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CASE STUDY: Non-Profit Mission Fulfillment Enhanced Through Strategic Planning

The situation

The board of a nearly 30-year-old national nonprofit, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), was ready to take its operations to the next level to continue building on its mission and expanding its legacy of service. With the goal of developing a forward-focused action plan across its 30 chapters, the all-volunteer board initiated a search for a strategic planning facilitator. They chose Fahrenheit Advisors for its ability to deliver beyond facilitation by providing critical operational guidance to fulfill its powerful mission of serving a vulnerable population.

 

Our approach

Fahrenheit conducted a thorough assessment of the organization’s opportunities and challenges, creating an essential foundation for effective strategic planning. This involved 6 weeks of interviews with the board, key management, and external stakeholders as well as a deep-dive into financials and internal documents. The assessment resulted in 20 specific high-level recommendations focused on the delivery of the organization’s mission and execution of growth goals. The recommendations became baseline for facilitating its strategic planning process.

Though CAIR had worked with strategic plan facilitators in the past, they had never experienced the depth of Fahrenheit’s approach nor received detailed operational recommendations to successfully execute a strategic plan. To effectively advance the process, Fahrenheit ensured all participants, with varying levels of previous strategic planning experience, felt informed and had confidence in the objectives and expectations throughout. This intentional effort, combined with vital consensus building between the board and management team, were key factors for the collaborative success between Fahrenheit and leadership.

Organizational objectives were operationalized to set the growth goals in motion. Fahrenheit guided leadership through plan execution to build momentum and maximize impact. To ensure continued mission fulfillment and progress to set goals, Fahrenheit created a scorecard of new performance metrics.

 

The Results

  • Established leadership roles to make sound decisions as stewards of the organization’s resources
  • Updated organizational mission and vision to reflect new direction
  • Aligned operational goals with updated mission and vision
  • Established vital consensus on organizational goals between board leadership and the management team
  • Operationalized strategic goals and guided execution across the organization
  • Created a scorecard of new KPIs to regularly measure, monitor, and manage progress toward established goals and mission delivery

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