Peter Drucker on nonprofit strategy

There’s an old saying that good intentions don’t move mountains, bulldozers too. In nonprofit management, the mission and the plan – if that is all there is – are good intentions. Strategies are the bulldozers.

They convert what you want to do into accomplishment. They are particularly important in nonprofit organizations. Strategies lead you to work for results. They convert what you want to do into accomplishment. They also tell you what you need to have by the way of resources and people to get the results.

I was once opposed to the term “strategy”. I thought it smacked too much of the military. But I have slowly become a convert. This is because in many businesses and nonprofit organizations, planning is an intellectual exercise. You put it in a nicely bound volume on your shelf and leave it there. Everybody feels virtuous; we have done the planning. But until it becomes actual work, you have done nothing. Strategies, on the other hand, are action-focused. So I have reluctantly accepted the word because it’s clear that strategies are not something you hope for; strategies are something you work for.

Peter Drucker – Managing the Non-Profit Organization

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