Resources - Glossary

Action plan — a plan for the day-to-day operation of a business over the next one to twelve months; includes what activities need to happen, who is responsible for making sure they happen, by when, what additional resources are needed, and the expected outcomes; translates the grand strategic objectives into a series of specific, bite-sized, doable actions with human and financial resources allocated to ensure success

Core strategies — broad, overall priorities or direction adopted by an organization

Environmental scanning — gathering up-to-date information about the organization’s strengths and areas for improvement, and its external opportunities and threats; an assessment that helps to refine and reshape the list of critical issues the organization is facing

Goals — precise, measurable, time-specific results that support the achievement of an objective

Major issues — after assessing the environment, identification of primary concerns facing the organization

Milestone — a significant date or event during execution of a project—often associated with the end of a phase or subphase

Mission statement — a statement that defines the core purpose of the organization: why it exists

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Objectives — broad, expected outcome statements that define what an organization is trying to accomplish both programmatically and organizationally

Stakeholder — any person, group, or organization that can place a claim on an organization’s attention, resources, or output, or is affected by that output

Strategic planning (a management tool) — a systematic process to produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organization is, what it does, and why it does it

Strategy — the means by which an organization intends to accomplish an objective or goals

Values statement — the principles or beliefs that guide an organization’s members as they pursue the organization’s purpose

Vision statement — a picture of the future the organization seeks to create, described in the present tense, as if it were happening now; a statement that shows where we want to go, and what it will look like when we get there

Definitions compiled from Creating and Implementing Your Strategic Plan, by John Bryson and Farnum Alston and Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations, by Michael Allison and Jude Kaye.