by Ray on September 29, 2021


What are Strategic Performance Indicators (SPI)?

Strategic Performance Indicators help you manage the business side of your not-for-profit organization or ministry. What gets measured gets managed is a phrase that has been used often to encourage businesses to use standardized measurements to manage every day business. Some of these tools are known as business metrics, performance metrics, business indicators and performance ratios. For the most part, these metrics look only at past data and, therefore, only show you where you have been or what has already taken place in your business.

Indicators that reflect past performance certainly are useful and should be included in your dashboard. But if you want to know where you are going to end up over a certain period of time, you need to use Strategic Performance Indicators.

Using metrics that only look at past performance to make strategic decisions is like trying to drive your car by only looking in the rearview mirror. You are not going to get where you want to go if you only look at what has happened in the past. You need to be able to confidently know when to make course corrections so that you can reach your desired goal.

Strategic Performance Indicators or SPI’s help you make real time decision based on a predictive model using historical data to produce past performance indicators combined with strategic goals and forecasting projection trends. When you combine the right Strategic Performance Indicators into a dashboard, you have a tool that can help you know how your organization is performing including trend line and target.
A past performance financial statement or only one or two indicators will not give you confidence in reaching your goals. SPI’s give you the tools to make strategic real time decisions with greater confidence. Without the use of SPI’s, you are only hoping that things turn out for the good. HOPE is NOT a PLAN.

Start using Strategic Performance Indicators to know how your organization is doing and when to make decision or initiate changes to reach your goals.


1.  Failure to understand your target audiencee

2.  Marketing the wrong product or program

3.  Not building authentic relationships 

4.  Failure to get outside help in creating a fresh look

5.  Continuing a plan that isn’t producing results

6. Doing the same thing and expecting different results 

7. Trying to be all things to all people 

Please leave a comment and add your suggestions to the list.


1.  Lack of experience and knowledge

2.  Beginning programs without adequate plans

3.  Inadequate cash flow plans

4.  Poor marketing

5.   And sales plans

5.   Not counting the cost

6.  Failure to monitor key indicators

7.   Not funding deferred maintenance or depreciation

8.  Thinking  BIGGER is better

9.  Insufficient data on marketing trends

10.  Being unwilling to change with the times

Please leave a comment and add to the list.