What Is a Strategic Plan?

A strategic plan establishes a vision, assesses an organization's current situation and lists strategic goals and plans for achieving these goals.

Why This Is Important:

  • Provides a clear direction that will guide society activities and committees.
  • Defines the current state as well as the anticipated future of the society.
  • Systematically develops a review process and improvement plan for society operation.
  • Encourages consistency of society activities and a clear set of goals to work toward.


The Strategic Plan Should Include:

  • A systematic review of members' needs and all society operational strengths and weaknesses.
  • An annual plan which documents the society's goals and objectives for the year and specifies strategies for achieving those goals.
  • Follow-up with the publication and distribution of an executive summary, or the plan itself, to members.

Items to Consider:

  • Society presidents-elect should lead this process.
  • Begin the planning process early; consider the time needed for feedback from membership and timing with activities.
  • Address a one- to three-year time frame.
  • Include society officers, board members and other appropriate volunteers.
  • Use sound group processes to develop the plan; consider an objective facilitator.
  • Fully evaluate the society using a SWOT Analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats).
  • Develop specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely (SMART) goals.
  • Integrate the plan into yearly operations.
  • Publicize the plan to membership after Board formally adopts.
  • Assess the plan's effectiveness by identifying the extent to which the society met stated objectives.
  • Monitor continual improvement with appropriate modifications considered each year.
  • Publish the executive summary when the strategic plan is completed, or whenever it is convenient, but no later than December 10 (sending the entire plan to members also fulfills the executive summary requirement).