3 Tools to Move a Non-Profit from Concept to Creation
Creative ideas are often what drive arts-based non-profits but it takes more than creative ideas to develop an organization, secure funding and put programs into action.
Action & Vision
An organization needs to have leadership with both a vision for the future and management skills for the present. Funders are attracted to innovative ideas, however funders are also concerned with solid organizational practices. Granting agencies look for organizations to have not only an inspirational vision but also a method for actualizing that vision and putting creative projects into practice.
Building the Foundation
As the calendar year comes to a close I am spending time thinking about our foundation, looking at our small accomplishments, our future goals and determining what foundational elements SpeakArtLoud needs to have in place.
SpeakArtLoud has already completed many of the necessary legal documents (those pesky IRS forms are still being worked on) but there is still more organizational development work to do. In the next quarter I plan to focus on 3 elements to help us move forward.
(1) Manifesto – When I began exploring the idea of starting a non-profit I drafted a manifesto . I did this as a way to clarify my guiding principles and the intent of my actions. I would like to revisit this earlier work and then spend some time talking with the Board about our organizations values. I’m not sure if the manifesto will ever become an official organizational document but the dialogue will help us to solidify why and how we work.
(2) Annual Plan – An annual plan, which could also called a strategic plan, is really just a map for where the organization is going in the next year. In the plan the Board will identify goals and then list specific steps along the way toward those goals. We will also use this plan as tool to keep us moving in the right direction.
(3) Editorial Calendar – Setting up a schedule for publishing information is really helpful in planning for work and controlling publication across various media. In our editorial calendar we will determine publication dates for our blog, and note when to share updates on Facebook and Twitter and we will identify topic to focus on each month.
Using these three tools is one more step forward in building a solid foundation and moving SpeakArtLoud forward.