Third and Fourth Sectors

The People Pages: Planning to Achieve Your Goals

from The People Pages: Resources for Social Change (c) 2003 The Fruition Coalition

Goals are used to guide an organization’s activities and gauge its progress toward its vision and mission.  Goal setting is an integral part of every planning process.  They should be set and monitored in just about every area of operations including programs and services, fundraising, human resources, and finances.

The steps that are taken in the goal setting process are:

  1. Reaffirm your vision and mission statements.
  2. Assess the internal and external situation and gain an understanding of how this affects your organization’s work.
  3. Review your recent activities and decide what needs to be changed.  Make a list of these things and categorize them into operational areas.
  4. For each thing that needs to be changed, set measurable and realistic goals.  Every goal should be measurable so that you can determine whether or not it has been achieved.
  5. Break each goal down into an action plan. An action plan lists tasks that must be accomplished in order for the goal to be achieved.  Assign each task to a specific person.  Figure out how much it will cost and how long it will take.
  6. If goals are partially or completely not achieved, set new goals that reflect what you have learned and what has changed internally and externally since the original goal was set.

Goals can be quantified in a number of ways, including:

    • Number of participants
    • Number of sessions completed
    • Increase or decrease in spending or income
    • Time to complete projects or phases of projects
    • Change in behavior, attitudes, or opinion

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