Market Research & Strategic Planning

Georgia State University

Georgia State University (GSU) just completed a new five year strategic plan and the alumni association wanted to develop their first plan crafted to be in alignment with the university’s future aspirations. GSU is experiencing a time of unprecedented growth, and needs a comprehensive alumni program to help achieve the institution’s major goals.

This project included the design, distribution and analysis of an alumni survey as one key element of a six part environmental scan. A strategic planning committee was established, comprised of both university and alumni leaders. Patouillet Consulting, LLC facilitated the development of the plan through three half-day retreats and provided ongoing counsel with the alumni staff. Major features of the plan include a mission statement, values, vision, strategic directions, measurable goals and the tactics to achieve these goals. The entire plan fits on the front and back of a legal sized sheet of paper, creating a workable document which allows the association’s board and staff to monitor the ongoing progress of the alumni effort at GSU. A four colored version of the plan was also developed for marketing purposes. The planning process was very collaborative and resulted in a shared vision for the future of the GSU Alumni Association.

The plan was unanimously approved by the Georgia State University Alumni Association Board in June, 2012 and received strong support from GSU President Dr. Mark Becker and Vice President Mr. Walter Massey.
This strategic planning project is featured in the Holiday Issue, 2012 of Advancement and Nonprofit News & Views, Patouillet Consulting, LLC’s e newsletter. Georgia State’s Alumni Strategic Plan will be a session at the CASE III Conference in Atlanta in February, 2013.

Dr. Lee Patouillet, President of the firm, served as the lead consultant on this project. Patouillet served as the co-chair of the CASE Conference on Strategic Planning. He is widely regarded as a national expert in strategic planning and has helped develop countless plans for college, university and community based nonprofit organizations. Over the course of his 33 years of full-time advancement work, he led the effort to develop seven plans. One of these plans created for the University of Pittsburgh Alumni Association, received the CASE Gold Medal for Excellence and was used by Harvard’s Business School as a model of effective planning.

Christina Million, Executive Director of the GSU Alumni Association
“Lee Patouillet was integral to the success of this project. He helped direct us and kept us focused on the common goal. It is easy to get lost in the little things and forget the big picture, and he was able to keep everything on track. He provided great examples and materials to spark conversation and discussion. Also, his input was wonderful because sometimes wording can be easily misconstrued and/or overused. He provided great insight in the best way to present ourselves and the completed plan. Lee made my job so much easier, and I am thankful for all his guidance from start to finish.”