Checklist - some things to consider:
Planning is the key to the long term success of a club. Whether at a national or local level, your club needs to make long-term plans in order progress and grow.
See the Bowls New Zealand Club Plan - a best practice model using parts of Club Kit to help the club plan, recruit volunteers, and market themselves.
Stephen Clifton, Operations Manager, Bowls New Zealand talks about Bowls New Zealand Case Study 1
Major Topics on this page
What does planning do?
- It looks at where your club has come from and where it is now, where it wants to go and how it is going to get there.
- It identifies the main objectives of your club.
- It encourages members to get involved in the development of the club.
- It adjusts to take into account changes that have an impact on your club.
- It ensures that resources (human, physical and financial) are used properly.
- It evaluates your organisation, and brings order to the hectic business of running a sporting organisation.
What are strategic plans and operational plans?
A strategic plan is a document that contains the long-term (two to four years) objectives of the club. It lays out the overall mission and direction of the club, and how objectives will be achieved.
A strategic plan takes into account the strengths and weaknesses as well as the external opportunities and threats, and outlines some strategies to address these. In general, a strategic plan incorporates the following items:
- vision and/or mission statement
- core business areas of your organisation
- goals/objectives related to these business areas
- strategies and/or tasks to achieve the goals/objectives
- timelines for the completion of the strategies/tasks
- resource Implications, i.e. what will it cost in people and financial terms?
- performance indicators, ie. how will you know when the strategy/task is completed?
- priorities for action, what should be undertaken in year one, what in year two, what is year three and so on…
We have provided a sample strategic plan in the resources section.
All the tasks to be completed in the short term (within the next 12 months) are separated out of the strategic plan, and placed into a separate document called an operational plan.
The operational plan will guide your members or volunteers in their work during this period.
We have provided a sample operational plan template in the resources section.
Preparing a strategic plan
There is no right or wrong way to prepare a strategic plan. They can vary from a few pages to a complex document with images, charts, and diagrams. Your strategic plan should reflect the size and scope of your club.
If you are new to preparing a strategic plan, we suggest that you keep it simple. The plan can grow and evolve over time as the club grows. There are some basics elements, however, that must be considered:
- Does the plan provide a clear basis for the direction of the club?
- If a new member picked it up, could they easily use it to find out where the club is going in the next few years?
- Does the plan provide detail on how the objectives are going to be achieved, i.e. does it prioritise the strategies and tasks, include resource allocation and target setting?
- If the National Sports or Recreational Organisation for the club has a strategic plan does your strategic plan refer to and reflect the priorities of the national plan, or is it a separate document with no reference to the national plan?
- Has your planning involved input from members?
Sport NZ's Supporting Sport: Strategic and Business Planning takes an in-depth look at strategic planning. It is suitable for larger clubs with sizable commercial interests.
Supporting Sport: Strategic and Business Planning (PDF, 545 Kb)
What is a business plan?
A business plan is a detailed document that includes all of the information from your club’s strategic plan, plus information about the club and what it will be doing in the coming years.
Business plans are particularly helpful if you have commercial (money-earning) activities planned, such as opening a licensed bar. While the format for a business plan can vary considerably, in general terms it might contain:
- Title page
This details the nature of the document, the name of the organisation, the period of time it relates to, and the date it was written.
- List of contents
This lists the sections within the document and page references.
- Executive summary
This is a broad statement about the background of the organisation, the purpose of the document, what is in it, how it was prepared, and what its intentions are.
- Strategic plan
This details the organisation’s mission statement, and goals/objectives, etc.
- Marketing plan
This provides information and research related to market demographics, products and services, price structures, delivery of products or services, an analysis of the competition, and promotional strategies.
- Financial plan
This includes current and projected budgets, cash flows, and details of assets and liabilities.
- Management plan
This explains the structure of the organisation in terms of membership, board structure and staff employed. It may include an organisational chart and constitution or other related legal documents relating to ownership of premises etc.
This contains other documents that may be referred to in the body of the business plan. Business plans are documents that require a significant amount of time, resource, and expertise. They are often developed by the commercial sector and well-resourced non-commercial organisations.
An organisational chart is simply a flow chart showing the lines of responsibility within the club – who is responsible to whom. It shows roles and reporting relationships. It can include both paid and voluntary positions.
An organisational chart is useful at all levels of the planning process.
Resources and more information
CommunityNet Aotearoa provides Internet resources on planning for New Zealand communities.
Other resources the club can use include:
Strategic plan template Operational plan template (DOC, 240 Kb)
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