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Vision Planning: Climb the Mountain for a Fresh Perspective
Nonprofit Management

Maneuvering through 2020 felt like an uphill battle with endless roadblocks and detours. We’ve made our way to the top, and the promise of a new year fills the air with hope, optimism and excitement.

NOW is the perfect time to gather your team and focus on vision planning to drive your mission into 2021 and beyond. When you strategize as a team, you’re able to view organization-wide strengths and opportunities from an entirely new perspective.

Ronald McDonald House Charities Dayton Plans for the Future

Celebrating 40 years, our friends at Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Dayton provide community, comfort and hope to families of sick or injured children. Their important work helps keep families together and close to the care and resources they need when it truly matters most.

When visiting RMHC Dayton, you’ll notice an enlarged timeline prominently displayed around the perimeter of their office. This visual reminder serves to channel the team’s energy toward the future.

Planning for the next 40 years is a huge undertaking, so their leadership team turned to Cramer & Associates to facilitate a vision planning session to lead RMHC Dayton to new heights.

This forward-thinking session allowed the team to view the organization from the top of the mountain, sparking creativity and unearthing new opportunities from a new perspective. And through an internal assessment, the team was able to connect more deeply and learn how to work more effectively moving forward.

If your nonprofit hasn’t taken the time to plan for 2021, make this a goal in the first few weeks of the new year. Vision planning sessions can be held in a virtual space or off-site while practicing social distancing protocols.

Here are a few tips to vision planning:

  1. Use a facilitator. A facilitator can help keep you and your team on track with meaningful outcomes and is able to listen objectively. By using a facilitator, you stay focused and challenge your status quo to uncover new advances for you and your team.
  2. Unleash the team’s skills with an organizational assessment tool. Myers-Brigs, the CliftonStrengths or Working Genius are all examples of tools that you can use to help uncover the strengths and skills of your team. Most organizations aren’t maximizing their employees’ skillsets to advance the organization, spur collaboration and create more impact in your community. Your employees are a great asset – leverage their strengths.
  3. Book a comfortable location or plan for plenty of breaks to ease screen time. Break away from the day-to-day hustle and bustle. New spaces, places and people can energize your staff, open minds and offer a fresh perspective. Ensure there are plenty of refreshments to keep the team energized. If you’re leading the vision planning session in a virtual space, pause and have breaks from the computer screen; add breakout sessions and time for dialogue.
  4. Plan the most effective schedule for the day. An agenda keeps everyone on the same page and allows the team to end with solid outcomes. Spend time together upfront to build an agenda and schedule collectively.

As you plan for 2021, lean on the Cramer Team to facilitate a vision work session with your leadership team, department or board of directors. We offer several assessments to maximize everyone’s strengths. To schedule a session, contact Mike Schmidt at Cramer & Associates at or (614) 766-4483.

Cramer & Associates is a nationally recognized philanthropic consulting firm that has been serving nonprofit organizations, corporations and foundations since 1987. Our full-service firm offers clients a wide range of services, including feasibility studies, campaigns, strategic planning, board training, development audits, events, executive searches and much more. The Cramer Team identifies organizations’ strengths and opportunities and develops campaigns that succeed, empowering organizations to impact their communities.

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