Organization-Wide Objective Setting

Hi all! Long-time reader, first time poster.

I am a program director at a medium-sized humanitarian nonprofit (+3M annual revenue, 11 FT staff). Every year, the way we approach organization-wide objectives is the same, but I'm not sure it's the most effective. The CEO drafts a set of objectives, the executive team (myself and three others) provide feedback, and we all present them to the rest of the team pretty much fully-baked. At the end of every single year, our CEO always gets to the same conclusion – the objectives he wrote are too vague, too lofty, or he's tried to "boil the ocean" (i.e try to please everyone by including too many non-strategic projects) rather than get at the core of the organization's mandate/programming. These objectives inform director level objectives, which in turn inform PM/associate objectives. And everything is supposed to tie into our 3-year strategy. It has been this way since we were a two-person organization 7 years ago.

We're back at it again for 2022 (also our FY22), albeit much earlier than in previous years (at my and others' urging) so that our organization's objectives inform our budget, rather than the other way around. Having never been privy to this process at other nonprofits I've worked at, I'm curious if we can do this better, so… how does your org set objectives?

submitted by /u/steegesaurus27
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