The Strategic Plan: The Genesis of Resource Mobilization

There are numerous types of organizational planning. Three main types of plans are strategic planning, operational planning and business planning. Each is discussed below.

Strategic Planning

This is long-term planning that involves all of the organization's management areas. Its content is relatively general. It focuses on broad and long-lasting issues that ensure the organization's long-term effectiveness and survival. Strategic planning is the responsibility of the organization's director and executive levels.

Operational Planning

This has a short-term scope, usually one year. Its focus is achieving objectives and carrying out short-term activities. Operational planning corresponds to the annual work plan.

Business Planning

This is short- to mid- term planning. As stated above, it is used to secure funding and make projections of the estimated financial and social return for the start-up of an organization, or for the development and introduction of a new product or service being offered by an established organization. A good business plan enables an organization to assess the viability of all its products and services.

Operational plans, business plans and strategic plans are not mutually exclusive. The strategic plan establishes the general direction and strategy of the organization for a three- to five-year period. The business plan is used to articulate new ideas or expansion efforts as a means to secure funding for their development and launch, and the operational plan details specific activities that will allow the organization to achieve its short term goals.

A good, solid strategic plan should articulate activities that are more routine in nature and can be funded through the operational or annual plan. This often entails mobilizing resources from the organization’s fund balance, where surplus overhead funds sit. At the same time, the strategic directions outlined in a strategic plan will include some new ventures or endeavors for which funding is sought, using the business plan format.

The strategic, operational and business plans are all established formats for plotting an organization’s long- and short-term endeavors; however, more and more, organizations are being asked to draft Resource Mobilization Plans. These plans roll up all of the efforts undertaken by an organization to bring revenue into the entity – either through proposal and grant applications, business plans, fund raising events or other forms of donations. A strong resource mobilization plan considers a mix of strategies to generate revenue for the organization.