As you grow as an organisation, planning becomes increasingly important. There are different levels of planning and this section provides you with tools to help with the process. Remember that any plan needs to be flexible, enabling you to respond to changes in your organisation or the environment in which it works.
Your organisation may just have one project which requires a straightforward project plan or you may wish to develop a full business/strategic plan for your organisation.
If you are thinking of applying for funding or have a number of funding streams considering your funding strategy is particularly useful.
It is always important to involve staff, trustees and users in the development of any plan and you may wish to consider holding an Away Day to work on the plan together. Remember the old adage, "Two heads are better than one".
Are you reading for funding?
When planning your projects, it is important for your group to ask itself:
- Is the project really needed – will it meet a need and make a difference?
- Does it fit with your other activities and your original aims?
- Who is doing similar things – why will your project be different?
- Will it attract sufficient resources?
- Are the expected results realistic and worth the effort?
- What will you need to make it happen?
- Have you got the capacity to plan and manage this project? If not, can you get training / recruit new committee members / adjust your plans? The skills you need to have will change over time – the initial excitement, enthusiasm and 'push' will need to give way to efficient financial and human resource management.
Organisation or Business Plan
Once your organisation is established, it is important to review your strategic direction on a regular basis. Much of the information in these pages is relevant at all stages of development. An important way to move forward is by preparing a Business Plan.
Sections usually found in a Business Plan include:
- Executive summary – an overview of the plan
- Aims and Objectives
- Membership and Governance
- Background and research
- Current Activities
- Development Plans (including project plans)
- Risk Analysis
- Quality assurance
The important thing is that you include trustees, staff, volunteers and users in the process and review your plan regularly.
Be prepared to change your plans if new opportunities arise or some activities are unsuccessful.
Developing a Fundraising Strategy Worksheet
There is a Developing a Fundraising Strategy Worksheet Please click here to download.
- Development plan / Business plan: Detailed document setting out what your group wants to achieve over a period of time, why it has these priorities, how they will work in practice (project plans), and what is needed – people, space, equipment, money – to carry out the plan.
- Fundraising Plan: Used to plan your fundraising to achieve these priorities. Identifies the funds you will need for each activity, what’s involved in applying to them, who will do what, and to what timescales.
Are you ready for funding?
- Being clear about what you are doing now, and what you want to do in the future is vital for fundraising.
- Fundraising needs to be co-ordinated, and a plan will help to give everyone an overview of the whole process.
- The plan needs to be realistic, with some fairly quick, achievable tasks in the first stage – otherwise people lose heart.
- To help you develop your fundraising plan, we have produced a range of information sheets which will guide you through the process. These include: Aims and Objectives; Proving and Meeting Need; Planning a Project; Developing a Budget; Where to go for the money; The Process – who will do what, and when.
There is a wide range of help sheets available at www.members.community-matters.org.uk although you are asked to pay a modest subscription to access these, it also gives you access to CMY’s funding database and the monthly funding newsletter.
The Community Matters vision is to provide a sustainable and effective "hub" of learning, support, advice and guidance, enabling local communities and organisations to grow and achieve through the provision of a high quality service.
We do this in a number of ways through our various projects which at the moment concentrate on working with children, young people and families. But not exclusively. We are able to provide training, learning opportunities and business related advice, guidance and information to individuals and organisations.