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Sustainability Planning: Keys to Success. What is Sustainability Planning?. The process of sitting down to develop specific strategies and an action plan to help ensure the long-term sustainability of an initiative

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sustainability planning keys to success

Sustainability Planning: Keys to Success

© 2006 The Finance Project

what is sustainability planning
What is Sustainability Planning?
  • The process of sitting down to develop specific strategies and an action plan to help ensure the long-term sustainability of an initiative
  • Includes considering the full range of resources and competencies – financial, political, administrative, managerial – needed to meet long-term goals

© 2006 The Finance Project

why is planning for sustainability important
Why is Planning for Sustainability Important?
  • Many funding sources are short-term in nature
  • We operate in a rapidly changing environment
  • We can’t afford to lose qualityprograms and important innovations

© 2006 The Finance Project

why do sustainability planning
Why Do Sustainability Planning?
  • Clarify where you are and where you want to go
  • Develop strategies for long-term success
  • Provide benchmarks to measure progress
  • Demonstrate the value of your work

A written plan can provide overarching guidance for your initiative over time

© 2006 The Finance Project

key elements of sustainability
Key Elements of Sustainability
  • Vision
  • Results orientation
  • Strategic financing orientation
  • Adaptability to changing conditions
  • Broad base of community support
  • Key champions
  • Strong internal systems
  • Sustainability plan

© 2006 The Finance Project

1 vision
1. Vision

Clear & shared vision of what you want to achieve

  • Clear vision/mission statement
  • Use the vision to generate buy-in
  • Know how your initiative fits within the larger community
  • Define your scope of activities & scale of operation over time

© 2006 The Finance Project

2 results orientation
2. Results Orientation

Define success, measure progress over time & share your results

  • Adopt a results framework
  • Be clear about the results you want to achieve
  • Use data to “prove” and “improve”
  • Communicate your results

© 2006 The Finance Project

using results to further your sustainability goals
Using Results to Further Your Sustainability Goals
  • Develop systems for collecting and analyzing data
  • Keep it simple and reasonable
  • Know your audience
  • Communicate!, market!, and sell!

© 2006 The Finance Project

3 strategic financing orientation
3. Strategic Financing Orientation

What resources do you need to support your work?

  • What are the expected fiscal needs?
  • Make the best use of existing resources
  • Create partnerships
  • Explore new state and local revenue sources

© 2006 The Finance Project

4 adaptability to changing conditions
4. Adaptability to Changing Conditions

How do you respond to changes in your funding & policy environments?

  • Monitor announced opportunities for funding
  • Consider new ways to frame your work
  • Identify opportunities to improve policy climate
  • Participate in collaborative advocacy to encourage change
  • Work to improve ability to participate in these efforts

© 2006 The Finance Project

5 broad base of community support
5. Broad Base of Community Support

Whose support is critical to achieve your vision?

  • Develop a plan to create a desired identity
  • Nurture community presence & support
  • Encourage family involvement
  • Support public education
  • Build partnerships that foster collaboration rather than competition

© 2006 The Finance Project

6 key champions
6. Key Champions

Community leaders who can use power & influence on your behalf

  • Identify key decision makers & opinion leaders
  • Develop an effective outreach plan
  • Cultivate a broad base of champions

© 2006 The Finance Project

7 strong internal systems
7. Strong Internal Systems

Do you have the organizational capacity to accomplish your goals?

  • Know & involve the people you need to carry out your mission
  • Develop strong fiscal management, accounting, information and personnel systems
  • Use those systems to review strategies & make changes as needed

© 2006 The Finance Project

8 sustainability plan
8. Sustainability Plan

A written plan that describes the initiative’s priorities & action steps

  • Takes into account short- & long-term needs
  • Identifies challenges and/or obstacles
  • Identifies strategies to garner needed resources & overcome challenges
  • Identifies & communicates with key partners

© 2006 The Finance Project

planning for sustainability key questions
Planning for Sustainability: Key Questions
  • What do you want to sustain?
  • At what scale & scope?
  • What will it cost?
  • What resources do you have?
  • What are the barriers?
  • What are viable strategies to achieve your goals?

© 2006 The Finance Project

sustainability planning success factors
Sustainability Planning: Success Factors

Start early!

Determine available resources

Involve diverse group of stakeholders

Big/creative thinkers

Decision makers

Key partners

Users of services

Integrate into management routine

© 2006 The Finance Project

additional resources
Additional Resources
  • Sustainability Planning Workbook
  • Other Resources on Financing & Sustainability
    • Available at:

© 2006 The Finance Project

contacting us
Contacting Us

The Finance Project

1401 New York Ave, NW

Suite 800

Washington, DC 20005

© 2006 The Finance Project