Strategy in a non-profit setting is different in important ways. First and foremost, non-profits are mission driven organizations – thus, special care and attention must be given to mission, vision and values to ensure a successful planning process in a non-profit setting. Secondly, non-profit organizations are more likely to be allied (or at least cooperative) with other non-profits serving the same or a parallel set of stakeholders – thus, the process is considerably less focused on building sustainable competitive advantage. Third, non-profits have unique governance structures and stakeholder groups – thus, a central focus on building wealth or shareholder value is rarely a driving consideration.
Sterling Strategies understands and enjoys working in the context of these unique constraints. In particular, when we share the values of an organization, believe in the organization’s mission, and/or have common stakeholders, we are very flexible in finding a way to be of service and to add value.
We are particularly proud of TimeLine Theatre Company, for whom John Sterling led the strategic planning process on multiple occasions. TimeLine was recently awarded the Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award (non-profit category) – given to the organization that best “approaches strategic planning in a way that directly increases the organization’s performance.”