Sunday, March 3, 2013

Make the Most of It!: Strategic Planning for County Parties

Let's face it - as a county party leader, you're working with limited dollars and a constantly shifting volunteer base to find/elect good Democrats. Often you're working in a very challenging political environment and, by the way, you only have a 2 year term to get it all done!   You need something that will help you set priorities and focus your committee's energies on common goals. You need a Strategic Plan.

If you haven't already discussed it, please make this a topic of your next Exec. Committee meeting. If your next Exec. isn't scheduled until after March 31st, call a meeting. County parties rarely engage in strategic planning and it lessens our statewide effectiveness.

You'll find lots of resources on strategic planning, but some of them are a little cumbersome. Check out this County Party Strategic Planning Resource as a starting point. The breakdown of steps:

1. Identify Who Should be Involved with the Planning (Stakeholders)
2. Establish Short and Long-Term Goals
3. Determine the VISION and the MISSION to Achieve It
4. Analyze your Internal Strengths/Weaknesses
5. Analyze your External Opportunities/Threats
6. Develop your Strategic Objectives
7. Writing the Draft Strategic Plan
8. Communicating the Plan for Feedback
9. Writing the Final Strategic Plan
10. Execute and Constant Evaluation for Effectiveness

Of course, you will adapt these steps to the needs of your particular county. The important thing is to at least begin the discussion. We'll dive into each step over a series of future posts. rj

RJ Hadley, DPG Vice-Chair of County Parties


  1. RJ, thank you for this post. It is very timely. I agree with you that the challenges are numerous especially regarding financial resources. However, notwithstanding that, it is important that we begin strategizing; midterm elections are 20 months away. I like the ten steps enumerated with an emphasis on No.8
    I look forward to the comments.

    Will this information be shared with all the county parties for the participation of non-bloggers? This is a really good opportunity for us all to be on the same page.

    1. Thanks Sandra! Agreed that we need all counties on board with a strategic plan. I have emailed all District and County Chairs with this post. Look for some sample plans in future posts. Thanks again, rj

  2. Bryan County Democrats will begin formulating a strategic plan based on this shortly. Thank you for the outline!