The organization is facing a need for change in order to facilitate the performance according to the served community needs. In order to implement an efficient strategic plan, IslandWood should coordinate its performance within the realms that would satisfy its multiple stakeholders. To succeed at this, it is essential to identify key stakeholders, detect their primary criteria, and integrate them into the planning of work of the organization. The application of SWOT analysis allows for identifying that IslandWood has many programs, focuses on the environment, and has a strong team of experts, as well as has the potential to grow and make an impact on the community. However, the nonprofit suffers from staff dissatisfaction and lack of commitment, as well as growing competition and insufficient funding. Based on these findings, proper strategic planning advising is outlined.
IslandWood’s Key Stakeholders
The multiple stakeholders that IslandWood establishes contacts with, determine the direction of the nonprofit’s performance and future development. Therefore a basic stakeholder analysis must be a starting point in planning a strategy (Bryson, 2004). The carried out stakeholder analysis shows that the organization’s stakeholders include the board of directors, staff, residential graduate students, donors, and area schools’ teachers and principals (“About us,” n. d.). When identifying the key stakeholders, a stakeholder map was applied. According to it, upward accountability stakeholders include donors; horizontal accountability stakeholders are the board of directors and staff, downward accountability stakeholders include elementary school students, teachers from area schools, and the Seattle area community. Since the organization’s financial stability depends on donors, it is advisable to expand the fundraising activities to encourage more donations. As for the meeting of stakeholders’ interests with lesser power but more interests, staff, and served students, in particular, it is required to facilitate the team members’ alignment using HR techniques and develop new programs to enhance educational opportunities for the clients.
Integrating all the levels of accountability, the application of power and interest grid allows for identifying the most influential and interested stakeholders, whose engagement is essential. Based on IslandWood’s prior history, the difficulties with financial support and staff retention, it is essential to place donors, founders, the board of directors, and staff members into the group of key stakeholders whose influence and interest are strong. At the same time, a high level of interest and a low level of power is allocated to area schools’ teachers and principals and students. Thus, IslandWood needs to actively engage in cooperation with donors by facilitating community impact as their main criterion, improve financial performance to satisfy the board of directors and the staff, as well as stimulate better learning outcomes to interest students.
Major Short-Term and Long-Term Issues Facing IslandWood
For IslandWood to plan a strategy for future development, it is advisable to evaluate the short- and long-term issues based on its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Figure 1. SWOT Analysis
|Strengths ||Weaknesses |
|Opportunities ||Threats |
Thus, based on the identified strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, the following strategic issues were identified. Short-term issues include attracting more donors, developing new programs, and facilitating HR practices to employ more qualified staff. These steps are strategically designed to first lay a financial foundation by facilitating fundraising, secondly, use those finances to develop new programs, and also improve HR strategies to create a reliable team. Long-term issues are building a sustainable relationship with major sponsors and donors, building community-based culture, and engaging in research to identify the relevant spheres for implementation in learning programs. Also, it is important to align the actions with the programs, policies, and goals of IslandWood.
Main Strategic Options and Essential Actions to Begin the Implementation of the Strategic Plan
The main strategic options for IslandWood at the stage when it moves forward from being a start-up are those related to three main areas of engagement with stakeholders. Firstly, the management should improve human resources strategies to employ the right people as staff members. This problem is relevant due to its ultimate impact on the corporate culture and the overall atmosphere in personnel, some members of which do not follow the principles of the organization’s mission and vision. Changing recruiting strategies to those prioritizing the worldview of people desiring to contribute to the community by devoted work will help build a strong team of committed professionals, who will help IslandWood achieve its goals. It will contribute to staff alignment and commitment and eliminate tensions and dissatisfaction in the team. Secondly, the fundraising strategies need to be improved by the application of effective marketing techniques, which will ultimately attract more contributions and unrestricted funds for the nonprofit’s strategic development. It will facilitate donors’ engagement and increase the level of positive public impact.
Thirdly, responsible experts should engage in active research of potential areas for developing new programs that would meet the modern requirements of the schools. Although the organization is running a deficit in finances, the previous step aimed at the improvement of fundraising strategies will eliminate the deficit and create more opportunities for new program development. Moreover, the new programs might bring surplus to the financial situation. It will improve the engagement of the area’s schools in the operations of IslandWood, facilitate the level of trust and commitment of the served population. Ultimately, the actions that are advised to take are human resource strategies improvement, alignment of new fundraising approaches with donor’s interests, and research and development of new programs.
About us. (n. d.). IslandWood. 2020, Web.
Bryson, J. M. (2004). Strategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations: A guide to strengthening and sustaining organizational achievement (2nd ed.). Jossey Bass.