THRIVERS is taking a short break during the summer and we're looking forward to releasing more episodes soon!

EP 3: Strategic Planning – Part 3: Data-Driven Alignment

August 25, 2022

Show Notes

Raise your hand if data scares you. It is okay to admit it. It’s true for many of us.

But data is a vital part of organizational health and strategic planning. 

In this episode, Tucker Wannamaker, CEO of THRIVE IMPACT, and Sarah Fanslau, Chief of Impact, discuss the role of data, qualitative and quantitative, in uncovering community needs, identifying areas of opportunity, and charting a future direction.

They talk about and define outputs, outcomes, and impact, and discuss the power of two questions that should be central to EVERY nonprofit’s conversation around impact–what change it is making, and what does it take? 

This episode will help you identify the next steps to take on your data journey, regardless of where you are starting. 


How to Talk About Nonprofit Impact from Inputs to Outcomes on The Balance Small Business

Qualitative vs. quantitative data: what’s the difference? On the FullStory Blog

Impact-to-Effort Matrix

Looking for ways to increase your impact in your communities and causes?
We’ve created a modular series of workshops focused on creating impact from the inside out. Explore details and schedule a discovery session at

Want to get notified of new episodes?

Share this episode


Tucker: Hey there and welcome to THRIVERS: Nonprofit Leadership for the Next Normal. I’m your host Tucker Wannamaker, the CEO of THRIVE IMPACT. And our mission is to solve nonprofit leader burnout. Burnout is the enemy of creating positive change. And we want to connect you with impactful mission-driven leaders, as well as tools, so that you can learn to thrive in today’s nonprofit landscape.

I am joined today as usual by my delightful co-host Sarah Fanslau, our Chief of Impact. Welcome Sarah.

Sarah: Oh hey, Tucker. Great to be here.

Tucker: How are you doing it today? You having a good day?

Sarah: Uh, yeah I am. How about you?

Tucker: Well, I think you’ve been deep in some data today is what I heard.

Sarah: Yeah, it’s true. I’m trying to wake up a little bit from my data coma. But I have been deep in spreadsheet land after a workshop we had today.

Tucker: Well, you know, what a coincidence we’re talking about data today. Sorry, that was… I know, amazing. But this is our third part of a four-part series that we’re doing on strategic planning. And today we’re going to be talking about data-driven alignment, around how we leverage our process around strategic planning and our strategic plan itself, to get into a place to make better decisions around an objective, and data that we can use to keep us in alignment as we keep going.

Sarah: Yes, such an important topic. Data is huge and can feel scary. So I’m really glad we’re talking about it.

Tucker: So, you know, I know we’ve talked about some of these other things in the previous. I know we’ve talked about “why does strategic planning matter?” I know we’ve talked about the importance of co-creation and Appreciative Inquiry. That was, by the way, in the last episode. I recommend you listen to both of those. Next episode, we’re going to be talking about creating a learning organization.

But for today, Sarah, why is data something that is so important for leading in the next normal of nonprofit leadership?

Sarah: Yes. Well, so, I think first of all, we just have to acknowledge that data has become a huge presence in all of our lives, whether you like it or not. It’s everywhere now. And it used to be, I think even 10 years ago, or maybe a little bit more. You know, in the old days of nonprofits we could do things without too much “why” or “to-what-end” associated with them. It was okay sometimes to be doing nice things that we thought had an impact, even if we couldn’t quite quantify them. But those days are really gone. They’re just gone for good.

And I’ve found, and I’m sure you have too, that to be relevant and gain funding, especially funding from foundation folks that require a lot of impact data, that you have to be able to use data to track effort, understand needs, and then quantify impact. But it’s really hard to do. And many people don’t have folks dedicated to this and, and really don’t know how to do it. And so that’s, it’s such a big piece in being an impactful nonprofit these days, but it’s hard.

Tucker: That reminds me of a quote that a dear mentor of mine, many of you may know the nonprofit Communities in Schools. Well, the founder of it, an amazing man named Bill Milliken. He used to tell me all the time, and this was something that he used to talk about back in the eighties and nineties – he was really a forerunner of a lot of this- was, “We need to move from charity into change”.

Like we are actually, none of us, well, maybe some of us… but the majority of you that we’re speaking to, if you’re an impactful mission-driven nonprofit leader, you’re in this work not to do just nice things, right? You’re not here to be a charitable organization. You’re here to create positive change in the lives of those you serve.

And so what is data, and exploring what that means, and how do you capture it? And how do you use it to align your organization – is one of the most important things, because it tells you that you’re creating positive change. Or maybe not actually creating positive change, either way, you’re at least able to know that what you set out to do is what you’re actually doing.

Sarah: Yes. A hundred percent.

Tucker: So Sarah, how is data leveraged? Impact data, or just data in general, in the strategic planning process? What is the next-normal of how we collect data through the process of a strategic plan as well as for after that happens and they continue on in that journey of that journey of the direction.

Sarah: Yeah, absolutely. So I mean data, I think is a huge part of strategic planning. Although, I mean, let’s be honest. A lot of organizations don’t have the resources to put towards strategic planning. But data can be a small part of it, or it can be a huge part of it. You know, some folks do really rigorous financial modeling and all of those things, but regardless of the scale of strategic planning that you’re doing, data is a really important point.

And, it’s not just about quantitative data. I think this is something that we often get wrong when we’re thinking about data. Especially in the States, you know. When I was a researcher in the UK, qualitative data was really revered in a way that I have not found to be true here in the United States. And, so I think it’s not just about quantitative data, which is the “how much” or “how many” types of questions. But it’s also about qualitative data that can tell us about thoughts and insights that people are thinking and feeling in support of change.

So here at THRIVE IMPACT we use a lot of qualitative data to capture just that – thoughts, views, opinions, perspectives, using a lot of different mechanisms like interviews, focus group type experiences. And we do that both inside of organizations and outside of organizations. And we use that qualitative data to give meaning to, and additional resonance to the quantitative data that we collect.

And I’ll give you an example here, and then I know you have a ton to share as well. So one of the recent organizations we’ve worked with, we were doing a set of focus groups with organizations in their community. And kids, schools, and families came up repeatedly as a set of folks that they should be working more with in support of improving mental health in the community. Now, we had already done a survey inside of the organization. And kids, families, and schools also came up in that internal survey. So we were able to leverage quantitative data from the survey and qualitative data from the focus groups with community partners and put those two together to say, “you know what, we’re hearing the same set of needs from both inside the organization and outside of the organization in support of helping the organization make a choice about what to do with those groups moving forward”.

Tucker: So when I hear you say qualitative data, and you kind of hit on this a little bit, you were talking about, you were hitting on like surveys and stories and thoughts and views. What I really hear you saying is what’s really going on with real human beings? And how do we gather real insights? It’s almost like deep listening, right? When you’re able to deeply listen it’s a very human process. Or ideally should be anyway, because otherwise if it’s not very human, and people don’t feel safe to share what’s really going on, then we may not have great data.

But when you’re saying qualitative data, I’m hearing this deeper listening, this deeper level of empathy and understanding. And I’m also hearing, I know we talk a lot about diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in our work, and we’re really talking about deep inclusion, meaning people want to be heard. People want to be a part of creating something. Hence going back to some of our previous episodes around “people have energy towards what they get to create”. But it’s a way, of some of the process we go about doing this, is that it’s a deeper way of listening and a deeper way of including voices.

Sarah: Absolutely. Yeah. It’s kind of the descriptive and conceptual findings that you can gather through qualitative data. Which is sometimes going to allow voices to come out that wouldn’t have necessarily come out in quantitative work, you know? And we use focus groups, interviews, things like that. But this qualitative data can also literally be photographs, audio recordings, video recordings, transcriptions, right?

There’s a lot of different types of qualitative data that folks can use. What I love about it, is that it helps us to expand what it means to “know”, in a way that helps us to go beyond the experts and the people with the “answers”, to a wider set of people who are going to help us make more informed decisions that, to your point, include a wider variety of voices.

Tucker: So how do you, what are some ways that you’ve seen that people go about even collecting some of this data? Because I think data is intimidating. Sometimes it is a reflection back to us of whether or not we’re doing a “good job”. You know, data can be really intimidating. But I remember a workshop that you led a little while back around data and you were sharing one of the things I thought was so, actually it was very accessible – which was just, “Start with where you’re at”. You don’t have to have all the data in the world. Impact data is not a perfect science. We’re more like attorneys building evidence for a case. And we just start building the evidence.

But you said, “Start with where you’re at”. How do they know? Where do they start? What would they do to start to gather some of these pieces?

Sarah: Yeah, a hundred percent. I think the most important part is just getting going. And so, you know I’d always recommend to look at what you already have and, you know I also wanna be clear that there’s data, both about the change you’re making out in the world through your programs, and then there’s data related to, you know, what it takes to do that inside of it.

And so, as you’re thinking about data to collect around the change it’s making, there’s kind of three core levels of that data. The first is outputs and that’s the number of people you’re serving through the programs – the number of hours you maybe spent serving them. The amount of money you’ve collected. The number of donations. Things like that.

Outputs are, you know, real static numbers that you can say, “We’ve done this.” Now, it’s not about change necessarily, because the number of people doesn’t necessarily connect to how you’ve changed them, but it does tell people, or start to tell them, a story about what you’ve done. So the first layer of data around change in your community’s outputs.

The second layer is around outcomes, and these are kind of short-to-medium term change efforts that happen as a result of your programs or initiatives. So for example, if you’re working on, you know, let’s say you planted a community garden, perhaps in the short or medium term – three to six or eight months – you’ve increased people’s access to healthy foods, right? Something like that.

Then impact is the third category. And that’s longer-term change, right? That’s after the people have already been getting the healthy food from the garden for a good, long time. And then what changes as a result of them eating that healthy food. So for example, maybe obesity goes down, or blood pressure or other health indicators related to healthy eating are impacted by that intermediary step.

So those are the three levels of data you wanna be thinking about outputs, outcomes, and impact. Impact is the hardest to measure and a lot of nonprofits don’t get there. And I also tell you a secret, you know, impact – if you have good solid output and outcome data – you’re in a great spot. You’re in a great spot.

So start with where you’re at, but those are the three types of data you may want to think about starting to collect.

Tucker: You know, it’s reminding me of when I was at Youth Service America. It’s actually reminding me of the question that you’ve asked so many times which is, “What’s made possible if you’re able to give, as a great example, access to this?” At Youth Service America, I remember we were telling all these stories back in the day of all these cute kids being activated in service and volunteerism. But that wasn’t our impact data. That was our number of kids involved in service projects.

Sarah: Yeah. Those were your outputs.

Tucker: Yeah and they were super cute, right? I mean, we had six year old Chloe Chalker and we had all these other kids who were doing incredible work around the country and the world, actually. But we didn’t know whether or not they were creating any positive change in literacy, or sea turtles, or hunger, or any of the other things.

And then when we realized, “Huh. When young people are involved in high quality youth-led service projects, they develop skills that every employer is looking for – the 4C’s, the soft skills, and things like that.” And when we started to shift and realize, “Wow, we actually have a lot of data here and we have real work that we’ve done.” We also pulled in data that wasn’t even our own data. It was other surveys and other reports and studies that were done that were sort of, again, “evidence for our case” of this work.

And so that’s where I was thinking, “What’s made possible around, you know, these young people?” They’re able to, you know, get in the workforce in a much stronger and easier way. They’re deeply grounded in service and volunteerism, which, based on the data, was helpful for companies and organizations. Right? And so it was like this output, outcomes, and then impact as you were sharing. We started to go down that path and it was really fascinating to start exploring that overall, “What’s really made possible?”

Sarah: Yes. Absolutely. And so, as we think about this in the context of strategic planning, you know, we always help organizations or ask them to tell us, “What are your outputs, your outcomes and your impact?” And then, you know, the second set of questions is, “And what does it take to generate those?” Right? Because part of what we’re always looking at is not just what you do, but then, you know, “Is it revenue, net neutral or are you making money on this program? Are you losing money on this program?” And really looking underneath the covers to say, you know, for example, maybe the program is having a tremendous impact on the folks it serves, but it’s losing the organization tons of money.

Now that’s not to say you wanna necessarily shut the program, but then you need to do something about that, right? To right size revenue in relation to what it’s costing. And so, as we think about strategic planning, it’s those two sets of questions – “What change is it making?” and then, “What does it take?” And putting those two pieces of data side-by-side to help inform decisions about what to do moving forward.

Tucker: Yeah, Sarah it reminds me of one of our shifts that we talk about in our, we have a monthly experience called the THRIVE IMPACT 101 around the Six Shifts that Every Nonprofit Leader Needs to Make to Lead in the Next Normal. One of the shifts that tends to rise to the top, that just by saying the shift, they’re like, people are like, “Oh my gosh, yes.” And that shift is “Stop Saying Yes”.

You’ve had a quote that you’ve been saying, I know you got it from somewhere else too, but I’ll just attribute it to you for now. Which is, “Our nos are what give power to our yeses.” And instead of just saying a whole bunch of yes, how do we double down on our unique value? And kind of what you’re getting at with what you’re talking about is this exploration through a strategic planning journey is the exploration of doubling down on what our unique value is. And then that lower altitude question – I love what you’re sharing around – and what this unique value is, what does it take for us to make it happen?

Sarah: Right? Yep. Effort to impact, right? The effort to impact matrix. Because so often we just look at impact, or we just look at effort, and we’re not looking at them together. And it’s a great decision making tool for organizations as they think about what to do, or stop doing, as they go forward. And that, to your point on Stop Saying Yes is probably the biggest challenge we’ve seen organizations face as we work with people on strategic planning. Because it’s easy and fun and exciting to say, “We wanna focus or double down on this.” But to then say, “And to do that, we’re gonna stop doing this thing over here.” is really, really hard.

Tucker: You know, I have a good example of this. I was thinking about Kevin, our co-founder Kevin Hagan, and he has this great story around how data changed their trajectory at Feed the Children. He was the CEO of Feed the Children. He was the first CEO after the founder. And, you know, his Chief of Program, his head of programs came to him and they had mini-orphanages actually around the world and helped feed the children, but also school them and educate them and things like that.

You know, his Chief of Program came to him and for Kevin, to hear this type of data was really hard, because Kevin and his wife (and they’ve been very vocal about this) had struggled with infertility. And this particular orphanage had become kind of like a really, very close to their heart type of place.

They had visited multiple times. I can’t remember which country it was in. But they had visited multiple times, almost like in their own hearts had kind of adopted some of these kids. This is like, talk about close to the heart, right? I mean it was really close, it was really deep for both he and his wife, Elizabeth.

And so imagine being the Chief Program Officer and coming to him with this data. And he said, and these numbers aren’t exactly right, but they’re close to what he was sharing was, you know, “To create the amount of impact that we want to create in the children in these particular orphanages, it costs us about”, I think he said somewhere like “$23,000 per kid per year.” And he said, “We have other programs that create just as much impact, and actually sometimes more, and they cost us about $500 to $700 per kid per year.”

Now if that program officer had not brought that data, what do you think Kevin would do?

Sarah: Yeah, he just kept going.

Tucker: He would just keep going. Yeah. Right. Had he not had any form of reflection back to him. But when you have this data and if we’re all very mission-driven, nonprofit leaders like, “What’s important for the mission?” Right? “What’s most important for bringing about this vision that we have in our communities and our world?” And so they ended up making a hard decision, but it was a decision to sunset that orphanage and making sure of course all the kids had places to go, and that there was ongoing impact. But they sunset it, it took quite a few years to do it. But they made a conscious choice based on data, around making sure that they were able to be sustainable as an organization. And sustain the impact that they’re having.

So they had that, “what does it take” kind of conversation. They had that looking at “how much does it cost” and “is that creating the impact that we’re having” that help them to make really hard decisions, but also very effective decisions to stop saying yes to things that are either not having the impact or are not helping us be sustainable.

Sarah: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Well, what I love about our conversation, and I know you’ll have an answer to this too, but, you know. So we’ve talked a little bit about why folks need to do it and the different types of things they can collect. And that two-level of data. Both, “what is the impact you’re making” and then “what does it take?”

But, you know, as people think about getting going on a data journey, either in the context of strategic planning or just general organizational change in management, what does that look like for you? I have thoughts, but I’d love to get a sense of what does it look like for you for people to get started on this journey of data?

Tucker: Well, you know, to use an old quote that my mom used to tell me is, “You start by starting.” Like it’s usually that first hump of, you know, our job as leaders if you go back to the last episode we talked about, which is: leadership is not about having all the answers, leadership is about asking the many and engaging the many in better questions. And so, I mean, to be honest it’s start by listening.

Start by understanding, finding pathways. We do a lot of different types of what we call choreographies or really at the end of the day, that means, you know, different types of ways to create conversations, to gather some of this type of data. But, you start by starting and that’s by listening. It’s asking questions.

I mean, when I was the fundraiser at Youth Service America, I mean, my job was to package up impact, right? That’s the “product” that we sell many times as a nonprofit. And, you know, I remember it was through going on a listening tour and I remember sitting there with Scott. Good old Scott Ganski, he’s such a great guy. Scott, if you’re listening, love you brother! You’re doing a great job.

Scott, you know, was like, as I was listening to a lot of the different people that were at YSA, I remember this one conversation with Scott that he was like, and it was almost like an aside, like, “Oh, we have this one program.” And that was like, that was impact! I was like, “Oh, that’s it. That’s outcome. Those are things we can measure.” We didn’t have, we couldn’t measure other things like literacy and hunger and the hundreds of other issues, but we could measure whether, or not young people were increasing in their skills. And I remember that conversation and that changed the whole trajectory. But that was by me going in there and listening. And it was just, one way I love to do this, and we do this with organizations all the time, is just asking people, “Over those last year, what’s been a story of impact that comes to mind? What’s a story that gives you a reason why you wanna keep going in this work?”

Right? It actually draws from people’s lived experience of why it even matters for them to be a part of this in the first place. But when you start to listen for that, then you see or you hear, “There’s something underneath there.” And then you can start to probe a little bit more, like, “Tell me more about what were the mechanics of how that happened?”

But I think one of the best ways to start is by asking questions and exploring people’s lived experience of people who have already been a part of the nonprofit, and why it is that they’re a part of that organization. And what are some stories of impact that they’ve experienced?

Sarah: I love that. I love that because that first step, especially if you’re walking in the door and, and you know, asking for data and there’s not a lot of it, it’s a great first step to start with an interview and basically, you know, leverage interviews to pull out qualitative data around themes of impact, which you can then go test via a survey or another mechanism.

So I love that idea of going out and essentially doing a semi-structured interview with folks to get a sense of what that looks like. The other thing that I love that you just said is, “Starting from the strength.” So often when we think about data and evaluation, like as we started, people get anxious, they think, “If this data’s bad, am I gonna lose my job?”
They think, “What does this say about the work I’ve been doing?” And all of the people in this sector are doing this work for a good reason. People want to have positive impact. And if data says otherwise it’s really embarrassing, right? And potentially really demotivating for the individual who’s been working so hard.

And so instead of coming and saying, “Show me, or prove to me that your work is working.” You start with a question about, “What is some positive impact you’ve had or seen?” And it puts people in the position to be able to share with you from their strength rather than feeling scared and concerned about what you’re going to ask.

Tucker: I love that point. Yeah, I know we hit that pretty hard in the Appreciative Inquiry in that last episode around why building on our strengths is better than looking at the deficits. Like for example, we don’t do SWOTs – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. We do something that’s more around all of our strengths – what we want, what has been the best of us? Because, our strengths are the only thing we have to build on. Our strengths
are the only thing we have to build on.

And so I love what you’re sharing, that data is intimidating to employees sometimes. Because, is it an indicator of their ability? So how do you create that psychologically safe space if you’re a CEO or if you’re a head of a team by asking them, you know, their own stories of strength and stories of impact that they’ve noticed.

Sarah: Definitely. Yeah. I would also, I have kind of three core steps or questions I have to recommend to folks who are getting going here. I think the first thing is to ask, “What information do you need to know?” Both about the kind of the population you may be serving and then the activities you’re doing in support of that.

So, what do you need to know, or what do you want to know? And start small, right? Identify 2-3 data points you want to know about the people you’re serving or the population you’re serving. And then what you’re doing inside to support that. And then after that, you know, ask, “What information do you need to know about…” Sorry, the first question was about the potential population you serve. So if you’re going out to do work, you wanna say, “Who might I want to work with and what do they look like?” And then, “Who am I already serving? And what does that look like? Who are they? What are their needs?” And then, “How often or regularly do I need to update the data that I have about the folks that I’m serving and those in my community that I may not be able to serve?”

And I think one thing we’ve seen is that better data collection analysis can itself be a strategic priority for organizations. Even organizations who are leveraging a lot of data, aren’t doing it often at a regular cadence. So five years will go by and they’ll say, “Oh, I can tell you some things about the people that I’m serving, but I don’t know a ton about how my community has changed.” Right? There’s a great strategic priority then to put in place, which is to create a regular rhythm for a review and analyzation of a set of data that can help inform more rapid decisions about what you’re doing and the resources you’re allocating to the change.

So those are the few things that I would recommend organizations start or think about doing,

Tucker: And just as a short plug we’re gonna hit on that even deeper in our next episode, in our final episode around strategic planning. How do you create a learning organization?

The other thing I was thinking about Sarah, that I do all the time, and I said this earlier, is look for outside studies that have been done about the topic that you’re involved in, that have nothing to do with you! I’ll give you an example at THRIVE IMPACT, you know, we use this study all the time about loneliness. One of the core reasons for nonprofit leader burnout is loneliness and isolation. And so we use this study that is out of UC California, Irvine. A woman, Sarah Pressman I think was her name, did a study on the effects of loneliness on our longevity, meaning how long we need to live. Because most people don’t think that loneliness is an issue… except it’s actually a bigger issue than most of the other things we think are issues. And, you know, the study said that, I think it was, obesity reduces our loneliness or sorry, our longevity, meaning how long we live. Obesity reduces our longevity by 20%, alcohol by 30% , smoking by 50, % and loneliness by 70%.

Sarah: Yeah. That’s crazy.

Tucker: Like it’s totally crazy. Well, that’s a piece of external data that we even use. We didn’t, we weren’t involved
in the study. We had nothing to do with it. But it speaks to us again, building this evidence and case for the support for investing in nonprofit leadership itself.

And so that’s definitely a thing I do on a regular basis. Sarah, I know you do too. You put stuff up in our Slack channel all the time of like, “I found this really interesting study about the work we’re doing around burnout.” Things like that. And so that’s definitely a place to start to look for, is information of studies that are already out there that can continue to add more credibility to your case for support and your case for impact.

Sarah: Yeah, it’s not just primary. There are two sets of data, primary and secondary data. And primary is the data you go and collect. And secondary data is the data that already exists in support of your hypothesis. And to your point, both of them are really important. And so use one to validate the other.

And as you’re just getting going in particular, secondary data is such a tool in your toolbox to say, “Well, we’re doing this. What does the research say about interventions like ours, even if it’s not about our specific intervention?” Absolutely, that’s a great point.

Tucker: And the last thing I’ll add, and then, before we close is, the use of in the strategic plan the reason why we call it data-driven alignment is that, I know many of us and nonprofits have had that board member, ometimes that staff member, sometimes that donor, who gives us some wild, hairy idea, right. They’re like, “I really want to do dot, dot, dot, dot, dot.” Right? Well, how do you say no to that?

Well, you do, if you have an objective frame that you’re using to point back to, and we use something called the impact cycle or the impact pyramid, sorry. But how do you have an objective, agreed upon, alignment framework that allows for you to, you know, instead of arguing with your board member, you can say, “How does that fit in with our impact pyramid? How does that fit in with this direction that we’re going on?” And let and let them explore whether or not it does fit. As opposed to saying, “I don’t think that fits.” Let them understand whether or not it fits and make the case for their idea based upon what type of impact you’ve already laid out and said you wanted to do.

And I’ve noticed that when you can get into more objective conversations, meaning – we are talking about the data versus I’m talking back and forth with you. And having a subjective conversation. It actually creates a lot more freedom internally in your culture because you have something that you’re talking about as opposed to arguing with each other, basically.

And so that’s one of the things I’ve noticed is that it really creates a powerful decision-making framework for you to be able to move forward together as an organization.

Sarah: Absolutely. Yep. And data helps us do that. Right? It helps take us away from “your idea” and “my idea” to something that’s beyond both of us. And data is always interpreted. So, you know, there’s no, data is subjective, like everything else. But it provides us another frame through which to look at and understand the change we’re making, the change we want to make, and then how we get there.

Tucker: Yeah. Mmm. Love talking about this, Sarah. And I love talking about it with you, because you’re so wicked smart when it comes to data and I’ve loved your, just seeing you do your magic, frankly, when it comes to implementation and surveys and synthesizing of information and getting things to stuff that we can actually measure. What an idea.

Well, in the next and final episode of our four-part series of strategic planning, we’re going to be talking about how to build a learning organization and how that is the perfect way to implement your strategic plan. And by the way, we actually don’t even like to call them strategic plans. We like to call them strategic directions, because a plan sometimes feels like it’s “done”. But a direction feels like a journey that we’re going on.

And so we’re going to be talking about that at our next episode. Hope to see you there. We don’t want your plans sitting on the shelf gathering dust. We want you to learn and grow as a nonprofit, so you can create the impact that your community needs.

Sarah, anything else before we go?

Sarah: I was just gonna say, this is my favorite new subject, a learning organization. I think if there’s one thing to focus on it’s that. And everything else goes underneath that for me. I love it.

Tucker: Well, I can’t wait to go through that with you. And everyone else, we’re glad you joined us for this episode. And if you’re just looking to know more about how to do all this that we’re talking about, got good news. We offer free trainings every month. You can take a look at them on our website or in the show notes. You can click on the link in the show notes, or you can go to

Thanks again for joining us. We’ll see you on the next episode of THRIVERS: Nonprofit Leadership for the Next Normal.

See you, everybody.

Sarah: Thanks, y’all.