I had a call this morning with someone who runs a summer camp talking about how their web site can help their organization. It was a pro bono thing I did for a friend (I have a soft-spot for camps, being a former camp counselor myself). Here is my 15 minute method for developing a plan of action for your web site:
- Identify the top 2 or 3 objectives your organization has for the next 12 months or so.
- If you have no formal objectives, make some up. (I’m not kidding. It’s not hard if you know your organization well.)
- For each objective, identify at least one thing that your web site can contribute to success in that area.
- Go do them.
Simple but it lets you quickly identify actions you can take that will make a difference. Your planning can get more complex and comprehensive down the road if you feel the need for that but the important thing is to begin doing something, see how it works, and adjust going forward. It also lets you act even if your organization has little in the way of strategic direction at the moment.
David, I totally agree about the “making it up” part…..especially in small non-profits like the one you describe, making up some objectives can be the quickest way to get a decision made. Rather than having endless circular discussions with a committee or decision-making body, present them with “suggested” objectives in their final form. They may accept them or reject them (but they’re likely to accept them if, as you say, you know the organization well), but at least you’ll have a decision.