Methods for developing actitivites
The more effort and expense an activity involves, the more thoroughly it needs to be planned, and the higher the level of approval required. This is also an opportunity to gather feedback and additional input on your idea.
It's best to gather a group to help you plan your activity, using the steps below. This will be more productive and rewarding than doing it alone.
Considerations for activity planning
You have an idea for a new activity? This page lists some questions that help you turn your idea into a plan.
If you hit upon other relevant questions, or would like to make improvements
- Explain: How will this activity contribute to its own area on the mission map, and to at least one other area?
Define: Who will be in charge of the activity?
How will we measure the activity? For more complex activities, break them down until you get elements that you can measure.
What is the financial plan for the activity? What will each part of it cost? Where will the money come from?
How will the activity involve volunteers? What contributions do you expect from them?
Which staffers will be involved in the activity? How? What contributions do you expect from them?
What will the activity's publicly visible output?
Define the target groups for the activity. Who is it aimed at?
Define what you'll need for the activity.
How will this activity affect other activities?
How can we use this activity to activate additional volunteers?
Avoid re-inventing the wheel. Has someone else already done something similar?
Getting your activity to execution
- Involve the affected people in the planning process. (Other
- staffers, volunteers.)
- Work incrementally. Start small, by testing out the core component
- of your activity. Evaluate, then move to next step.
- Test your idea with the intended target group.
- Make your assumptions explicit, and test them.
Evaluating your activity
At different points in the time plan, allocate sufficient time to discuss an idea or activity, repeatedly. Schedule these time slots depending on the rhythm of the activity. For a fast, staff-driven activity you might need some evaluation ime every week, or even every few days; for slower-paced activities, once a month might be sufficient.
Schedule points in time when you will sit down and evaluate the present state of your activity.
- How well is the activity working?
- What have you learned?
In order to make evaluation possible, break activities down into smaller goals until you get measurable units - something you can count.
Example: How can we determine whether this year's DFD campaign was successful? Evaluating the campaign as a whole looks tricky. So let's look at smaller components instead. How many local activities took place? How many people participated in each of them? How many articles were there in the press? How many DFD prizes were awarded? For what percentage of the activities did we receive a report that included a photograph? And so on.
In addition, talk to external people who were involved, and/or whose opinion you value. How was our activity perceived? It may be worth asking immediately after the activity, as well as some time later in order to determine whether the activity has had a lasting effect.
If you're running an event, have paper evaluation forms available to hand out to participants, and a web form for immediate feedback. Determine in advance who will evaluate these forms. When you hand out the forms, tell people that their input is appreciated, and will help us to make our activities better in the future.
In general, acknowledge and appreciate feedback, and thank the people who participated.