Planning Next Year

Using Maestro to make the planning process easier

In a downtown organization, like most businesses, planning the coming year is a crucial part of your success. Especially in a volunteer-driven organization, the process can take a long time because there are so many people that need to be involved for a project to be successful. Maestro can help you make that planning process a little easier. Before we dive into the Maestro portions, let’s look at a typical planning process (don’t worry if your organization doesn’t follow this precisely or even at all – Maestro can still help)!

The first step is to get with your committees and discuss what’s worked in the current year, and what you’d like to do in the next. Every event or committee function should be discussed. Are you having a grant program, clean-up days, which retail events should be repeated, what fundraisers? Once you’ve decided what events or functions are going to be conducted within the organization, the committee and staff should build work plans for each. While it may seem unnecessary, we would argue that every committee function (especially those with income & expense) should have a work plan. After a few meetings of tweaking the committee work plans, they are usually discuss and often approved at the board level, allowing the board and staff to compile the organization’s budget for the coming year. A typical schedule (assuming a January 1 start) may look like this:

September – Committee discussion/evaluation of current events and brainstorm future events

October – Committee finalize work plans for next year

November – Board reviews the work plans/any changes are suggested and final budgets are prepared

December – Board approved the work plans and organization’s budget for next year

As you can see, this process can take a while, but will prove to be worth the effort. By following this process, the key stakeholders are not only aware of what the organization is doing, but have a voice, which will create buy-in and lead to a more successful event. It will also make it easy to build the organization’s budgets based on the work plans and known operating costs. Now, it could be easy to not include 4th quarter events because the current year’s won’t have happened when you are planning for the future year. While this may be true, it is much better to include those events in the coming year planning & budgeting, with the understanding that some numbers may changed based on how the current year’s event goes.

So now that we’ve established the process, let’s look at how Maestro can help.

With Maestro’s work plan builder, it’s easy to clone or duplicate those work plans that are going to be continued in the coming year. This will save you a lot of time by not having to create everything from scratch. (Note: we’re working on even more options for cloning in our Fall 2017 build, stay tuned for more details). For new events, the work plan builder allows you to detail everything for your event or function, assign the task to individuals or groups, set due dates, and create a detailed budget based on the tasks. Because Maestro is organization wide, your entire committee can stay updated (and notified if your email settings are on) on the planning process. This means less hashing out details in meeting and more time reviewing and getting to the other business of the committee, making your organization more effective.

To see more about Work Plans, we encourage you to check out our work plan tutorial or contact us if you have questions!