Data suggests a key to help leaders communicate vision

by | Mar 10, 2016 | CEO/Executive Directors, Strategic Plan, Vision | 0 comments

Do yo ever feel like you’re struggling to keep your board, staff, and donors on the same page? For those of us leading in the nonprofit sector, shouldn’t communicating vision should be far easier than our for-profit colleagues?
If you struggle too, you’re not alone. In a nonprofit sector leadership study about to be released, we discovered 62% of nonprofit leaders said they struggled communicating their vision. More than half of nonprofit leaders!

Don’t neglect the planning

An interesting discovery happened when we shifted the data between those leaders with a strategic plan and those without one. (Spoiler: The study indicated that 49% of nonprofits aren’t operating from a strategic plan!)

As you can see in the pie charts below, leaders in nonprofits with strategic plans were far more likely to believe they could share their vision or “brand” to all stakeholders. Seventy-seven percent (77%) of leaders with a strategic plan compared with less than half (47%) of those without a strategic plan!
Nonprofit leadership: Strategic Plan Communicating Vision

What is your strategic plan?

If you’re struggling to get everyone on the same page, look to your strategic plan. It might be time to dust it off and see if it is still relevant. And if you’re one of the 49% operating without a strategic plan, get the report when it releases next week. In addition to looking at how nonprofits do planning, try to recruit and retain talent, and how they try to communicate their vision, the report gives four questions to simplify your strategic plan. You can get the report at

But don’t wait until then. Take some time today to remind yourself why you joined this nonprofit. Not the competing demands of the various groups vying for your attention, but the good that your nonprofit is creating in the world.

That’s the starting point for regaining sanity and communicating a vision strong enough to get everyone on the same page.


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