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  • Writer's pictureThe MSG Team


Imagine walking from NY to CA (feel tired yet?). If we had a compass, we know that if we walk west, we will eventually get there. If we navigate things a bit, I am sure that most of us will eventually get there . . . although some may arrive sooner than others.

Imagine how much quicker you could make it if someone gave you a map though? I think it would fair to say that we would get there even quicker.

So often nonprofits (and for profits for that matter) make two major mistakes when planning for their organization's future:

1) They don't take the time to do things the right way. They don't bring someone on board who has the experience to facilitate the discussion, they don't make for enough time, with some trying to squeeze things in an HOUR, while others just skip doing a plan at all. It would be like taking the cross country hike without a map at all OR using a map that a 10 year old drew for you.

2) The second mistake people make is just letting the plan sit there. Most people use their plans for 3-5 years. Towards the end of the life of that plan, they hurry up and cherry pick a few things from the plan, just to say they did something from it. That's like being given the map but never opening it. At that point you might as well not have spent the money to buy a map at all.

So as you consider creating a new strategic plan (or at least revisiting your old one), be sure to keep these two pitfalls in mind. Do things right from the get go and make sure the document stays living and breathing.

If your organization needs help with your strategic plan . . . Midwest Studies Group can help. Not only can we facilitate the discussion needed to get you in the right direction BUT we also have a unique process, to help keep you accountable throughout the year, so your plan is livable, breathable, and impactful. We invite you to learn more about our process by scheduling a FREE consultation by emailing

Not only that but we can also refer you to some of our partner firms, who also do a great job at strategic plans as well.


For more information about feasibility studies, fundraising strategies, board development, capital campaigns, and more, visit us at


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