The Vision and How To Get There
The first step towards achieving the vision is to create an action plan. The final document will describe the overall strategy but focus on action steps. My role is to facilitate this process. Working together, we will detail issues and needs, objectives, and benefits to the public.
We will then develop a long-term budget and outreach campaign that illustrates your plan. Both are essential. Funders need to see that your budget supports your process, and it is this budget that will serve as a tracking tool for grant reporting. Even more important is that people know about the vision beyond just your core group. I will help create or revise your website, social media, and outreach efforts to mirror your goals – then your message will ring out, and when this happens, your path will be a rewarding one.
Your action plan will provide the community, council members, executive directors, staff, and volunteers, with a concise, clear, and united message to articulate to donors, foundations, and partners - both on paper and in person. The plan is your map; it is your "to-do" list.
Cornerstones of my approach with rural clients:
Creating opportunities out of obstacles: We tackle obstacles by focusing on activities to achieve the vision.
Capacity-Building: The long-range vision is only sustainable if the community, local project organizer, or group has the hands-on understanding to move forward. Once we have your vision recorded, I can train those involved in carrying out the action plan and long-term management.
Engagement = Ownership = Empowerment.
Assets. What are they? A river, a good restaurant, a pumpkin farm, forests, history, a great choir, a train track, etc. Around 2008 I attended my first conference for rural grassroots organizations in North Carolina. The speaker displayed a map of NC's untouched natural areas and asked the participants to identify these areas. When done, the host projected a digital overlay showing NC's economically depressed areas. Near perfect alignment. It was my aha moment.