The importance of strategy in a crisis At times of crisis we find ourselves focusing on the here and now (understandable) but there is a risk that we ignore the need to continue looking to the future. Here at EdUKaid we believe that strategic planning along with good governance is essential if we are to achieve our mission. We currently find ourselves in extraordinary times dealing with the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic - a situation that even the most organised of charities would have been unlikely to have on their risk register. Even without having to firefight the all consuming impact of a deadly virus, 75% of small to medium charities spend little or no time at all on strategic planning but probably spend a disproportionate amount of time dealing with the consequences of NOT planning. Strategic planning at EdUKaid When I joined EdUKaid one of my first task was to undertake a strategic review and develop a plan for the next three years. This made perfect sense as there is little point starting a journey if you have no idea where you are heading - and with no route or map (continuing with the road trip analogy) you are likely to get completely lost and waste an awful lot of time and fuel. EdUKaid has achieved a huge amount since implementing our first proper strategy in 2017 and, whilst we may have taken a few detours along the way we are now ready to consider our next journey over the next 5 years and beyond. COVID-19 could have easily distracted us from developing our plans for the future - like many small charities the pandemic is impacting on our ability to raise funds at a time when our beneficiaries need us more than ever. We are, of course, considering our immediate needs but we are also moving forward with our strategic planning process. The importance of independent facilitation This week we benefited from a pro-bono consultant facilitating a virtual strategy discussion - having an independent person involved in this process make a huge difference providing objectivity and being able to ask questions like 'why is that important' or 'why have you always done it like that'. It was very much a starting point but has already enabled us to set some high level objectives which will built on and planned for over the coming months. This is the start of an exciting chapter for EdUKaid (moved from road trip to books) and, whilst we know there will be a lot of work involved and that the future is very uncertain, the end result will ensure that our mission is clearly articulated providing clarity for the organisation, our beneficiaries, our funders and wider supporters. Want to know more? Over the next few months I will blog about some of our strategic planning process and activities - if you are interested in following this journey (back to road trip again) then sign up for our newsletter and we'll keep you updated.