Why Plan for Sustainability?
- Many funding sources which support student initiatives are short term in nature. You will need a sustainability plan to make sure your initiative does not end when one cycle of funding ends.
- You will need to have planned how your initiative will last throughout a changing political, economic and demographic environment.
- It is important that communities do not lose quality programmes because they have failed to consider how to make them sustainable.
A Sustainability Plan Will:
- Provide a clear vision for your initiative.
- Develop long term strategies.
- Provide benchmarks to measure progress.
- Highlight the value of the initiative to stakeholders.
Key Elements of a Sustainable Project:
- Vision. Set a clear vision which will be the focus for your entire initiative. What exactly is it that you want to sustain in the community?
- Results orientation. Set clear, precise goals with indicators to measure performance, and match them to a date so that you can track your progress.
- Strategic financing orientation. Determine your long term fiscal needs. Explore potential revenue sources, and make a long term strategic plan for how you will have continual funding.
- Adaptability to changing conditions. Make plans for how you will adapt your initiative in different economic, political and demographic conditions to perform well.
- A broad base of community support.
- Key stakeholders. Develop an outreach plan for key stakeholders. Reach out to a wide range of stakeholders such as other student groups, friends, and teachers.
- Strong internal systems. Identify key decision makers, and ensure you have people in charge of the main functions of the initiative such as accounting, personnel and resources.
- A comprehensive sustainability plan which will take account of long and short term needs. Identify potential challenges and the resources you will use to overcome them.