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March 21, 2017

Spring Into Action with Communications Goal Setting

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There is something about spring that makes us want to do some organizing and get things in order. Whether it’s cleaning out your closet to make room for those new spring clothes at home or upping your organization’s social media presence at work, planning is the first step. Before you start to think about strategies you first need to decide what your goals are. What is it that you or your cause wants to accomplish? Once you decide on some goals, the next step is to see if you can make them SMART goals:

S – Specific Outcome

M – Measurable/Quantifiable

A – Accountable/Achievable

R – Results-Oriented/Realistic

T – Time-Dated

For example, you might have a goal of saving money for the future – but if you had to make this a SMART goal you might decide you want to save $100 per month for the next 12 months. Because you took the time to properly define your goal and you have something specific to measure you will be able to better track your progress. The same thinking can be applied to your cause. Maybe you have a goal of bringing more volunteers into your organization (great idea!). The SMART version of this goal may be to increase your volunteer pool by 10% in the next six months. Now you have a concrete goal to work towards.

Not only does making your goals SMART help you to better measure your progress it also makes it easier to decide which strategies are best to achieve your goal. A strategy is what you will do to achieve your goal. If you want to reach more volunteers for example, one strategy may be to ask each of your current volunteers to spread the word that you are looking for new volunteers. Another strategy could be to share more stories about the great work the volunteers are doing. And because you set a timeframe for your goal, you can also determine how aggressive you need to be and how many resources you may need to devote to these strategies.

So take some time this spring to either dust off any of the goals you set for your cause last year and evaluate them with fresh eyes, or brainstorm some new goals for 2017 and beyond. And don’t forget to make them SMART!

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