Why should an NPO have a strategic plan monitoring tool?


When a non-profit organization (NPO) develops a strategic plan, it's essential to ensure that the objectives set are achieved. To achieve this, the organization needs an effective tracking tool that will enable it, as its name suggests, to monitor and measure the progress of its strategic initiatives. Such a tool can help NPOs monitor their performance, manage their resources, communicate and collaborate more easily between team members, and facilitate the grant application process.

Here are the reasons why an NPO should have an in-house strategic plan monitoring tool.

Facilitate communication and collaboration

Stakeholders, such as members, donors, volunteers and partners, often have an interest in the NPO's objectives and want to know how the organization is progressing. A monitoring tool will enable transparent communication of progress made and challenges encountered. It will also empower team members, enabling them to see their own role in achieving strategic objectives. Team members will be more likely to focus on achieving objectives when their work is linked to the overall success of the organization.

Tracking tools can facilitate communication and collaboration between team members, providing a central platform for sharing information, updates and feedback. Team members can use these tools to discuss projects, ask questions and share important information, which can help improve communication and collaboration within the organization. Team members can use these tools to monitor the progress of their own work, as well as that of their colleagues, which can help ensure that projects are moving forward in a timely and efficient manner.

Monitoring tools can also enable real-time collaboration on documents and projects, allowing team members to work together on common tasks or projects. They can provide a centralized platform for storing documents, files and project-related information.

Simplify the creation of mandatory annual reports

A tool specifically designed for strategic plan monitoring simplifies the collection of essential data for the annual report, providing an overall view of the organization's performance while enabling it to comply with regulatory reporting requirements.

Indeed, not-for-profit organizations are generally required to produce a customized annual report to give stakeholders, such as members, donors and regulators, an overview of their activities over the past year. That said, annual reporting requirements may vary depending on the country and jurisdiction in which the non-profit organization is registered.


In Canada, registered non-profit organizations must produce an annual report and file it with Corporations Canada within six months of the end of their fiscal year. The report must include information on the organization's directors, activities, financial statements and changes to the organization's charter or by-laws.

Monitor project progress in real time

Project monitoring tools are software programs that can help teams track and manage projects in real time, especially when resources are limited. Real-time tracking of project progress is a key element of effective project management for non-profit organizations (NPOs). By using a strategic plan tracking tool, NPOs can monitor ongoing tasks and activities, track deadlines and timelines, and ensure that projects are progressing according to plan. What's more, such a tool enables accurate data to be collected on the costs, deadlines and quality of each project, enabling organizations to make informed decisions and better manage risks. Overall, real-time tracking of project progress can help NPOs achieve their goals more efficiently and better manage their limited resources.

The specific functionalities of project tracking tools may vary, but some of the key elements may include:

  • Dashboards and graphs to visualize project tracking data in real time.
  • Project management features to manage tasks, deadlines and budgets.
  • Resource management features to allocate and track human and material resources.
  • Communication tools to enable collaboration between team members.

Facilitate grant applications

Monitoring tools can help facilitate the grant application process by providing an overview of the organization's strategic objectives, initiatives and performance measures. This information can be used to develop a compelling grant proposal that demonstrates how the organization plans to use the funds to achieve its strategic goals.

Tracking tools can also help manage the grant application process by monitoring deadlines, budgets and stages of the application process. Team members can use these tools to track tasks to be completed, documents to be provided and steps in the application process, which can help avoid delays and errors.

In addition, monitoring tools can help manage grant-related information, such as application dates, funder responses and results reports. Team members can use these tools to ensure that all information is up to date and available to team members who need it.

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