Six Steps to Sustainability Planning

You begin where you are. First, you have to know where you are.

Directions: You are going to score your program in each of the following areas from zero to two. To score: a solid “yes” is two, “sort of” is a one , and if the answer is “no” or “I don’t know”, then the score is zero.

1. Clarify your vision Score _____________
Can you communicate your program vision clearly? Do you and your staff know specifically who you are and what you stand for? Can you tell others clearly and succinctly?

For example, can you give your Mission in ten to twelve words? If I walked into your building, would  anyone I talked with speak the same language and message? If I asked, “What’s going on here?” could they tell me in less than a minute?

2. Determine what you want to sustain Score _____________
Do you know in specific terms what it is you want to sustain? Do you have clear Outcomes & Goals? Can you assess exactly how you are doing? How would you rate exactly where you are in key capacity components: Mission & Strategy, Governance & Leadership, Finance, Internal Operations & Management (facilities, equipment & supplies, skills & staffing), and Program delivery & Impact, Strategic Relationships?

3. Build collaboration Score _____________
Do you work together well, as staff, as part of the community, with partners, funders, the people you serve? Do you have multiple levels of working together: Collaboration, Cooperation, Coordination, Contractors, and Competition? Do you have an up to date list of potential donors and supporters. Do you have a process for growing these lists?

4. Decide upon your desired strategies Score _____________
Can you describe your strategies and methods/tactics for growing the organization? Do you have a workgroup to address sustainability and strategic planning? Do you have a checklist of strategies and specific tactics? Does your plan distinguish between strategies, tactics or goals, objectives, benchmarks, outcomes or outputs and activities? Is your strategic plan up revised regularly?

5. Develop action steps for sustainability (and funding) Score _____________
Have you analyzed it where your funding comes from? Do you use a mix of strategies to “maximize your resources (e.g. Blend, Braid, Leverage, and Diversify)? Do you have a process for identifying the best strategies for you? Have you identified what funding strategies serve you best and how they are changing? Have you developed specific processes for developing new funding streams or prospects?

6. Document and Communicate your sustainability success. Score _____________
Can you show me records on what should be sustained and why? Do you have a media binder, collecting all magazine and newspaper stories or interviews about your program? Have you designed your Social Media platform? Do you have a portfolio binder or website showing pictures, statistics and stories on your history of success, collaboration and activities – and how people can contribute – join in to support you.

If you have questions, please contact me at my contact page.