Framework for Basic Nonprofit Program Structural Design

© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC.

Description

The following framework will guide you through design of the basic overall structure for a nonprofit program. Nonprofit management can reference this structure when planning program resources and budgets, staffing and operational procedures to provide services to clients.

Resources and basic questions to fill in each section of the framework are referenced in

Readers are encouraged to work with a planning team in their organization to fill in this framework. After completing this framework, readers can move information from the framework to a more suitable document to be the final version of the plan document, if desired.

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[NAME OF YOUR NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION!]

STRUCTURAL DESIGN FOR

[name of program!]

[date!]



TABLE OF CONTENTS

Purpose of Program Structural Design

Program Outcomes

Program Goals

Program Strategies

Program Objectives, Responsibilities and Timelines



Purpose of Program Structural Design

The structural design is the "skeleton" on which the nonprofit program is designed. Nonprofit management can reference this structure when planning program resources and budgets, staffing and operational procedures to provide services to clients.

The "skeleton" is comprised of the program goals, strategies and objectives, which should follow directly from the goals, strategies and objectives produced during strategic planning. The program goals are selected in order to accomplish certain benefits, or outcomes, for clients.

The goals, outcomes, strategies and objectives are a major portion of the program plan. This plan usually also includes description of resources needed to achieve the goals and objectives, and the funding necessary to obtain and use the resources. Required resources usually includes human resources, which are often described in terms of necessary skills and capabilities. The necessary funding is often depicted in the form of a program budget.

Program strategies are usually carefully described in the form of descriptions of methods to deliver services to clients.



Program Goal(s)

Each program should be intended to achieve at least one of the strategic goals, and may achieve more. List the strategic goal(s) to be accomplished by this program. Write goals to be "SMARTER", that is, specific, measurable, acceptable to those achieving the goals, realistic, timely, extending the capabilities of those achieving the goals and rewarding to them, as well.

Example Program Goal #1: Support at least 600 drop-outs from Minneapolis high schools to obtain diplomas or equivalent levels of certification

1. ______________________________________________________________________

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2. ______________________________________________________________________

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3. ______________________________________________________________________

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4. ______________________________________________________________________

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5. ______________________________________________________________________

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Program Outcome(s)

Program goals are intended to accomplish certain benefits, or outcomes, for clients. List the outcomes intended from the program. Note that outcomes are not always directly associated with a specific goal, but may be accomplished across several goals.

  • Example Outcome #1 -- Drop-outs from Minneapolis high schools obtain high school diplomas or equivalent levels of certification
  • Example Outcome #2 -- Within three months after getting certification, participants obtain at least half-time employment or enroll in an accredited program to further their education

1. ______________________________________________________________________

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2. ______________________________________________________________________

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3. ______________________________________________________________________

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4. ______________________________________________________________________

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5. ______________________________________________________________________

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Program Strategies

Program strategies are the major methods that are intended to be used to achieve the goals of the program. Often there are a set of strategies for each goal. However, strategies may combine to accomplish several goals. Program strategies often become major methods for delivering services to clients. Strategies also determine the resources needed by a program. List the strategies for the program.

  • Example Program Goal #1: Support at least 600 drop-outs from Minneapolis high schools to obtain diplomas or equivalent levels of certification
  • Example Program Strategy 1.1 -- Conduct high-school equivalency training programs to drop-outs from Minneapolis high schools
  • Example Program Strategy 1.2 -- Provide free transportation to enrollees in the program
  • Example Program Strategy 1.3 -- Provide subsidized child care to enrollees in the program

Goals Accomplished by the Strategies: # ___, ___, ___, ___, etc.

Strategy # __.__ ______________________________________________________

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Strategy # __.__ ______________________________________________________

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Strategy # __.__ ______________________________________________________

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Strategy # __.__ ______________________________________________________

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Program Objectives, Responsibilities and Timelines

Program objectives are smaller goals that are intended to be achieved while achieving the overall program goals and implementing the strategies to achieve the program goals. Similar to goals, objectives should be written to be "SMARTER".

  • Example Program Goal #1: Support at least 600 drop-outs from Minneapolis high schools to obtain diplomas or equivalent levels of certification
  • Example Program Strategy 1.1 -- Conduct high-school equivalency training programs to drop-outs from Minneapolis high schools
  • Example Program Strategy 1.2 -- Provide free transportation to enrollees in the program
  • Example Program Strategy 1.3 -- Provide subsidized child care to enrollees in the program

Objectives for Strategy 1.1

Date of Completion

Responsibility

Status and Date

1.1.1. Complete program plan 2/1/99 Program Director
1.1.2. Hire training director 3/31/99 Program Director
1.1.3 - Develop training program 1/1/00 Program Director
1.1.4 - Contract with high schools to get referrals about drop outs 9/1/99 Program Director
>1.1.5 - Pilot and evaluate pilot program 3/1/00 Program Director
<1.1.6 - Train at least 600 drop outs 12/31/00 Program Director
1.1.7 - Test to ensure at least 600 qualify for high school diplomas 12/31/00 Program Director
1.1.8 - Finish program evaluation 2/15/01 Program Director



Your Program Objectives, Responsibilities and Timelines

(You should copy this page as needed.)

Objectives for Strategy __ . __

Date of Completion

Responsibility

Status and Date

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For the Category of Marketing:

To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below. Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.

Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been selected for their relevance and highly practical nature.

Related Library Topics

Recommended Books

Basics, Planning and General Information

Market Research and Trends

Competitive Intelligence

Nonprofit



Basics, Planning and General Information

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.



Market Research and Trends

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.



Competitive Intelligence

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.

Note to nonprofits: Nonprofits "compete" with other nonprofits, too. They compete for funding, attention from their communities and for staff. Also, funders often want to see if their grantees have closely considered whether other nonprofits are already offering the same services in the same areas. So nonprofits should use competitive intelligence, too.



Nonprofit

Nonprofit Program Design, Marketing and Evaluation - Book Cover Field Guide to Nonprofit Program Design, Marketing and Evaluation
by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. There are few books, if any, that explain how to carefully plan, organize, develop and market a nonprofit program. Also, too many books completely separate the highly integrated activities of planning, marketing and evaluating programs. This book integrates all three into a comprehensive, straightforward approach that anyone can follow in order to provide high-quality programs with strong appeal to funders. Includes many online forms that can be downloaded. Many materials in this Library topic are adapted from this book.

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.



Also See

Public Relations -- Recommended Books

Sales -- Recommended Books




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