Strategic Planning: The Bridge Maps a Blueprint for the Future

In today’s rapidly changing nonprofit environment, organizational strategic plans are more important than ever. Without a clear sense of where it wants to go and how to get there, organizations are prone to drift aimlessly in the winds of policy, funding and practice change.

With this in mind, The Bridge, a PHMC affiliate providing rehabilitation services to individuals struggling with substance use, called upon Targeted Solutions to lead the organization through a strategic planning process. The organization had recently completed its previous strategic plan cycle and taken over management of the E3 Youth Opportunity Center, a program that provides employment and education services to youth who have not earned a high school diploma or GED. The timing was perfect for a new strategic plan. “In order for us to stay competitive in the long haul, we need to have a good, solid strategic plan,” says Michael Ogden, program director of The Bridge.

Targeted Solutions began the strategic planning process by interviewing The Bridge’s stakeholders—those individuals who are invested in and benefit from its services. Targeted Solutions consultant Laura Line conducted group and personal interviews with board members, funders, employees, community members and consumers to ascertain the direction in which stakeholders perceived the organization to be heading. “It was important that we made sure everybody’s voice was heard,” says Line. “It really allowed stakeholders to express the things that they wanted to maintain at The Bridge, as well as opportunities for change.”

“The great thing about working with Targeted Solutions is that they have skill sets that include an understanding of the nonprofit sector”

After collecting and analyzing the information from stakeholders and from The Bridge’s internal documents, Line presented the preliminary findings to staff and board members and then facilitated a series of discussions to guide development of the final plan. As part of the process, the organization also updated its mission statement to better reflect the range of services now offered. The final result is a five-year plan that includes a comprehensive set of targeted goals and objectives with specific activities, timelines, key staff and success indicators.

“The great thing about working with Targeted Solutions is that they have skill sets that include an understanding of the nonprofit sector,” says Ogden. “It was only logical that if we wanted a high quality product, we would go to them.”

For more information, visit the Targeted Solutions website.