"We've succeeded! Now what do we do?"
A goal yet unachieved is often an impetus for strategic planning. But a goal successfully achieved can demand a robust planning process just as much.
Children’s Hospice and Palliative Care Coalition (CHPCC) campaigned for years to give children with life threatening medical conditions better access to at home services. Due to its singular focus, the nonprofit recently won a landmark legislative victory in California that expanded MediCal coverage for those services.
Executive Director Devon Dabbs recognized that this accomplishment raised the question, “What is the purpose of our organization now?” To discern the answer, she turned to CWR’s strategic planning practice.
In our practice, we serve both nonprofits that are more oriented towards program delivery and those that, like CHPCC, are more geared towards policy change. Some of our strategic planning work apply across the board: reassessing the agency's mission and identity, interviewing stakeholders, assessing capacity, and examining funding streams are just some examples.
However, our experience has given us strategic planning expertise particularly relevant to the policy world. For instance, achieving policy change almost never ends with a legislative victory like the one CHPCC won. Execution in the government bureaucracy, vigilance in ongoing budgetary decisions, and measurement and documentation of impact are all requirements for sustainable success. CWR will be helping CHPCC evaluate those issues and more.
Almost every organization succeeds at something, even if it isn’t as dramatic as a new piece of legislation. In the aftermath, it is all too easy to simply move on to something else. Following up well on success requires some disciplined process.
The question, “Now what?" is a question that shouldn’t go unanswered for very long.