What is in this guide?

There are four sections to the planning guide:

Section 1: An introduction to planning
Section 2: A suggested approach to planning [plus a case study as example]
Section 3: How to use the eight basic planning steps
Section 4: Facilitating a planning workshop

What is covered in each section of the planning guide?

Section 1 : An Introduction to Planning

This is a brief introduction to the issues non-profit organisations face in planning effectively. It introduces a useful approach to planning and an eight step planning process. The guidelines provided here are very brief. If you need more information or advice you will find it in Sections 2 and 3. Section 1 has the following parts:

  1. What do you use planning for?
  2. Important things to know about planning:
  • Specific challenges non-profit organisations face with planning.
  • Common problems arising from ineffective approaches to planning.
  1. How to approach planning - Six key ways to ensure that planning is useful and contributes to effective results.
  2. How to plan - Eight Basic planning steps.

Sections 2 and 3 provide more detailed guidelines on the issues raised in Section 1, Parts 3 and 4 above. You can access this more detailed information or advice by clicking on the main headings of Parts 3 and 4 or on any of the other headings in these parts.

Section 2 : How to approach planning – six ways to ensure planning is useful and contributes to effective results.

This section explains the suggested approach to planning for non-profit organisations as outlined in Section 1, Part 3, in more detail. The approach suggested is based on the Logical Framework Approach. It is widely used by NGOs and is required by many donors when proposals for funding are made. This section is important for understanding Section 3 on planning steps which uses the Logical Framework Approach in each of the eight basic planning steps. At the end of Section 2, you can go to an example of how an organisation we have called Molayezo used the approach suggested. This example is also important to read before you read Section 3 as it is used and developed in that section.

Section 2 has the following parts:

  1. How to ensure the right amount of involvement in the planning process
  2. How to plan systematically – the Logical Framework Approach
  3. How to plan strategically
  4. How to plan for evaluation
  5. How to ensure commitment to the planning process
  6. How to use the planning cycle for ongoing learning and improvement

Section 3 : How to use the eight basic planning steps

This section provides more detailed guidelines on how you could achieve each of the basic planning steps. It uses the approach suggested in Section 2.

Section 3 has the following parts:

  1. Step 1: How to prepare to plan - analyse stakeholder involvement
  2. Step 2: How to analyse situations and needs
  3. Step 3: How to prioritise and select a goal and purpose
  4. Step 4: How to develop clear objectives
  5. Step 5: How to identify alternative strategies and select the most effective strategy
  6. Step 6: How to plan implementation
  7. Step 7: How to plan for evaluation
  8. Step 8: How to summarise your plan

Section 4 : Facilitating a planning workshop

This section outlines how you could run a planning process for your organisation in simple steps with suggested questions.

Note: We use an organisation we have called Molayezo as an example throughout the guide. The general Molayezo example can be accessed in Section 2a. Reading it will give you background to the other examples used.