So far in this series focusing on strategic planning, we have discussed the nature of the world we live in and talked about the VUCA environment. We have shared the importance of an organization defining values and associated behaviors. The next important thing to discuss is the reaffirmation or development of organizational goals as part of the planning process. 


Most nonprofit or public human services agencies seek some sort of change. Whether it be school readiness, stable housing, improved household income, or a safe environment, change is the focus of most organizations. It is important to capture that change in some form and to discuss the pieces of that change. Suppose, for example, you are a free health clinic that wants to make sure that those without health insurance stay healthy. That involves breaking down and focusing on what the organization is going to do to achieve this mission. For example, the organization may develop the following three goals:

  1. Uninsured households receive primary care to improve their health outcomes.
  2. Patients will increase their understanding and be able to manage chronic health conditions.
  3. Patients develop the support they need to maintain their health. 

These goals are reflective of the desired change and can be completed by developing a theory of change. 

There is a whole separate blog written about developing a theory of change. This is a process that many evaluation practitioners are able to help develop. Evaluation practitioners like those of us at Partners for Impact, understand the process of building a theory of change, developing organizational and programmatic strategies to achieve that change, and creating metrics for the organization to monitor. Evaluation skills come in quite handy when helping develop organizational goals and strategies.