CompassPoint’s strategic planning methodology is intentionally distinct from what is commonly referred to as “traditional” strategic planning. Traditional planning is fairly linear and time bound, begins without a deep analysis of the organization’s current business model, and too often results in organizational goals that are not actually strategy. At CompassPoint, we define strategy as a set of decisions that position a nonprofit to achieve its greatest programmatic impact in a financially sustainable manner.
Central to our strategy work is the development of an organizational theory of change: articulating the problem or issue the organization exists to solve; the strategies it employs across its programming; what results it want to contribute to; and what values undergird all of its work and decision-making. We take clients through a rigorous process of structured planning team conversations, strategic inquiry with internal and external stakeholders, market analysis, debate, and decision making to support you in determining your most compelling and viable course. And all of this drives off of the foundational concept of the dual bottom-line of mission impact and financial viability working interdependently.
Sustainability is an orientation, not a destination
Nonprofit sustainability lies at the intersection of exceptional impact and financial viability. The Sustainability Mindset offers nonprofit professionals and board members a step-by-step guide to move your organization towards this intersection.
What Distinguishes Our Approach?
We design our strategy consulting around five simple but powerful questions. And while we share them here with you in an order, a great strategic planning process is a learning engagement that necessarily involves iteration as the team realizes and incorporates new information and perspective.
Who are we now?
Here, we use our own Matrix Map tool to ensure that everyone in the organization has a deep and shared analysis of the current impact and financial performance of every programmatic and fund development activity. We also surface the current narrative in the organization – how you define yourself today.
Who do we want to become?
Here, we explore what your constituency or movement needs from the organization and where your team can imagine taking the work and contribution to new heights.
Who can we actually become?
Here, we test your team's ideas for who you can become with stakeholders, current and potential supporters, and partners. We digest powerful input from those whose investment matters—or will matter—most.
Who will we become?
Here, we marry all that we've learned with an honest assessment of your capacity (the talent, systems, culture, and resources of the organization) and commit to a new strategic direction.
How will we learn and adapt?
Here, having articulated the new direction, we identify the methods and metrics (quantitative and qualitative) that the organization will use to continuously learn from your execution of strategies and adapt intelligently.