Explains the process used to create the plan

Describes the people involved in creating the plan and why/how chosen

Gives background on reasons for the agency's decision to engage in planning

Lists assumptions (if any) that inform the plan

Identifies the major strategic questions facing the agency

Includes a brief history of the agency

Describes and explains key environmental factors

Summarizes relevant data (on programs, services, community)

Lists strengths the agency has identified:


  • in itself

  • in its community

  • Lists weaknesses the agency has identified and targeted to address:


  • in itself

  • in its community
  • Framing Concepts

    Mission appears in the plan with the date it was accepted

    Values and principles guiding the agency's actions are articulated

    A vision for the future is articulated and is:


  • specific and easy to understand

  • inspiring and likely to spark imagination and commitment

  • appropriate for the community and the agency

  • achievable and grounded in fact
  • Goals

    Lists goals for:


  • all external programs

  • internal administrative operations

  • external relations

  • fiscal matters

  • short- and long-term priorities

  • Goals, when possible, are measurable

    Goals demonstrate a commitment to improvement

    Priority rankings are assigned to each goal

    Identifies both short- and long-term activities

    For each objective and strategy:


  • identifies, by title, who will be responsible for implementing actions

  • makes explicit the roles of:


  • partners

  • constituents/grantees

  • the public

  • provides a reasonable timeline for completion of tasks

  • identifies resources (human, material and fiscal) needed to fulfill each action

  • Demonstrates a commitment to adaptability

    Creates alternative scenarios for areas of high risk/low predictability

    A process and a timeline are articulated for regular evaluation of progress

    There is a plan and budget in place for dissemination of final document

    Adequate process and timeline for revising and/or renewing commitments to goals

    The plan invites and provides mechanisms for response

    The plan invites and provides a mechanism for involvement

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