Does your nonprofit have a clear strategic plan?

  • Does your organization have difficulty generating reliable funding?
  • Does your nonprofit feel like it’s floundering because it doesn’t have a focused or thoughtful plan of action?
  • Have you been chasing grants and other opportunities that take you away from your mission?
  • Do you feel like you’re constantly reacting instead of moving ahead with confidence?
  • Are you unsure if your organization really needs a strategic plan?

Imagine if your vision was fueled by an easy-to-implement plan.

Running a nonprofit is harder than running a business. I know. I’ve done both. Nonprofit leaders and volunteers have to juggle many different needs at once.

You need a strategic plan.

When you have a strategic plan in place, you’ll be able to:

  • Stop feeling drained by the constant hamster wheel of organizational and funding difficulties.
  • Increase your organization’s impact— with less stress.
  • Get clear on what’s really working and what’s not.
  • Focus time, energy, and funds on those activities that make really matter to those you serve.
  • Discover which of your programs are actually giving your organization sustainable results.

Introducing the Nonprofit Strategy Tango.

Strategic planning done right – just for nonprofits ready to tango.

My step-by-step process for creating your strategic plan is just what nonprofits need. I live to help nonprofits move through tough changes. I want you to have confidence that your strategic plan will help you elegantly sidestep any obstacles ahead.

IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO, so this strategic planning dance only works when you are ready to BE a true partner.  If you haven’t learned the basic steps and right choreography, then you can’t tango quite yet. Partnering with me will get you where you need to go, with confidence and passion. I’ll lead in some cases and you’ll lead in others, but together we’ll get through a defined process that will bring you much-needed clarity and focus. Knowing who you are, where you’re going, and how you’ll get there is vital.

When you start the Strategy Tango, you need to:

  • Come together with your board and staff to ask hard questions without easy answers.
  • Be open to change even if it feels overwhelming or scary.
  • Work with a partner who can lead you through the process in a way that gets efficient and effective results.

When you work with me, you’ll learn to:

  • Stop holding tedious meetings that don’t align with your strategic goals.
  • Stop hosting events that don’t raise enough money or awareness.
  • Stop forming new partnerships without a clear sense of why you’re working together.

I’ll help you find clarity and have fun along the way.

I have designed this unique seven-step strategic planning model just for nonprofits and social enterprises. When you work with me, you get me, my experience and my time, whether that’s in person, on the phone or on a video conference. 

It’s not enough to just plan an annual board retreat, talk about strategy for a couple of hours and then go back to business as usual. To really do this right, you need a partner who understands nonprofits. I have spent my career working with stellar organizations in higher education, social services, arts & culture, technology, museums, independent schools, health care, youth services, and philanthropy. I have been a fundraiser, a manager, a strategist, a colleague. I have walked in your shoes.


Getting started is simple. Take a bold step forward.

Begin the Nonprofit Strategy Tango for an investment of $499.

In the Strategy Tango Warm Up, you’ll get:


Step-by-step resources from my workbook, The Nonprofit Strategy Tango. This guide will help you understand what strategic planning involves so that your strategic planning process will be more enjoyable, efficient, AND effective.


  • I use the Core Capacity Assessment Tool (CCAT) to assess your organization’s current state before starting strategic planning.
  • This is a 146-question online survey designed by the TCC Group.
  • It measures a nonprofit organization’s effectiveness in relation to four core capacities — leadership, adaptability, management, and technical capacities — as well as organizational culture.
  • The CCAT takes 30-45 minutes for your board and senior staff members to complete online.


  • The Core Capacity Assessment Tool will help diagnose your current organizational lifecycle stage and pinpoint your best opportunities to build organizational strength and resilience.
  • You get a prioritized list of top recommendations just for your organization.


You’ll review the results of your CCAT with me in a 60-minute call that includes everyone who took your assessment.

Take a step forward today.

Your investment is $499

Our board thinks they can do their own strategic planning without paying for a consultant. Will that work?

Even in cases where you are lucky enough to have a strategic expert as a board member, that person may not have the freedom that an outsider does to “say what they see.”  Unless there are no sacred cows at your organization, that person may not have the courage needed to say what not everybody wants to hear. An outside partner and facilitator can help you manage the loose cannons, disengaged board members, and change resistors better than you may be able to do alone.

When is the right time to do strategic planning?

There’s no perfect time to do strategic planning, but you have to be open to change. I engage with nonprofit organizations at key turning points: during times of growth and times when there is a clear fork in the road. Some of the organizations I work with are in crisis because they haven’t yet attended to the very factors that we cover in The Nonprofit Strategy Tango. I offer The Adaptive Nonprofit Strategy Jumpstart to help you assess if you are ready to make best use of the strategic planning process. My clients represent nonprofit organizations at all stages of growth from start-ups to organizations planning for 50 year anniversary celebrations.

We don’t have staff yet and our volunteers are already burned out. How could we possibly even consider strategic planning?

These are the exact cases where strategic planning is the most valuable! Every organization at every stage, but especially new and all-volunteer ventures, needs to learn how to make the best use of their limited resources. By going through our phased approach, you’ll learn what to take off your plate so that you can focus on what’s most important. Burnout happens in the process of taking on too many things without a real sense of when or if those responsibilities will ever end and what purpose those late night to-do’s are really serving. It’s up to you to see that burnout happening, call a timeout on yourself, and let me come help you say YES! to the right things and NO! to the time wasters.

I’m just looking for someone to facilitate an upcoming strategic planning retreat. Can you do that without going through all of these other steps?

Been there, done that. It doesn’t work well. Having me (or anyone else) facilitate a 3-hour strategic planning session may seem like a good idea, but it isn’t very satisfying for anyone after it’s over and there’s no plan to build on the work done in that retreat. To quote my strategy colleague, Dave Haviland, “Strategic planning should comes in waves rather than spikes.” This is why Adaptive Alternatives offers full range of strategic planning services, starting with the Nonprofit Strategy Jumpstart. It takes a step-by-step, wave-like and comprehensive process to achieve the best results.

How is strategic planning different for nonprofit organizations rather than for profit companies?

Being a nonprofit organization is a tax classification, not a business model. Even so, every nonprofit organization wrestles with financial sustainability. Figuring out the right blend of earned and contributed revenue is crucial if your nonprofit is to adapt, survive, and thrive.  While some business processes and tools translate well to nonprofits, other things are different for mission-driven organizations rather than profit-driven businesses. It’s important for nonprofits to choose a partner who understands their unique needs but also brings the best business concepts to the strategic planning process in an accessible way.

Is your organization ready for a change?

Stephanie Blackburn Freeth is the creator of The Strategy Tango.


The Strategy Tango is designed to move through seven tried and true planning steps while also accommodating the unique needs of your organization in each moment.


The Strategy Tango process is built upon a foundation of collaboration, candor, and focus.

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