Through Strategic Planning, organizations create a roadmap for effective decision making. Working with an outside facilitator, board and staff members conduct an assessment of the organization’s current status—its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats—and then unify around a set of common goals. The final document establishes a common vision, an outline of strategic goals and objectives, recommendations for the effective allocation of resources, and an organizational structure that will support the work of implementation. DHPSNY has worked closely with the New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON) to develop a curriculum geared specifically toward assisting small- to medium-sized institutions in strategic planning in a thoughtful way.  

Application materials for Strategic Planning Assistance, as well as all of DHPSNY's Planning & Assessment Services, are accepted year-round and reviewed three times a year. The next 2024 Application Review Deadline is Friday, March 8. Applicants will be notified of their application status in May 2024 and should be prepared to start the strategic planning process by Summer 2024.  DHPSNY staff is available to assist you in completing the application form. Please contact the DHPSNY team for assistance, questions about eligibility, or additional information at (215) 545-0613 ext. 337 or

Application Instructions
The application requires you to complete a narrative section, provide general information about your institution, and upload several attachments. If you are a department, division, or section of a larger organization (e.g., an archives department in a larger museum, a university archive or library), please answer questions about staff and budget related to your department, division, or section rather than the institution as a whole.  Responses to the Narrative and General Information questions require you to check off all applicable answers to each question and/or can be entered in the appropriate text box.  The following Attachments are required at the time of submission:


  • Commitment Letter from Director or Board Chair: The commitment letter should show that the institution as a whole is committed to seeing through the service for which you are applying. The letter should express support from the board and/or staff for the strategic planning process and committing to the three-year plan that will result. In addition, the letter should identify the contact person who will be responsible for coordinating with DHPSNY. Overall, the letter should show that the board is aware of what the service is providing and has made a commitment to working with DHPSNY and their staff to see it through. Depending on your organization, this letter should be signed by the highest ranking board and/or staff member.
  • Proof of Tax Exempt Status: A letter or certificate from the Internal Revenue Service or New York Department of Taxation and Finance.
  • Most Recent Annual Financial Statements: If your most recent financial statements are not available, a copy of Form 990 (Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax) is also acceptable. Please do not attach bank statements. If you are unsure of what financial documents to provide, contact Program Manager Amanda Murray at
  • List of all Board Members and Key Staff Participating in Strategic Planning: This list should include the entirety of the Board and any staff members that will be taking part in the strategic planning process. If you are a department, division, or section of a larger organization utilizing a working group for strategic planning, please also identify all members of the working group.
  • Any Relevant Background Information: This can include brochures, rack cards, newsletters, etc. If you have received a survey or assessment previously, include a copy of the executive summary or full report.

Please use the 'Save Draft' button at the bottom of the form to save your progress as you complete the application. Users can exit and return to the saved application before submitting.

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