Nonprofit Strategy: Planning & Positioning for the Future

Kellogg School of Management

How long?

  • 9 days
  • online

Kellogg School of Management


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Who should attend

  • Nonprofit CEOs, executive directors and senior nonprofit leaders looking to gain an understanding of their role in planning for their organizations’ futures
  • Nonprofit board members interested in setting strategic direction within their organization

About the course

Planning to maximize mission and financial stability

Nonprofit leaders need to create a strategic roadmap to ensure that the activities they are undertaking are maximizing their resources to effect change in their communities. That roadmap starts with their theory of change and the important resources needed to reach their mission. As the world shifts to meet the challenges of COVID-19 and global circumstances, this program will provide nonprofit leaders with a deeper understanding of the strategy statements that will activate their theory of change and prioritize mission and money. Those strategies then need to be communicated to the wide variety of stakeholders invested in the organization’s success.

In a series of interactive and engaging sessions, Kellogg School of Management and Northwestern University faculty will share theories and frameworks that nonprofit leaders can apply to their individual situations. Participants will be asked to share their experiences in large and small groups and learn from each other as well as the case examples presented by the faculty. Designed for senior leaders and board members, this program will provide an opportunity for leaders to create a strong, forward-looking strategic orientation for their organization.

Key Benefits

  • Understand how your organization creates value in a competitive world
  • Learn frameworks to support prioritizing your mission through all activities
  • Develop an analytical approach to your organization's strategy
  • Discover how to engage internal and external stakeholders through strategic communication

Program Content

Building (or Rebuilding) Your Theory of Change

  • Understand how your theory of change needs to evolve to meet changing internal and external challenges
  • Identify your roadmap from strategies to resources to impact
  • Explore potential evolution of your business model

Prioritizing Mission and Money

  • Empower professional leadership to balance the key aspects of nonprofit organizations – mission impact and financial stability
  • Utilize academic frameworks to analyze and prioritize strategic decisions to further the theory of change
  • Identify strategies to engage board members in essential conversations regarding organizational priorities

Strategic Planning

  • Define strategy and gain experience writing efficient and effective strategy statements that will guide decision-making at each level of your nonprofit organization
  • Understand how to use formal and informal organizational structure to address the two fundamental problems facing all organizations — coordination and control — and enable your nonprofit organization to best achieve its strategic goals
  • Learn to build teams and workgroups that foster individual engagement and accountability as well as interpersonal trust and learning
  • Participate in an opportunity to discuss the content through in-class discussions

Strategic Stakeholder Engagement and Communications

  • Identify, prioritize and effectively engage key organizational stakeholders
  • Empower strategic and frontline leaders to stay ahead in their highly competitive industry by developing a deliberate and compelling stakeholder engagement strategy
  • Recognize the power of stakeholder mapping
  • Lay out and prioritize the communication channels to maximize effectiveness for communicating to service markets and stakeholders
  • Deploy communications to ensure the organization is visible, accessible and accountable


Liz Livingston Howard

Liz Livingston Howard is a graduate of Northwestern University and holds an MBA degree from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern. Ms. Howard is the Director of Kellogg's Nonprofit Management Executive Education programs and a Clinical Professor of Management. She developed and teaches...

Michelle Shumate

Michelle Shumate investigates the dynamics of interorganizational networks designed to impact large social issues, developing and testing theories to visualize, understand, and enable effective interorganizational networks in a variety of contexts including nongovernmental organization (NGO)-corp...

Nonprofit Strategy: Planning & Positioning for the Future at Kellogg School of Management

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

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