Sustaining a NORC Program

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Guiding Principle # 1

Strategic planning guides the evolution of a NORC program and is essential to its future.

As a community evolves, a dynamic NORC program evolves with it to respond to changing needs. A regularly updated strategic plan helps to guide that process by spelling out where the program is going, and why, over a period of about three years. A multi-year plan also orients partners to the mission and activities of the program.

The best plans:
  • Motivate participation and commitment from partners.
  • Facilitate the prediction of future funding requirements.
  • Allow partners to plan for the program’s needs, either in their own budgets or by participating in long-range efforts to secure stable support.
  • Provide a roadmap that helps the program establish priorities and develop work plans with staff.
  • Include milestones that guide operations.

Developing a compelling vision of future capacity and anticipated outcomes helps to move beyond a focus only on daily operations and periodic crises. It provides a framework for accomplishing the broader goals of a NORC program, reinforcing the commitment to move forward purposefully, not simply to stay busy doing good work.

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