Melissa and family enjoy football tailgating, where she’s known for her breakfast burritos. She enjoys the local band scene but says a Foo Fighters concert is her all-time favorite.