10 ways to use work plans

We often do training for startup Main Street organizations who just cannot seem to grasp the importance and central role of work plans in Main Street revitalization. For a recent client, we developed this short piece that lists ten ways to use work plans.

  1. Use your work plan as a volunteer recruitment tool to show individuals as well as partnering groups exactly what you need them to do, since all the tasks are listed.
  2. To give confidence to  a new program, your work plans can show funders and others that you can complete complex events  with volunteers running the show, because all the tasks and money needed is written down.
  3. As a blue print for next year’s budget planning, your work plan can be used as a baseline document from which you can make improvements.
  4. The Board can use work plans to prevent taking on ill advised projects, or poorly performing projects hosted by others that they want to foist on your very successful organization
  5. Work plans approved by the board allow the Executive Director to say no to pet projects suggested by others. “I’m sorry our Promotion Committee just cannot take on another project because our Board has voted on our work plan for the year.”
  6. Use several years worth of work plans to help with forecasting budget increases, staffing and strategic planning.
  7. Use your work plans show local government how many groups with whom your program partners in a given year
  8. Work plans permits funders to understand how well you manage scores of volunteers with only one staff member and why they should invest in your well run organization.
  9. Use your work plan as a raw annual report showing what your program accomplished in the year.
  10. Use the work plan to celebrate all the fantastic achievements of the Board, Staff and volunteers when the fiscal year is done.

Have other ideas? We would love to hear them.