range needs and goals of your organization may often take a back seat
to the immediate needs of both the organizationís animals and people. Tackle the long view of your organization in a manageable, step-by-step process using the tools below.
The tools are excerpted chapters from the ASPCA publication, Making Plans to Make a Difference. View or download the chapters from the links below, or order a printed copy of the complete manual from the ASPCA Store.
Step 1: Discover
Good planning begins with information gathering, and information gathering begins with discovering who you are today. Use these tools to learn about the strengths of your organization and your community.
- Status Check (.pdf)
A status check uses data to give you a more precise picture of your organization's outcomes and progress on your initiatives.
- Community Assessment (.pdf)
community assessment describes a community's successes and limitations
in dealing with a specific problems, such as ferals or pet
- Competitive Analysis (.pdf)
competitive analysis compares your programs to similar services
targeting the same audiences. The results help you identify where and
how you'll be most successful.
- Benchmarking (.pdf)
assessments and benchmarking are processes in which you look for what
works in other organizations to determine successful practices you can
adopt or adapt for your organization.
Step 2: Dream
Yes, dreaming. Your dreams of making the world a better place are a powerful component of successful planning.
A mission statement declares your fundamental purpose to you and to the world. A good mission statement clarifies how your work will make the world a better place.
Step 3: Design
With a well-defined vision and mission, your organization can design objectives for getting where you've said you want to go.
- Effort Analysis (.pdf)
impact-for-effort analysis compares the effort you put into an
initiative to the impact the initiative can achieve. An effort analysis
of your programs helps you identify those that achieve the best return
for your investments of time, effort, and money.
- Designing Objectives (.pdf)
quantify what you want to accomplish. Setting objectives involves
choosing indicators of your organization's performance (that is,
defining how you will know when you're achieving your purpose) and
defining future targets.
- Financial Feasibility (.pdf)
financial feasibility study evaluates your ability to afford a project.
In this type of study, you detail the program costs, identify potential
sources of funding, and test the waters.
Step 4: Make It So
You know who you want to be and what you want to accomplish. Now, how do you make it happen?
- Fiscal Status Check (.pdf)
A fiscal status check examines where your money comes from and where it goes. The status check also guides you how to manage cash flow so that your money keeps up with your demand.
- Partnering Productively (.pdf)
one said you had to do it alone. A partnership involves jointly
pursuing activities with others in a manner that meets community needs
more effectively and benefits you and your partners.
- Developing a Business Plan (.pdf)
A business plan is a narrative picture of what you are going to do and how you are going to do it. It is both a roadmap to your success and proof to funders and other supporters that you are capable of "making it so."
Photo credit: Tommie © Maggie Swanson