A Goal without a Plan is just a WISH (Pt.1)

Who is repsonsible for executing the plan - the finger knows!

Does this get my mission down the road?

In clear goal setting, it is important to keep your reasons for existence in mind: if your goal is to save the whales, will hosting a casino night help you do that? How? Review big idea plans through the filter of the mission of your group; measure how this new idea helps the long term raison d’etre for your group.

The board has signed on to this organization because they want to see change in their community, and the E.D., staff and members each have their role towards achieving that end.

Remember your blue sky dreams from my last post? These are the big things you want for your organization. We started with what you might want, ideally, now we need to work toward how to make that happen.

How do we figure out who does what?

How will this goal be achieved? At this time the E.D. and staff have a lot to offer: what resources currently exist, what obstacles may be in front of you, what opportunities could be realized, and what threats to this work exist. In other words, a SWOT ( strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) perspective is very helpful.

Let’s take a look at two simple examples:

  • You want to raise some awareness about your cause(heard this anywhere?.)
    • What do you mean by awareness?
    • Who needs to know?
    • Where are they?
    • What do they watch, read or listen to?

How can you design your plan to most directly address these questions?

  • You want to raise more funds for operating expenses.
    • How much do you need?
    • How much do you want to raise?
    • What other expenses does your firm cover that your donors might prefer to support?
    • How can you create a compelling story that shows your donors how important this aspect of the organization is?

What is the best way to tell this story that means something to the donor that will inspire them to give?

Let’s Get Started

This will give you an idea of how to begin the goal-setting process; and some structure around which you can then build your activities. Being clear on WHO needs to hear the message, and WHAT that message needs to say is the absolute first critical step.

Say you decide a good way to let new people know about you is to create a flyer: one that contains the issue or problem, your approach for a solution and what you need and want from this new set of eyes.

  • Is the flyer printed or online, or both? How will it be designed for one or the other publication method?
  • Where and how will it be distributed?
  • How will you get it in front of the eyes you want?
  • Email, hard copy, poster, TV ad, radio spot, something else?
  • Handed out at an event, by your members, your board, your volunteers?

From good idea to good results requires many intermediate steps, and by asking the questions first, those steps become clear and easy to identify.

Want to bounce an idea off of us? Get in touch here or call us on 310 828 6979.

A Goal without a Plan is just a WISH (Pt.1)

Cindy Lauren - Lauren Associates - non profit consultingCindy Lauren is the Principal of Lauren Associates – non profit consulting

As well as advising Executives and Boards on all aspects of nonprofit management, the firm specializes in developing fundraising solutions for all sizes of organizations.

Connect with Cindy: Twitter, Linkedin, Quora

Image Credit:
You’re it! – Tagged by Sudhamshu on Flickr