Putting your plan into words

A pile of story books with a mug on top of them

I recently became a trustee for a local literacy charity, ABC to read. We train volunteers to go into schools and work one to one with children who are struggling to read. Supporting them in this way builds their motivation to read and increases their confidence and life skills. It’s a genuine honour to be part of such a fabulous organisation and helping to improve the lives of children.

My first task is writing a business plan for the next 3 years. This is an interesting exercise for any business and especially so for a small charity. Our previous plan is coming to an end and this provides the ideal time to reflect on how we’re doing, what we’ve achieved and the impact we’ve had. It’s a chance to look at whether there are other things we could be adding to our core service that will help more children and, equally, whether there are things that don’t make much difference that we should stop.

A business plan not only guides our aims, objectives and activities over the coming years, it also acts as a great communication tool. By focussing our thinking, it helps us pin down what we want to say about ourselves and our work and how we want to say it. There are many people who want or need to know about us and our work – staff, volunteers, schools, parents, children, funders, other organisations and so on. They will all be interested in different aspects and want different levels of detail, so our business plan gives us a consistent base to draw information from. Our communication will be clearer and more effective and it will make our lives easier to have a ready-made starting point for each new grant application or information leaflet.

I have seen first hand with other charities that I’ve worked with how helpful a business plan can be and I’m delighted to now be part of the next plan for ABC to read.

Until next time

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