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A Strategic Plan Template Helps Nonprofit Boards Get Started On A Comprehensive Plan For The Organization

Strategic Plan Template for Nonprofits: A Free Guide to Achieving Your Goals


A strategic plan provides a roadmap for achieving your goals, and a strategic plan template makes easy work of the planning process. A strategic plan template is a valuable tool that ensures your board incorporates all the essential components for your annual strategic planning meeting.

Discover more about how strategic planning templates can aid your board in achieving your goals with the following topics:

Why your nonprofit should use a template

  • What your template should include
  • Free strategic plan template for your board
  • How to use board management software for strategic planning

Why Your Nonprofit Should Use a Strategic Planning Template

An old saying goes, “You’re only as good as the tools you use.” To that end, we’ve come up with a list of advantages your board will gain by using strategic planning templates as board tools as you strive to achieve your goals.

  • Simplifies what could otherwise be a complex process
  • Streamlines entry with pre-formatting
  • Improves the clarity of the information
  • Creates efficiency and saves time
  • Reduces errors
  • Ensures consistency and uniformity
  • Requires little or no training
  • Results in a professional-looking document

Your board can gain all these benefits and more when using strategic plan templates that include all the correct elements. Be sure to store your strategic plan templates in your BoardEffect board management system with your other essential documents so board and committee members can easily access them.

What Should a Strategic Plan Template for Nonprofits Include?

We’ve outlined the common elements your board may consider incorporating into your basic strategic plan template below, and you can modify it as necessary to suit your nonprofit’s needs.

  • Background – Basic information including the nonprofit’s name, address, founding date, needs the nonprofit fills, and the geographical location served.
  • Organizational description – A brief overview of the organization, including the history, primary donors, key programs and activities, major achievements, and other notable highlights.
  • Mission statement – A statement that describes your nonprofit’s purpose and reflects what your nonprofit does.
  • Vision statement – An aspirational statement that describes what the nonprofit’s leaders want to see happen when the organization meets its goals.
  • Values statement – A statement that reflects the nonprofit’s core values as the group strives to meet the mission.
  • SWOT analysis – A framework that describes the nonprofit’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
  • Key performance indicators – A set of quantifiable measurements the nonprofit can use to gauge progress toward its goals.
  • Financial projections – A report of your nonprofit’s income, expenses, and future financial projections.
  • Goals and strategies – A statement of the nonprofit’s short- and long-term goals and the necessary strategies to achieve them.
  • Executive summary – A concise summary that highlights the strategic goals andwhen and how the nonprofit will implement the plan.
  • Names, signatures, and dates – Provide space for the signatures and dates of the board members who approved the plan as board members may change from one year to the next.

While these are the most common elements of a strategic plan template, Forbes recommends adding an elevator pitch, target customers, industry analysis, competitive analysis/advantage, marketing plan, team/human resources, and an operations plan, as they make sense for your board.

Free Strategic Plan Template for a Nonprofit Board

We’ve provided a free template below that you can use as is to create your nonprofit’s strategic plan. Alternatively, you can modify our template slightly to suit your nonprofit’s needs. As you can see, we’ve taken the elements listed above and plugged them into a template that’s simple and easy to implement.

Strategic Plan Template for a Nonprofit Board

BackgroundLegal name and address:


Founding date:


Needs served/importance:


The geographic region served:


Organizational Description






Primary donors:


Main programs and activities:


Major achievements:


Notable highlights:


Mission Statement



Vision Statement



Values Statement



SWOT Analysis














Key Performance Indicators (KPI)




KPI #1:


KPI #2:


KPI #3:


KPI #4:


Financial Projections




Q1 Income:

Q1 Expenses:


Q2 Income:

Q2 Expenses:


Q3 Income:

Q3 Expenses:


Q4: Income:

Q4: Expenses:


Goals and Strategies





Goal #1:

Strategy #1:


Goal #2:

Strategy #2:


Goal #3:

Strategy #3:


Goal #4:

Strategy #4:


Executive Summary




Names, signatures, and dates of board members approving the plan





















Using Board Management Software for Strategic Planning

Part of a nonprofit board’s fiduciary responsibilities requires board members to complete a strategic plan each year. Be sure to share our free strategic plan template with your strategic planning committee and the rest of your board.

The planning begins by reviewing the previous year’s strategic plan, using the information and data to celebrate the nonprofit’s achievements to date and then revising the plan to continue making progress in the year ahead. Our free nonprofit strategic plan template will allow you to see the current and future strategic plans side-by-side.

With the BoardEffect board management system, your board members can access your past or present strategic plan whenever they choose. With unlimited document storage, your board members can find reports and documents and also share them with other board members as needed. The software provides the utmost support for board meeting management to increase efficiency, accuracy, and transparency, and the investment in a board management system reduces costs overall.

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