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Ep. 17 - Making Strategic Plans Work for Nonprofits

“I've done $100,000 galas, and I've done car washes and bake sales. So, I love finding people who have been grassroots; we've been doing this ourselves. How can we begin to scale? That is a very pivotal moment. How do you move the volunteer working board from that space, let go of the responsibilities, and hire and invest? It starts becoming more like a business model.” -Andrea Ortega

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Andrea Ortega, the Founder and CEO of Palante Nonprofits, has structured her company to aid nonprofit organizations with strategic planning, offering implementation guidance and customized training programs in English and Spanish. In a conversation with May Harris, Esq., MA, Andrea will explore various topics, including transitioning grassroots nonprofits into scalable entities. Maintaining a strategic plan that is both visionary and realistic is of utmost importance. The efficacy of your nonprofit's strategy can be assessed by the data collected to support it, indicating whether your goals have been achieved. With advancements in technology, there are now tools available to assist nonprofits. AI can even aid in crafting strategic plans, while Google provides tools to keep your team updated in real time. Stay tuned for this timely and crucial information pertinent to your nonprofit endeavors.


[1:23] Andrea shares how she came to the nonprofit space and who her clients are
[4:49] Discussion of how to scale a grassroots nonprofit
[7:26] Andrea discussed how she begins to work with clients
[11:27] Discussion of using AI to assist in writing a strategic plan but also knowing how to collect and use data
[13:32] Obstacles that Andrea sees as she advises Boards and discussion of the timelines for strategic plans
[20:49] Using Google tools is a way for a team to view the dashboard and decide what data to collect
[24:51] Training should be a part of your organizational culture, and sharing documents and ideas with other nonprofits is beneficial
[31:39] Andrea stresses that you should make space on your meeting agenda to cover your strategic plan, and she reminds nonprofits to have a realistic vision


  • Professionals working in the nonprofit space generally exist because of a personal connection or passion.
  • You can create a beautiful plan to present to funders, but you also need a way, by collecting data, to measure success.
  • Staying on a mission is critical for a nonprofit to meet its goals and objectives. Nonprofits make a mistake when they stray away from its strategic plan.