Before you start planning any specific activities, you need to define your overall goals and objectives formally.
Defining your goals One option is to sum up your goals in a 'mission statement' — a short statement expressing the reason for your group's existence. To give you a flavour of what a mission statement might sound like, here is Oxfam's mission statement:
"To create lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and social injustice."
If you do not want to write a formal mission statement, you could make a simple list of objectives instead.
The main thing is to make sure all the members of your group are actively involved in defining the objectives and that everyone has a copy of the list of goals.
Consider options for action
The next step is to work out the best practical ways of achieving your goals. Brainstorming can be a good way of gathering ideas!
The sort of ideas you come up with will depend on your issue, the experience or skills of your members, your financial resources and the local situation. For example, members of the organisation, ‘Streetwise’, might come up with the following suggestions for getting information to their communities about HIV and AIDS:
- Distribute fact sheets
- Talk to friends and relations
- Stage short dramas in the street and at school
- Put on a presentation in class or to their families
- Make a short film to be shown on TV or at the cinema
- Write an article for a newspaper
- Write and record a song
- Do puppet shows
- Produce a programme for local radio
- Create a website
Once you have gathered as many ideas as you can, the next step is to think about how well each proposed activity would help you to meet your goals. You'll need to balance difficulty against potential impact!
Now get going and lay out your goals and actions!