Strategic Planning Workbook for Nonprofit Organizations

This workbook guides you through five key planning steps and offers four different models to best suit your community’s situation.

117 pages. ©2005.
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Reader Reviews for this Book


Review posted August 9, 2022


This book was a great opener to learning strategic planning and now I am ready to deep dive further. This also has worksheets available and I am totally going to look for them online to utilize as well.


Review posted June 23, 2022


I really found this book useful. there was great ideas and information i had not previously thought about or used.


Review posted February 14, 2022


This workbook is a great tool! While I've been involved in strategic planning at the corporate level, this is a great tool for bringing stategic planning to the non-profit sector. It's very practical and focuses on real world tools to tackle the potentially ominous task of planning. It's helped me break down how to approach planning for my organization and given me a road map for the process and engaging fellow board members. Excellent resource and an invaluable addition to my reference collection.


Review posted January 20, 2022


I enjoyed the book, Strategic Planning Workbook for Nonprofit Organizations by Bryan W Barry. The book was user friendly. Each of the steps were lined out and easily referenced. While the authors present five steps in the strategic planning process, I found Step 3, Set Direction, the most informative.

Roberta Wilson

Review posted November 8, 2021


Gives great support for small Non- Profits to help them move forward in Strategic Planning. Especially helpful for guiding a Board of Directors and Executive Director in Mission & Impact, Program Strategies, and Resources and Support needed. Highly recommend this book to help any organization "Dream Bigger". Roberta Wilson Executive Director Klamath KID Center Klamath Falls,Oregon


Review posted October 15, 2021


An outstanding resource for non-profits no matter your organization's phase - funding, staffing, opportunities and especially strategic planning - worksheets are helpful!


Review posted September 8, 2021


This book has been a useful handbook in developing a strategic plan for my organization, and for laying out the basic principles. As I have been navigating updating my organization's strategic plan, I have referenced the book to help answer questions or guide me to next steps -- this has been very helpful.

Stacy Armstrong

Review posted July 16, 2021


This is a simple, straight forward planning book for a nonprofit. I know our nonprofit preschool will benefit greatly from this information.


Review posted June 23, 2021


This book was really helpful for making our annual planning retreats more effective.


Review posted May 16, 2021


My team and I are rethinking our non-profit and this was a great book to help us focus and refresh our strategic plan. We used each section in order of the book and the worksheets helped us answer questions and think about where we are headed. Honestly, there is nothing earth shattering about this book, which is why we liked it. Simple, straightforward instructions and examples where we could focus on our non-profit and not get caught up in the extraneous.


Review posted March 31, 2021


This a nice guide for individuals or groups who want to make a new non profit with info on how to set your direction and shared vision, then some clear and simple guidance on how to develop and shape your own strategic plan, Good examples are provided on who to have inside and outside your org and your plan. A nice framework is set on where we are today and how do we map our path to our vision for our org. Essential ideas about prioties and focus are well presented so the readers can make thier own path. Nice examples of simple strategic plans and the issues that affect them and keep them relevant over time are very helpful. The tone is informative and well places emphasis on topics that could make break or improve an org whether brand new or established and doing an annual 5 year plan. Really nice in that is is quick and very nicely rounded .


Review posted January 19, 2021


Loved this book it really helped me


Review posted October 6, 2020


This was an easy-to-read book that could guide any agency, just starting out or well-established, through the strategic planning process.


Review posted September 21, 2020


Helpful guide for strategic planning


Review posted September 13, 2020


There is good advice that will help me in forming a nonprofit organization.


Review posted September 3, 2020


This book is over 20 years old, so, you know, it lacks the bells and whistles of a modern publication, but it's nice, clean, clear foundation. While strategies themselves have had to become highly complex in our complex world, the reality of what strategic planning is, or requires, hasn't changed. And this books does a great job of spelling that out. Frankly, the illustration on pages 16-17 is half the battle! The one critical note I have: The book does not include copied of the blank worksheets. It's unfortunate, but you can easily copy the info from the example worksheets.


Review posted June 19, 2020


Really helpful. Lays out the sections of a strategic plan in a clear, understandable way.


Review posted June 11, 2020


this book was very helpful in understanding the major steps to create a strategic plan. I've referred to consistently since using to help me set some goals for my work.


Review posted April 29, 2020


This is a great book for strategic planning steps. Includes example scenarios, plan implementation and further resources.


Review posted March 24, 2020


An excellent resource that will effectively guide your nonprofit and create stronger relationships while increasing sustainability and effectiveness.


Review posted March 19, 2020


Helpful working with our HOA in charting a path for us to work on for the next several years. Given us a sense of items most important to our members that need continuing attention.


Review posted March 3, 2020


The book is easy to read and aimed at people who are new to strategic planning. However, having read the book, I still do not feel confident in my ability to lead strategic planning. The book did not provide enough support around determining the major goals in your strategic plan. Also, the book is dated. However, the book does provide an accessible introduction to strategic planning.


Review posted February 10, 2020


This workbook is an excellent resource for an organization about to undertake the strategic planning process. It's comprehensive, and an excellent guide. Looking through the offerings before starting has assisted me in projecting how this undertaking will look, and has helped me to prepare my board and my organization. What a fantastic resource to have on hand.

Review posted January 31, 2020


The Strategic Planning Workbook for Nonprofit Organizations is a great book as it reveals the basics of strategic planning. Our organization used it's recommendations recently to do some strategic planning and in doing so discovered many new things about our organization. We did two 4-hour sessions with additional discussion of some items during the two regular board meetings that followed. I would highly recommend this book for smaller non-profits to get a better understanding of how to plan and execute a team effort!

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Review posted January 28, 2020


If you are in the process of developing or revising your non-profit's Strategic Plan, you need this book. Using a comprehensive approach, the Author takes the Reader step-by-step through all components of a Strategic Plan, including how to organize the process which leads to increased motivation of your Board. I keep this book in my office library and refer to it often for a myriad of complex issues and situations.


Review posted November 27, 2019


Short, easy-to-read workbook that talks you through the basic steps of strategic planning. A great place to start and know what steps are needed.

Evie Stacey

Review posted November 26, 2019


I found this book to be exactly what I needed to begin strategic planning for our local Arts Commission.


Review posted October 31, 2019


A very useful book to be used with my group.

Elena Lininger

Review posted September 18, 2019


This books is a must for a non-profit!


Review posted March 9, 2019


This book was very inspiring. I gleaned most valuable information that will benefit my future endeavors immensely.


Review posted November 23, 2018


I found this book easy to understand, and helpful especially for someone like me who is just beginning to start to understand these processes. I thank Ford Family Foundation for making this book available to non-profits. I have learned so much.


Review posted October 23, 2018


This was an extremely useful book. I knew very little about Strategic Planning prior to receiving this book, and I found it easy to understand and chock full of information. This small book provides a large amount of info and I think we are now ready to begin our strategic planning process. One thing to note - no CD came with the book and I was not able to access the worksheets online as it says in the book. I think it would be even more useful if I could utilize those worksheets.


Review posted October 17, 2018


Though some may say strategic planning is on its way out, this book is still a nice guide to integrating it into your work.


Review posted October 8, 2018


Well organized, good information, lots of applicable things that I will be implementing for my own organization


Review posted October 2, 2018


As a fairly new development officer in a small organization this was a helpful introduction to strategic planning as it pertains to nonprofit work. Probably not for very experienced nonprofit managers, but for me very helpfu.


Review posted September 13, 2018


I would this book to be tremendously helpful in breaking down bigger picture happenings into bite-sized chunks. There is an invariable amount of consistent information that this book presents about having an action plan and sticking to it. 10/10 do recommend!!


Review posted May 24, 2018


This is a good start on a strategic planning process. It’s not too detailed to get lost in and the worksheets are very helpful.


Review posted May 6, 2018


This book was very informative. I am looking for a basic understanding of how to organize a toy lending library in my community. The non profit sector is new to me and I am able to begin the process of selecting a board of directors. Thank you for the opportunity to review the book. I look forward to seeing more


Review posted March 28, 2018


This book has basic strategic planning information that is readily useable to almost anyone. The graphics are well done and the activities are helpful. There are also other resources listed in the back of the book that I found interesting.


Review posted March 15, 2018


Very detailed information for implementing your non-profit's strategic plan.

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Review posted February 17, 2018


This book was an excellent introduction to strategic planning while I was writing my first grant for a nonprofit. I am typically in the thick of implementing programming so this helped me think in broader, bigger terms. I recommended it my executive team because it would likely be even more useful in their hands.


Review posted January 16, 2018


Good overall review of strategic planning. Even though I have not yet started my nonprofit, it has given me a mile-high view of things to think about regarding relevance, longevity, and flexibility that organizations require to survive.


Review posted January 9, 2018


This book is more for already existing foundations, and I am looking for books to help with the startup of a foundation. It did give me good insight into things that may, and probably, will come up in the future, and will definitely be a re read when I get there. It didn’t come with the CD-ROM which has the worksheets on it, but a quick google search will pull up plenty of useful worksheets, so not really a big deal.


Review posted December 4, 2017


No-nonsense guide to strategic planning. Different approaches and options are outlined. A chapter on strategic planning with multiple organizations involved is included. Worksheets are available online, but their formatting is not helpful. That is my only criticism of the book as a resource. We used this book to inform our process for consideration of a project that may evolve into a nonprofit organization.


Review posted November 9, 2017


This book really got to the meat of why we plan and what kinds of choices are before the organization. It also helped to take an organizations previous plan and update it without starting from scratch.

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Review posted October 29, 2017


The way the book is written and organized makes strategic planning very accessible to those with a broad range of experience. Simple, repeatable process and ready made templates.


Review posted October 24, 2017


This book is awesome! Full of great worksheets to help guide strategic planning. I would recommend it for any organization heading into this process.


Review posted October 24, 2017


On the cover of the book it says "Worksheets now available on CD-ROM!" Well the copy I received did not come with a CD-Rom and there are no black worksheets in the book its self. There is some good information in this little workbook but I expected it to come with some blank worksheets so I would not have to make my own.

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Review posted August 16, 2017


Such a valuable resource. I appreciate the tools and insight. With 4 models to select from, it is easy to find a model that fits.


Review posted July 30, 2017


I love how the book explains how to start your own non profit and what a non profit means.


Review posted June 16, 2017


This book is great! It is surprisingly packed with knowledge and information about all the necessary steps I have to take to get my idea of a non profit from the scratch paper to becoming a legitimate established, community non profit! It will not disappoint with it's easy step by step guide and references. I definitely recommend this for anyone who has even the littlest interest in the topic.

Verlean McCoy

Review posted June 8, 2017


As someone unfamiliar with strategic planning, I found the book a very good introduction and resource. The examples offered a good picture of how the process can be used. There were a number of reference to worksheets on a CD, which was not included, but can be downloaded from the web.


Review posted May 29, 2017


I volunteered to lead the strategic planning process for a nonprofit where I am a board member. This book and my Ford training books were my major reference sources. So, this book was vital to me. We are very small nonprofit. I ended up using online sources geared toward small nonprofits. Also, there was no cd with the book, as the workbook said you could access the worksheets online. I was not able to figure out how to access the worksheets I actually needed. Thus the reason for 3 instead of 4 stars.


Review posted May 9, 2017


I This workbook was a helpful guide for all types of groups I think not just non-profits. I really like the worksheets. It was somewhat hard for me to understand some of the worksheets but then it would explain it better in the examples and diagrams so that was helpful too. I would recommend this to other's and am passing this on to other's to read in my organization.


Review posted April 23, 2017


It is well-written and easy to read and understand. As president of the board of a small non=profit, I plan to pass it to the rest of the board for them to read before we have a financial planning work day. I feel it is a valuable tool.


Review posted March 13, 2017


This book was very helpful. It was not over complicated and it helped us navigate through our strategic planning process.


Review posted February 6, 2017


This book was great start to learn about strategic planning. It was simple, easy to read, and fast. My only complaint is that it didnt come with the CD that was mentioned multiple times in the book. I would have loved the accompanying worksheets.


Review posted January 20, 2017


Strategic Planning: Workbook for Nonprofit Organizations By Bryan W. Barry Review by George A. Letchworth, Ph.D. This short paperback book provides a model and examples of how to conduct a strategic planning process. Definition: Strategic Planning is the process of determining (1) WHAT your organization intends to accomplish (2) HOW you direct the organization and its resources to accomplish these goals in the future. The strategic plan (SP) describes how to move from the present to a desired future. The SP should be reviewed and updated every 1-3 years. In the SP process you define and clarify: Mission, Vision, Goals, Your stakeholders, Role in the community, Services provided, Resources needed (facilities, people, money, relationships), How to combine the preceding, Annual plans. Five Step Model of SP: 1. Get organized: a. Commitment and agreement of the board to develop a SP (Worksheet #1) b. Who will participate and lead the SP process (individual, steering committee) c. Resources (need for a consultant, etc) d. Planning steps (who leads each step; timeline-10-15 hours) WS#2 Organizing the Planning 2. Situational analysis: SWOT, Appreciative Inquiry are tools used below a. Timeline that addresses the past history, present status, future vision b. WS#3 History and Present Situation (The WSs can be downloaded from the following c. WS#4 Questions about Mission URL d. WS#5 Strengths and Weaknesses this code is necessary: W075SpW97) e. WS#6 Opportunities and Threats f. WS#7 Critical Issues for the Future. 3. Draft the SP: Includes the mission, vision, goals, and implementation. (keep the SP short and simple, aka KISS) a. There are four different strategies for approaching the SP: Critical Issues, Scenario Approach, Goals Approach, Alignment Approach. b. Have a person or group to write the draft c. Agree on the format Executive summary Mission and vision statement Values or guiding principles History Organizational profile Goals and strategies (or objectives) Service levels Staffing levels Financial plans Success indicators (often called metrics) Implementation plan Appendices 4. Refine and adopt the plan, be sure to be aware of the risks. 5. Implement the SP Monitor- Who monitors and when? Adjust- How often? Update- When to update This short paperback provides the essential information to create a SP and can be used by small nonprofits with working boards. Most of the 10-15 hours suggested for the SP process should be spent on steps 1 and 2. The ingredients of a good SP includes: good ideas, good decisions, shared commitment and effective implementation.


Review posted January 3, 2017


This book is a good read. It is helpful and has many ideas to help you get started or if you are stuck to help you get unstuck


Review posted December 16, 2016


A useful overview of the process. I found the layout and graphics mediocre. It says there is a CD-ROM but there isn't. There is a link to a website. Unfortunately the worksheets download as a pdf and are essentially identical to what's in the back of the book already. The content of the book was helpful overall.


Review posted December 15, 2016


Excellent resource


Review posted December 1, 2016


I'm glad I chose this book. Strategic planning has been a complicated experience. I usually end up thinking we could have gotten to the plan by a more direct route. This book gives simple steps to create a strategic plan and is especially worthwhile for beginners.


Review posted November 15, 2016


The steps in this book were very helpful in preparing to meet as a board for strategic planning.


Review posted November 7, 2016


For someone totally new to the strategic planning process, this is a very helpful step-by-step guide. The information is thorough, easy to read, and concise. The worksheets are also a great resource for easier implementation.

Wallace Murphy

Review posted October 13, 2016


This book was of immense help to me in that it pointed out some major omissions that I had made in my planning process for one of our organization's goals. Specifically, I had not garnered the commitment of the 10 person executive board. I had previously successfully handled similar projects without their commitment and had thought I could plan this project using the same lower level leadership. I now feel that if I involve my leaders deeply and follow the 5 step planning process as suggested, while taking a "goals approach," we can succeed.

Gelindo L. Ferrin

Review posted July 20, 2016


Excellent overview and workbook for strategic planning. I would recommend this book for anyone in any organization to assist with the planning process. It covers the aspects of planning for different types and sizes of various organizations.


Review posted July 11, 2016


Great book for creating a blueprint or planning in your organization. The worksheets were very helpful and provided background along with a simple way to move forward.


Review posted June 17, 2016


This is a slim book and an easy read. However, for organizations that need guidance through the strategic planning process, I believe it will prove quite useful. It begins with a list of comments and quotes about why organizations engage in strategic planning in the first place. It takes a five step approach (organize, take stock, set direction, refine & adopt, and implement). Along the way it reminds us to focus on the critical issues and not get lost in the details. The book provides options throughout and often suggests customizing the approach to your organization. There is a trend in strategic planning now that emphasizes a more iterative and nimble approach which this book does not delve into, but even if pursuing that more agile approach, this book would be a good overview, and at about 100 pages (including a couple optional appendices) it's a great bang for your buck.

Dan Varcoe

Review posted May 18, 2016


The Strategic Planning Workbook turned out to be a valuable resource as we prepared and moved through our Strategic Planning process at the La Pine Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. We wanted a plan that would carry us through 2020. The Scenario Approach, which the book outlined on pages 60+ gave us the idea of conisdering several different outcomes and how we could look in 5 years. It was a quick way to get us started thinking about our future and what it would take to bring the vision to fruition. We realized we would have to do some things very differently if we were going to realize our visionary picture. Now that we are into the process, nearly a year, we have met again to refine the plan. We revisited Step 4: Refine and Adopt the Plan in preparation for our annual check in to see how we have done and how we need to update the Strategic Plan which is considered a "Living Document" by us. Overall, this book has been extremely useful and we continue to use it for reference.


Review posted May 16, 2016


This book is a straightforward walk through, guiding non-profits through the strategic planning process. Keep in mind, this is a short book, and seems to be aimed at those who have little to no strategic planning experience. I found it a bit simplistic, but I can see how it would be a very helpful guide, especially for small non-profits that typically have limited exposure to strategic planning.

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Review posted April 13, 2016


This book was helpful for creating a strategic plan for our academic school year and initiatives. Good read. We will be sharing this copy with our office staff.

Betsy Warriner

Review posted April 3, 2016


This is a comprehensive and clear outline of strategic planning. I would like to have seen more on alternative, less-thorough-going approaches for small organizations.


Review posted March 21, 2016


Really good advice. Wish it came with the cd!


Review posted February 21, 2016


Great ideas. Nice and succinct plan of action for nonprofits as well


Review posted February 21, 2016


It had some useful tools, as well as some checklists to assess what you hope to get out of a strategic planning process. Was useful!


Review posted February 2, 2016


Although there's nothing particularly striking about this book, this is a valuable resource to have on your bookshelf.


Review posted December 1, 2015


This book has been so helpful with planning for strategic meeting that will be held in January. THe problem solving techniques and ideas will be used, Thank you


Review posted November 19, 2015


A very handy overview for setting up, planning, developing, and updating strategic plans. Our program is pretty small and, while we found a lot of good info in here, I felt it was better geared towards larger non-profits.


Review posted October 2, 2015


I joined United Community Partners in Halfway Oregon about five years ago as a technical volunteer. As I became more deeply involved, I came to understand the strategic value of the organization to the community. We didn't have an organization with a general focus. I became dedicated to the task of creating long term sustainability for the UCP as a means to ensure that the projects and intentions of the most creative and selfless people and orgs in the area could focus on doing more for our communities. We've since revamped the bylaws, added a range of services in support of people here...and grown the board to seven dedicated volunteers with a wide range of professional and community backgrounds. We are on our way! This title was exceptionally well written and helpful. I am a new officer and had a steep learning curve. Strategic Planning Workbook by Bryan Berry was digestible and actionable. The worksheets and practices offered were clear and doable. I highly recommend this title for new board members and old timers!


Review posted September 17, 2015


A good resource for organizations looking to become more organized. There are great practical examples on how to accomplish developing a strategic plan from a variety of perspectives. In most cases there are application that will work for most situations. Outside of hiring a professional, you will not find many other materials to walk your organization through the process of developing a Strategic Plan.


Review posted August 26, 2015


Quick and easy read-practical tips and approaches to strategic planning process-methods for planning with multiple organizations that are insightful-some of the approaches were familiar and others were new ideas. The overall framework for strategic planning was familiar-helpful to have it all laid out in a workbook format for guidance to select an approach to best fit the organization. This resource is timely to share for our organizations strategic planning process coming up soon.


Review posted June 18, 2015


Good overview of strategic planning with several helpful models/ templates to work from.


Review posted June 10, 2015


Good info...

Griffin's Place

Review posted June 4, 2015


This book is fairly short and sweet (112 pages) so it is a pretty quick read. It has some helpful worksheets/activities to put your board or the steering committee through to get organized and focused in order to start your organization's strategic plan document. There is one example strategic plan at the end of the book. I was disappointed there weren't a few more examples though.

[email protected]

Review posted May 14, 2015


This book has been extremely helpful as our local co-op goes through a strategic planning process. For those board members who haven't done this exercise before, this book was able to succinctly and clearly describe what that is, more than "we need to know our ship, know where we are going, and how we are going to get there" but less than lots of academic-speak. It also made the process seem much more manageable than many of us thought Strategic Planning could be!


Review posted April 24, 2015


I learned about this book while taking the Learn By Doing grant writing class taught by Meredith Howell and she used it to show us how to easily break down the process of strategic planning. I think that this will be very helpful in the organizational work that I am doing.


Review posted April 21, 2015


This book was very informative and spelled out the steps to good planning in a way that can be understood and put into practice. I recommend this book to any serious student trying to develop their business or project.


Review posted March 20, 2015


This book did not include the blank worksheets I was expecting. Apparently there is a CD with printable sheets that was not included with it. It was helpful in laying out the various components of the strategic planning process for nonprofits, and I will definitely use the concepts as I move forward with various organizations.