Teach for America: Strategic Plan

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Teach for America is a nonprofit organization formed in Boston. This company’s main mission is to find worthy teachers and provide them with jobs in regions of low income. This allows them to make quality education accessible to all segments of the population. As a result, children can develop faster and more successfully and build a good career in the future. This also leads to a higher level of education of the country’s population as a whole. However, nonprofit organizations are not always successful in their operation (Haslam, Nesbit, & Christensen, 2019). Therefore, it is essential to create a sustainable strategic plan and follow it. The purpose of this paper is to develop a plan for the development of Teach for America and discuss the main details related to it.

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The development of the plan is associated with the expansion of the organization in the states where its branches are not yet represented. Their list includes, for example, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Maine, and Iowa. Notably, this list is quite extensive, so there are broad opportunities for the expansion. However, actions aimed at developing Teach for America in these states are necessary. The more the educational system of the country is accessible, the higher is the positive effect that it will bring. There are many ways to achieve this goal and promote the company. For instance, according to Appleby (2016), “strategic utilization of social media channels can produce a variety of nonfinancial benefits for NPO’s” (p. 7). Therefore, it is crucial to use all available channels to develop the organization.

The creation of new branches of Teach for America is one of the crucial aspects of the organization’s strategic planning. Several essential factors support its relevance to the company’s functioning. Firstly, as mentioned earlier, accessible education should be present in every region of the country. This will allow the educational system to develop organically and give many new opportunities. Secondly, the development of branches in more states will lead to increased interest in this organization in the rest of the country. This will attract attention from the broad public and, in particular, sponsors, which will allow Teach for America to develop. Then, recruiting new teachers in other states of America can be useful for the development of educational materials. This will also have a beneficial effect on the company’s future, as it will create a high-quality general training system. Therefore, the development of new branches of Teach for America is one of the most important aspects of the organization’s strategic activities.

During the work on the described expansion, some obstacles may arise. One of the most important among them is financing (Khallouk & Robert, 2018). Teach for America is a nonprofit organization; therefore, it cannot always provide enough funds for development. However, attracting new teachers and developing schools needs a large-scale investment. Therefore, this will require external funding from the state or sponsors. Another obstacle is attracting students to learning, as they are not always ready for this. Unfortunately, not everyone understands the value of full-fledged education, which is why the organization has already faced this obstacle in the past. However, as a rule, people are happy to work with Teach for America, so this problem is not the most critical.

Strategic planning is one of the key areas for the development of Teach for America. This organization has a clear and beneficial goal, the achievement of which will be useful to many people in America. An expansion strategy is one of the most essential features of the company, which will allow them to work on their main idea. Despite the obstacles, Teach for America has enough support to achieve its goals, as the country’s population supports their goals. Thus, it can be argued that the creation of new branches in different states of America is an achievable result in the future.

Analysis of the Strategic Plan

The creation of any strategic plan should be accompanied by analytical studies, allowing determine in advance the probable results of its application. It is also necessary to determine who benefits from the implementation of this plan. The purpose of this part of the paper is to conduct a comprehensive SWOT analysis, as well as to identify the influence of stakeholders in the organization and outside it.

There are many different models to evaluate the effectiveness of an approach. One such example is the SWOT analysis, which allows evaluating the concept under consideration from four points of view. The plan of this complex considers the strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the object in question (Gürel & Tat, 2017). This type of analysis is widely used in strategic management, as it allows assessing both internal and external factors. As external variables, threats to the object and the opportunities that may be provided for its implementation are taken into account. Strengths and weaknesses of the plan relate to internal organizational problems (Gürel & Tat, 2017). When considering all four factors simultaneously, one can most likely argue about the competitiveness of the concept.

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Returning to the topic of drafting a strategic plan for Teach for America, the strengths of the proposed concept should be noted first. They are expanding the organization and creating new branches in distant states. This will help not only accelerate the development of the company but also influence the situation with education in the country. The weak side of the organization is the lack of funding. Teach for America is a nonprofit company; therefore, it relies heavily on third-party financing.

The external threat in the form of a lack of sponsors is intertwined with limited funds’ internal problems. Attracting future teachers to charitable activities is also a threat to the implementation of this plan; however, it is insignificant. Besides, one of the strengths of the company, in this case, is the ability to contact the media to increase the general education of the population. For a complete and reliable implementation of the proposed plan, it is possible to utilize the extended IPA SWOT model. According to Phadermrod, Crowder, and Wills (2016), its main difference is the use of Importance-Performance Analysis (IPA), which allows quantifying consumer needs using specific tests. Such an analysis will enable highlighting and assigning the highest priority to the most key tasks, which will increase the effectiveness of the implementation.

When executing any project, there is always a large number of stakeholders. According to Kumar, Rahman, and Kazmi (2016), the classification of these parties can be carried out on many grounds depending on the unique functional qualities. The paper focuses on external and internal stakeholders, similar to the SWOT model. Firstly, executives are directly interested in expanding the company since this means strengthening the sphere of influence. Increased coverage of the population will allow more people to achieve the goal for which the organization was created. Therefore, the internal stakeholders are the employees of the company themselves. Following this, leaders should maximize the development of the strategic concept by allocating the necessary financing.

From an external point of view, the party most interested in the organization’s activities is ordinary residents of the states. Teach for America arrival will mean an increase in the level of education. Besides, the implementation of this strategy will create new jobs, which is also a positive side for these states’ populations. These people act as social stakeholders, supporting the public direction of a nonprofit organization (Kumar et al., 2016). Accordingly, the public can support the organization financially by sponsoring it and helping to implement the strategy. Thus, according to the SWOT model, the concept proposed for Teach for America has plenty of strengths and a few weaknesses. The latter includes a lack of funding due to the organization is a nonprofit. The transition to new states is exciting not only for companies but also for people living in these territories. Therefore, this problem can be quickly resolved through an advertising campaign in the media.

Synopsis

The development of the implementation strategy is an essential step in forming a final strategic plan. A proper implementation strategy plan usually includes a list of achievable and measurable goals, the consistent implementation of which helps deliver the result. At the same time, the primary purpose of implementing the strategic plan is to stimulate business growth and development. The implementation strategy should become a reliable roadmap, describing the steps necessary to fulfill the strategic goals aimed at expanding and developing the business (Olsen, 2020). Such a strategy will set the right direction for the company; besides, the performance criteria will facilitate accountability and reporting.

Teach for America is a politically neutral organization, hence, there is no need to invest resources in this area. However, there is a definite need to increase economic independence and stability. Therefore, in the future, it will be necessary to create several areas that will bring income to the organization: paid courses for practicing teachers, paid educational training for graduates, programs for the exchange of experience, and participation in scientific work. It is also important to establish links with the media and non-governmental organizations involved in educational activities. Besides, there is a need to create an IT department that will facilitate the work of company employees through the creation of specific software, and develop tips for using existing technologies in teachers’ work.

The steps for developing the Implementation plan will be as follows. Firstly, the budget plan will be required to implement the strategy. Secondly, Teach for America employees will be actively involved, whose interest will be ensured by the motivation system. Further, on the carefully scheduled meetings for company management, the strategy implementation will be discussed and evaluated (Olsen, 2020). Finally, an information campaign will ensure informing the maximum number of employees about the new strategic goals of the organization. Moreover, for different departments, emphasis will be placed on the contribution that they can make.

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The implementation plan usually describes people, places, time, and tools involved in executing the strategic plan. Therefore, management’s financial responsibility and communication between management and employees will require special attention. The implementation team will also provide monitoring of weekly and monthly achievements. Besides, the plan will be incorporated into other management processes for better efficiency. The implementation team will set a limited number of realistic goals and priorities. Common values will be identified, and the monthly team meetings to track the progress in priority areas will be scheduled. Finally, the implementation will be ensured by the accurate distribution of roles and choosing the staff responsible for each goal and direction. These employees will be endowed with sufficient authority, but they will have to write weekly reports to managers.

It is noteworthy that among the main steps to implement the overall strategy, the most important will be the creation of a reliable team that will effectively monitor the implementation process. The team’s responsibilities will include the preparation of weekly reports based on performance measures that monitor the quality of the plan. The areas of engagement will be divided as follows: finance, business development, HR-department, IT-department, educational services. These areas are the priority, and therefore here the main work will be done.

Implementation Strategy and Performance Measures

Fundamental strategic inputs will include people’s inputs, which are usually measured by employee satisfaction, quality of work-life, recruitment and retention, employee development, and employee ratio. Technological inputs will provide financial and technology efficiency, information and data quality, reliability, availability, and user satisfaction (Pollanen et al., 2016). At the same time, financial inputs will ensure quality, maintenance, efficiency, security, safety, and utilization. Primary outputs will include changes in daily processes and activities.

The effectiveness of changes will improve indicators of financial and service efficiency, cycle and resource time, management, and innovation. Finally, expected outcomes will enhance the achievement of mission and business results: services for citizens, support and delivery of services, management of investor’s resources, financial results. Other equally essential outcomes will concern customer results, including customer satisfaction, service coverage, timeliness and responsiveness, service quality, and accessibility.

Performance measures criteria will assess the strategy and measure the efficiency rates. Balanced scorecards and key performance indicators (KPIs) will be used to establish performance measures. Besides, performance measures will be part of the weekly and monthly reporting, which will be carried out by persons responsible for implementing the plan. At the same time, performance measures will help to conduct assessments in the priority areas of business expansion and development.

To be more precise, measure criteria will include data on the number of successful students in the new school throughout the country. The indicators of students’ academic progress and the degree of teachers’ satisfaction with work and working conditions will also be measured. Besides, innovations introduced when working with children who find themselves in a difficult life situation will be reported. The company was previously criticized for the insufficiently high academic performance of students in science and math, so this aspect of the work requires special attention. Critics noted that the company was created more to develop the leadership skills and enhance the careers of young teachers, and did not pay enough attention to the quality of education. Besides, to gain the support and sympathy of more experienced teachers, Teach for America could provide them with more opportunities and support.

Public and Private Strategic Planning Efforts

Public and private strategic planning efforts are mostly similar, although there are critical distinguishing points. For example, scientists note that in the public sector, despite the lesser interest of the parties, the process of implementing the strategy is usually more efficient (Elbanna et al., 2016). In the provided case, although Teach for America is a non-profit organization, the strategic planning is performed in the private sector, since the goals of the organization are realized mainly at the expense of investors and sponsors. Therefore, during implementation, the interest of the parties is of great importance.

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A strategy for Teach for America can take on several approaches from public strategic planning despite the general tendency to introduce practices from private into the public sector. Such methods can be instrumental in developing a plan for internal communication between management and employees, as well as in establishing public relations. Besides, since Teach for America provides services to the general public, plenty of its strategic goals will overlap with those specific to the public education sector. The approaches developed in the state educational systems of the US, Canada, Great Britain, Northern, and Western Europe may be the most interesting. Private financing will not be an obstacle to the implementation of these programs. Moreover, these strategies will prove highly contributory since they have been practiced for many years. A practical implementation plan will help to achieve the desired outcomes, and will lead to improved services for the population.

References

Appleby, M. (2016). Nonprofit organizations and the utilization of social media: Maximizing and measuring return of investment. SPNHA Review, 12(1), 5-26.

Bryson, J. M. (2018). Strategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations: A guide to strengthening and sustaining organizational achievement. John Wiley & Sons.

Elbanna, S., Andrews, R., & Pollanen, R. (2016). Strategic planning and implementation success in public service organizations: Evidence from Canada. Public Management Review, 18(7), 1017-1042.

Gürel, E., & Tat, M. (2017). SWOT analysis: A theoretical review. Journal of International Social Research, 10(51), 1-13.

Haslam, A., Nesbit, R., & Christensen, R. K. (2019). The dynamic impact of nonprofit organizations: Are health-related nonprofit organizations associated with improvements in obesity at the community level? Nonprofit Policy Forum, 10(3), 1-5.

Khallouk, M., & Robert, M. (2018). Obstacles to management innovation in nonprofit organizations: The case of an international nongovernmental organization. Journal of Innovation Economics & Management, 25(1), 183-210.

Kumar, V., Rahman, Z., & Kazmi, A. A. (2016). Stakeholder identification and classification: a sustainability marketing perspective. Management Research Review, 39(1), 35-61.

Olsen, E. (2020). Strategic implementation. Web.

Phadermrod, B., Crowder, R. M., & Wills, G. B. (2016). Importance-performance analysis based SWOT analysis. International Journal of Information Management, 44, 194-203.

Pollanen, R., Abdel-Maksoud, A., Elbanna, S., & Mahama, H. (2017). Relationships between strategic performance measures, strategic decision-making, and organizational performance: Empirical evidence from Canadian public organizations. Public Management Review, 19(5), 725-746.

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