Strategic planning

All clubs should have a plan which guides their strategic direction into the future. Strategic planning should be used as a basis for managing operations.

A strategic plan identifies a path for your club to follow. It sets out what you want to achieve and what steps you need take to get there.

The process of preparing a strategic plan should be a collaborative effort between your committee and members. It is an opportunity to develop an agreed direction and shared responsibility to help steer the organisation in that direction. A good strategic plan has the potential to generate renewed enthusiasm for the organisation.

Your plan should guide important actions over a medium term, usually three to five years.

Basic strategic planning

In its most basic form, a strategic plan might include:

  • Your vision for the future (in one sentence or phrase)
  • Your club’s purpose - or mission (in a sentence or two)
  • A list of goals (the things you want to achieve)
  • Actions to achieve each goal.

Clubs with Silver level Go Clubs accreditation have access to a basic club strategic plan template to guide the strategic planning process. If you’re not ready to take on the full strategic planning process yet, Bronze level accredited clubs have access to a club vision worksheet to get started with defining the club’s vision for the future.

Detailed strategic planning

A more detailed strategic plan might include:

  • Your vision for the future (in one sentence or phrase)
  • Your club’s purpose - or mission (in a sentence or two)
  • Current situation analysis (investigation and your competitors)
  • A brief organisational history
  • A list of goals (the things you want to achieve)
  • Actions to achieve each goal
  • An action plan (a schedule providing more detail for each action, such as resource requirements, the time frames for completion and who is responsible).

Clubs with Gold level Go Clubs accreditation have access to a detailed club strategic plan template to guide the strategic planning process.

Strategic planning tips

In preparing a strategic plan, consider the following:

  • Encourage participation outside of your management committee, inviting members, parents, volunteers and other stakeholders to help build a well-considered plan for the future
    ○ Don’t allow the strategic plan to be developed by a single individual who ‘has all the answers’
  • Hold a dedicated planning workshop where you can put aside the organisation’s day-to-day operational matters
  • Be prepared by doing some research prior to your planning workshop
    ○ Complete the Go Clubs ‘Club Health Check’ to gain an understanding of your club’s status and areas needing improvement
  • Consider a brief survey of all members prior to preparing your plan
    ○ The survey may reveal members’ views on what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ about the club, what issues exist and
    what opportunities should be explored.  T
    he results of the survey can be used as a foundation for your ‘current situation analysis', to be built upon in your planning workshop
  • Analyse your financial records, including the financial position over the past few years
  • Analyse membership records○ See if there are any trends over the past few years such as an increase in overall participation or changes in age or gender profiles
  • Bring in an external person to facilitate your planning workshop
    ○ This independent person may be from another club, from your regional or state associations, or a professional facilitator
    ○ An external facilitator can be invaluable in keeping your workshop on track, drawing out important issues for discussion, summarising the information being discussed, and managing group dynamics and
    personalities at the meeting
  • Ask stakeholders outside of your club to provide feedback on your draft plan
    ○ e.g. parents, development officers, contacts at Council

    ○ A second opinion may be helpful to ensure an important issue or opportunity hasn’t been missed
  • Formally adopt the strategic plan at a management committee meeting and make it available to members at your venue and perhaps via a members’ portal on your website
  • Personalise the plan by adding your club logo and photos and reformat it using your club’s colours.

Strategic plan implementation

Developing a good strategic plan is well worth the investment of time that it takes. The information in your plan can provide the guidelines for your organisations long-term success. Because of this, it is important that your plan doesn’t get lost in a drawer or somewhere on a computer to collect e-dust.

The following will help with the successful implementation of your strategic plan:

  • Your strategic plan, or an excerpt or summary, should be prominently displayed at your venue and on your website, and electronic copies should be distributed to members who wish to obtain a copy
  • Make sure key stakeholders outside of the club are aware of your strategic plan
    ○ Provide copies to your local Councillor, peak bodies and sponsors to ensure all potential supporters are
    aware of your club’s aspirations
  • A committee member should be designated the responsibility of overseeing the implementation of the strategic plan (maybe the vice president)
  • Actions required to implement the plan should be shared amongst committee members, officials and volunteers
  • The strategic plan should feature prominently in regular club reporting
    ○ The committee member responsible for overseeing implementation should frequently report progress to the committee (e.g. include it as a standing agenda item), which should be recorded in minutes and
    communicated to members
  • Tasks outlined in the action plan should be incorporated into your annual budget, with funding applications submitted for identified projects where relevant
  • Review the strategic plan annually (in a formal way such as an annual planning workshop) to check on progress and review priorities, adjusting the action plan as required
  • A brand new strategic plan should be prepared every three to five years to seek a fresh perspective on the club’s future and to involve current members.