Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Community Planning

First Advisor

Marcia Marker Feld


This research project will be a case study of the strategic planning process. More specifically, the project will "pattern match" (Yin, 1989) the actual strategic planning process of a non-profit organization, Seniors Helping Others, with the theoretical framework outlined by Backoff and Nutt in A Process for Strategic Management with Specific Application for the Nonprofit Organization (1988).

The project will be presented in the following chapters:

Chapter 1 - Literature Review: This chapter will describe the existing literature on the strategic planning process, beginning with the definitions of strategic planning and proceeding to the future of this technique. The chapter concludes with a formulation of this project and how the project is justified in the context of the current literature.

Chapter 2 - Theoretical Framework: This chapter will focus on a theoretical framework of strategic planning that is used to assess this project. Most of this chapter will be a detailed description of each step of the selected model, as well as a discussion on some of the planning techniques used in the process. In addition there will be a brief explanation of why this model was selected rather than other strategic planning models outlined previously in Chapter 1.

Chapter 3 - Case Example: This chapter will examine the strategic planning process as experienced by the case-study, a non-profit organization. The chapter will begin with a description of the case-study, a nonprofit organization; its mission, goals and objectives; its clients; and its programs. The organizations rationale for undertaking the strategic planning process will next be discussed. Last, this chapter will detail the process that the organization undertook beginning with the decision to formulate a strategic plan through the completion of the process.

Chapter 4 - Findings and Conclusions: This chapter will combine the findings of the case study example with the theoretical framework outlined by Backoff and Nutt (1988) and discussed in Chapter 2. The purpose of this is to assess how well the actual events fit the selected strategic planning model. The comparison between the case study example and the theoretical framework will be accomplished by employing a technique called pattern matching. The first part of this chapter will attempt to match Senior Helping Other's (SHO) process against the selected theoretical framework specifically looking for areas where SHO did not follow the model. The next section will address the issues that SHO encountered during the process that were not provided for in the model. Finally, conclusion will be drawn and suggestions will be given based on the above findings.