Creating a Club plan is a great way to set-up a framework and plan that will help guide your Club through the year. It’s also exciting because it fully illuminates just how much your Club can accomplish in one year!
If successful, you will create a document that gives direction and clarity to everyone in your Club on what the Club is aiming towards generally and in the coming year. Your year plan will be a document that is referenced widely when planning activities and when you look back at the accomplishments of your Club at the end of the year.
Most Common Problems
No Team Buy-in
If this is your Club’s first year you probably don’t have a team yet, so can ignore this. For people in their second year, no team buy-in happens when the Club Captain(s) works alone on the year plan and creates a document that the members don’t support or have ownership over.
No follow-up is when a good year plan is created but is buried as soon as it is finished, and when the plan doesn’t get referenced throughout the year.
Finished Too Late
You know a year plan is finished too late when it’s finished two or three months after it should be. The first few months of the year are incredibly important and if a year plan is finished too late it is much less useful. A year plan should be finished within the first 2 months of the Club’s initiation so that it can be used to maximize the time available for Clubs to take action based on it.
With the above points in mind, let’s look at the actual process.
2. Year planning process
As outlined above, the process for completing a year plan and making it the guiding document for your Club is as important as the content of the document itself.
Identify the key stakeholders in your Club (executives, staff advisor, actively involved members etc.), what role you would like them to have in the year planning process, and what role they expect to have in the year planning process.
B. Process buy-in
Getting complete buy-in to the process of completing the year plan, from all of the stakeholders you identified, is equally important to getting buy-in to the final content of the year plan. This consideration is perhaps most often forgotten and can be a source of tension.
C. Content creation
A process for content creation depends on how many people you have involved in the process. If it’s just a small group, it can be fairly informal. If your Club is larger planning might look something like:
A process for content creation could look something like:
- Club Captains structure a brainstorming session on overall focus, goals, objectives and activities – share with Regional Coordinator
- Club Captains summarize the results of the brainstorming session for the executive/members
- Club Captains complete a first draft of the goals, circulate to the rest of the executive (and/or members - depending on the size of the club) and structures a review session. Overall goals may be revised iteratively throughout the process.
- Review of draft year plan document with entire executive team/membership
- Final draft of year plan document shared with Regional Coordinator before presentation to general membership and any other stakeholders
Remember to set dates and timelines for the process, especially if you’re working with a larger group!
D. Communication of year plan (making it relevant day-to-day)
The planning process does not end with the completion of this document. As an open source Club we encourage you to post your mission and goals everywhere! Your website, social sites, emails, and posters. This will also help you connect with people who share your passion and vision for the web.
You should check-in with your Club’s work at least once a semester to make sure you’re still adhering to your mission and working towards your goals.
3. Year plan content
A. Mission Statement
This is the sexiest part of your Club plan, the statement that will get the right people giddy to sign-up when they hear or read it. It should capture what your club aims to do so well that it sounds like a strategy. Ask your Club the question “above all else, what do we hope to accomplish.”
You should read the recommended activities to get an idea of the kinds of tools you have for achieving your goals, and what kinds of options you might want to pursue.
Goals are directional in nature and help guide the writing of specific objectives that when completed, lead to the goals being achieved. Most of the goals should align with the key programs and functions of your Club listed below:
Member Education - These are your goals about creating a group where your members are actively learning, continuously engaged, and consistently growing their skills throughout the year.
Membership Building - These are your goals around building a strong membership of engaged people. Recruiting new members, retaining existing members, and making sure you have a healthy Club culture are all part of this.
Executive Building (optional)- These are your goals around recruiting, retaining, and maintaining a strong leadership team.
Build The Web- What will your club aim to accomplish this year to ensure that the web remains a public global resource, open and accesible for all. See the activities page for inspiration.