Planning for community organisations

Forward planning is critical to the success of your community organisation. Use this page to find out what plans your organisation should develop and maintain.

Why is forward planning important?

Planning enables your community organisation to:

  • proactively clarify and communicate its purpose, direction, priorities and future plans
  • adopt a systematic approach to change
  • develop a unified approach so that all members work towards common goals
  • coordinate activities and review achievements
  • effectively manage resources.

Without planning, community organisations tend to deal with immediate problems and often fail to make the best use of resources and opportunities.

Types of plans

Your community organisation should have the following types of plans to ensure you are moving in your desired direction in a unified manner.

Strategic/business plan

A strategic or business plan is a longer-term plan that outlines your organisation's vision, mission, values, long-term objectives, strategic priorities and rationale. All decisions should align with the strategic plan.

Operational plan

An operational plan is an annual plan that outlines your organisation's short-term priorities, actions and resources required to deliver on the strategic/business plan. It details the key actions your organisation needs to undertake to achieve its goals.

Facility plan

A facility plan is a plan for how your organisation's facilities will be managed, including any future development works or changes needs to meet the organisation's long-term objectives.

Project plan

A project plan is developed as needed and outlines how a specific project (e.g. lighting, facility development, redevelopment works) will be delivered, including the resources required and timeframes.

The strategic/business plan and annual budget are intrinsically linked and should always be considered together. A strategy without a budget is useless.

Planning tips

Any plan your organisation develops should:

  • be as clear and succinct as possible
  • use simple language
  • be shared with, and communicated to, the appropriate people within your organisation and relevant stakeholders. For example, your strategic/business plan should be shared with all members.

Council tenants should discuss any proposed plans involving new development or redevelopment works that will require Council approval (as landlord) before detailing them in long-term planning documents to verify the proposed works are supported.

Planning is a continual and ongoing process.

Your organisation's strategic/business and operational plans should be:

  • used for decision making
  • monitored to determine organisational progress and evaluate success
  • reviewed regularly to ensure their ongoing relevance in the current and future environment
  • changed as needed to respond to internal and external influences and outcomes.

Resources and support

Related links

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