I love to plan. When I started my journey with nonprofit work in the mid-1990s, I was fortunate to be sent to facilitator training. There I learned the value and wisdom that comes from effective group processes. Collaboration is key to creating good strategic plans.
We start developing our strategic plan with an environmental scan. To know where we should go, we must fully understand where we are. We are holding a “listening tour.” Through autumn and winter, we visit region- and council-level events to learn first-hand what is happening at our local PTAs. So far, we have had a few of those sessions, and they have been very informative. I look forward to holding more listening sessions and learning what is happening throughout our state.
The Listening Tour is the first of several steps in the strategic planning process. We will be working on the plan through May of next year. In June, the board of directors will review the final report, and we will share it with our members. That plan will set our direction through the first half of 2026, just as the current one has guided the board of directors for the last few years. You can view that plan on the Governance webpage.
Does your PTA undergo an annual planning process? It is a best practice for all nonprofits and one we promote for all local and council PTAs. Generally conducted in the spring for the coming school year, PTAs typically only plan one year at a time. This limit allows the membership to respond readily to changes in their school and community. It also limits your commitments since the membership (and their priorities) changes from one year to the next.
Planning is essential to any organization’s success. You will be glad you took the time to do so.
Andrew L. Estep
WSPTA Executive Director