How nonprofits can use SMART goals to chart impact

by Beth Kanter
Beth's Blog

Using SMART objectives for nonprofit communications strategies is not a new idea. Spitfire’s useful SMART chart planning tool has been used by many nonprofits over the years.

SMART Objectives are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely objectives. The Aspen Institute’s Continuous Progress blog points out they come in three flavors:

Tactical: Tools and techniques

Results: Money, time, or other tangible result that can be converted

Capacity: People, content, workflow, learning

The process includes beginning with identifying intent. Next, make it specific by adding a number, percentage, increase/decrease and a date. Some nonprofits find it hard to do because it takes hitting the pause button. Also, there may be a feeling that one is getting “graded” if they don’t make the deadline or hit the target number. But remember: SMART objectives can be revised along the way.

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