Setting Goals
Very often, we tend to overestimate what we can do in a year but underestimate what we can do in a few years. By looking ahead and planning for the future, we can set our strategies to accomplish our goals as well as plan for any uncertainties that may lie ahead. By doing so, you are setting your club to become a strong and powerful club ready to take on the challenges ahead. Sit down with the club and put together your long term plan by setting goals on what your club hopes to accomplish in membership, community contributions, as well as culture and style. Then, break down the goals into a series of steps to ensure you get there. The question then arises, how do we ensure we reach our goals?
Forming Measurable Objectives
So, you have your goal. Now it’s time for your club members to think of projects or tasks that are measurable that need to be accomplished in order to achieve the goal.
For example, if your goal is “to be the first Rotary club within your District to attract the most new members within the Rotary year”, you need to form attainable objectives and tie them into your recruiting activities to help you achieve your goal.
Ideally, you want to define at least 3 objectives to help you draw your plan of action. An example of a great objective that is measurable would be “increase membership by 35% within the first 6 months of the 2013-14 Rotary year”. A good objective has time elements associated to it to help you stay on track. The point here is to break down your goal into stages that you can achieve.
Plan of Action
Consider your plan of action to be a series of strategies to now help you accomplish the objectives you set. In other words, your plan of action includes what it is that you will need to do in order to ensure you meet your objective.
Therefore, if the objective outlined was to increase membership by 35% within the first 6 months, plans to do that might include:
  • Increasing awareness amongst community members about what your club does
  • Generating a list of qualified potential members
  • Improving and increasing number of guests at meetings
  • Researching and understanding other clubs membership strategies
However it isn’t enough simply list your plan of action. Add a time element to each idea to help you stay on track.
The next step are your actual ‘how to’ steps – your strategies. What actions will you need to make to make sure your plans come together?
For each idea you outlined in your plan, try to brainstorm at least 3 strategies that will help you achieve those plans. This is a good idea because if you find that one of your strategies isn’t yielding results, you have a range of various strategies to help you accomplish what you set out to do.
As an example, if one of your plans included “increasing awareness amongst community members”, strategies to accomplish that might include:
  • Creating a social media strategy
  • Hosting an open house for community members
  • Contacting local newspapers and community blogs
Finally, we reach tactics – the absolute specifics of your strategies. Tactics are the actual actionable steps you take to now finally carry out your strategies.
Tactics for promoting the club through social media channels would be:
  • Forming a social media committee
  • Opening Social Media accounts on channels such as Facebook and Twitter
  • Posting meaningful content regularly (and determining what gets posted by whom)
  • Getting club members involved in inviting their family and friends to follow and help promote social media channels
  • Enabling the Facebook like button on your ClubRunner site
  • Linking social media channels back to the club website and other sites in order to reach target audience

All the steps outlined here are simple. Although, this may appear to be a long drawn out process, more often than not, we come up with a goal and immediately jump to what we’ve defined as tactics in this article as we tend to interpret them as our strategies. While that may work for some, many fail to accomplish their goals because of the lack of measurable elements. By setting measurable objectives, plans of action and strategies that have a time element associated with them, you basically create a timeline for you and your club members to follow to make sure you reach your goal. The advantage of doing this is you are able to assess and reassess at every point to see where the club is in terms of its long term strategy, and make adjustments as necessary. Keep every member involved in this process so everyone is accountable on the state of the club, and therefore also is attributable to its success.
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