Goals help define your organization, give direction and avoid chaos. Goals can help motivate members by communicating what the organization is striving for as well as providing a basis of recognizing accomplishments and successes. Organizations that set goals are more effective in recruiting members.
There are three levels of defining your organization's priorities:
- Purpose or Mission is a broad, general statement that tells why your organization exists: usually doesn't change from year to year and is often the first statement in your constitution.
- Goals are statements describing what your organization wishes to accomplish, stemming from your purpose or mission. Goals are the ends toward which your efforts will be directed and often change from term to term or year to year, depending on the nature of the group.
- Objectives are descriptions of exactly what is to be done, derived from the goals; clear specific statements of measurable tasks that will be accomplished as steps toward reaching your goals. They are short term and have deadlines. Be realistic! Shoot high, but realize the implications.
Setting Goals Together
Set your goals as a group. Make sure you set aside enough time. Make sure everyone's ideas are represented. This creates many positive results because people will support and be responsible for what they help create. You can expect:
- Greater commitment and motivation among officers and members to help achieve goals.
- Clearer understanding of the goals and the rationale for selecting them.
- With everyone's ideas and opinions considered, your goals will represent a group consensus rather than one person's opinion.
Steps for Setting Goals & Objectives:
- Brainstorm a list of potential goals as a group.
- Choose from the brainstorm list those you want to work on.
- Determine objectives for each goal and plans of action for each objective. (Remember there can be several objectives for each goal).
- Move into action, follow through. (Many groups fail to evaluate and revise; thus their goals are never achieved).
- Include a closing statement.
Developing an Action Plan
- What is to be done?
- How will it be accomplished?
- What are your resources in terms of people, money and materials?
- Who is responsible for completing each task?
- What is the deadline?
- How will you know when it is accomplished? How will you measure the results?
Example of an Action Plan
Goal - To improve membership recruitment, retention and involvement.
Objective - To develop a committee whose purpose is to increase member involvement to at least 40% by next term.
How - Brainstorm ideas to increase member involvement. Go over this list and weed out all those ideas that are impractical or impossible to do. Discuss this edited list with the executive board/leadership. Determine which will be done and delegate the final process of setting up this system to one or two executive officers.
Resources - Members, executive officers, handouts on recruitment, motivation and delegation.
Acceptable - membership involvement increases by 40-70%
Better than Expected - membership involvement increases by more than 70%