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Shaping The Vision PDF Print E-mail

When an organization begins to think about membership growth or expansion of services, or any significant project that will require capital or special resources heretofore not available, executive staff and volunteer leadership should begin the formulation of the Vision for the Future that eventually will be expressed in the campaign Case for Support. Any strategic, long-range, or master plan currently in place or under development should be incorporated as background into this important discussion. This is also an appropriate opportunity to revisit plans that may have been previously shelved or abandoned due to lack of funds or interest.

Chairpersons of committees responsible for various aspects of the organization's mission should be consulted for suggestions. Good questions to stimulate discussion might be: "What would your program look like, if you had unlimited resources?" or "What would you like to accomplish that you can't accomplish now without additional resources?" Remember that the objective is not simply to produce a list of needs, but to relate those needs to an integrated Vision for the Future. The focus must always be on mission and the effects of the organization's programs and services, not merely on things that one department or another would like to have.

As the Vision for the Future is crafted, it will be necessary to identify and quantify the means necessary to achieve the desired end. This may involve expansion or renovation of existing facilities, purchase of new facilities, upgrading of equipment, hiring of additional staff, or development of new programs. The means for accomplishing the Vision become objectives in the Campaign Case, and each objective should be described in terms of both its intended benefits and its required resources: e.g., "renovation of rest rooms to permit handicap access - $10,000" or "new education wing providing six additional classrooms and two additional offices - $300,000." If capital expansion or expenditures are anticipated, it will be necessary to consult architects, contractors, and other potential vendors to determine accurate cost estimates. These data will be important for the work of the Planning Team in the months ahead.