Use your strategic plan
Your strategic plan outlines the goals of your organization and offers tactical strategies for achieving those goals.
- Goals define “what” you are seeking to achieve
- Strategies define “how” you will do it
In order to identify the guiding questions that will best serve you, make sure that your goals and strategies are as SMART and CLEAR as possible.
SMART Goals are:
- Specific – clearly defined
- Measurable – easily recorded, scaled and compared
- Attainable – not only possible but reasonable
- Relevant – reflect your organizational mission
- Time-bound – able to be achieved in a fixed timeframe
CLEAR Goals are:
- Collaborative – achieved in partnership with others
- Limited – possess a defined scope and duration
- Emotional – harness the energy and passion of the team working to achieve them
- Appreciable – smaller goals contribute to a bigger objective
- Refinable – adapt to rapidly changing environments
Once you have defined SMART, CLEAR goals, you can move on to identifying your guiding questions.
From Goals to Guiding Questions
Goal (“what”): Increase the number of young adults who take a gap year between high school and college to volunteer.
Strategy (“how”): Engage rising high school juniors and seniors in summer volunteer programs.
- Have participants’ feelings about the importance of service changed as a result of these programs?
- Are participants more likely to take a gap year to volunteer in between high school and college?