Page 24 - Student Organizations Manual

Setting Goals forYour Organization
Goals are a general statement of purpose based on the values the group as a whole
Goals and the subsequent objectives to reach these goals guide the day-to-day activi-
ties of an organization. They provide a systematic way for the organization to meet its
purpose for existence.
Long or short range
The total organization should ideally be involved with these steps, or at least a repre-
sentative sample.)
Step #1 – Purpose Statement
Discuss and agree on the purpose of the group.
Why does organization exist? To do what?
Step #2 – Goal Statement
Brainstorm possible goals
Evaluate, condense, and select (The goals should complement each other, not
conflict. They should be ones the whole group can live and strive for.)
Prioritize (The organization can only work on a certain number of goals at one
time. Which ones should be worked on first?)
Provide each member of the organization with a copy of the goals.
Step # 3 – Objectives
Objectives are methods by which the goal(s) are achieved. State specific objectives for
each goal. Objectives must be worthwhile, reasonable, measurable, and time-limited.
Brainstorm objectives for each goal, one at a time
Sort out duplications, condense, evaluate, and eliminate
Check each against criteria
Are the objectives concise? Not too many objectives for the goal?Will you
achieve the goal if you achieve all of the objectives?
Give a copy of the goals and objectives to group members
Step #4 – Action Plan
For each objective, list the steps necessary to complete each objective
For each step, indicate who is responsible for completing it and the target date for
Step #5 – Evaluation
Evaluate the progress toward the goal(s) and upon its completion.
Modify the goal(s), objectives, and action plan if necessary.
GOALS are statements describing what an organization wishes to accomplish. They
are the ends toward which your efforts will be directed. Remember, it is very impor-
tant to review your goals and it is normal to change them from term to term or from
year to year. The timing will depend on your organization. When reviewing your goals
keep this in mind:
Do they fit with the overall purpose of your group?
What is the status of your membership?
How does the group stand financially?
What are the “givens” in your group and what new programs can be real-
istically accomplished?
OBJECTIVES are descriptions of exactly what is to be done in order to meet your
goals. They are clear, specific statements of what you plan to accomplish. They are
short-term, measurable, and achievable over a specified period of time. It is normal to
have several objectives for each goal.
Many leaders wonder why it is important to set goals and objectives. Well, they help
define your organization; they give direction and help to avoid chaos. They can help
motivate members by clarifying and communicating what the organization is striving
for; they are also good for membership recruitment by allowing potential members to
knowwhat your group is all about. They are time savers by helping members and
leaders become aware of problems in time to develop solutions; they help the organi-
zation plan ahead and be prepared. But best of all, they are a basis of recognizing ac-
complishments and realizing your successes. They are a basis for recognition and
Below are a few suggestions for how to set goals, followed by an example.
Steps for Setting Goals and Developing an Action Plan:
It is best to set goals as a group. This will create many positive results because
people support what they help create. You can expect:
better commitment
more motivation among members and officers
better understanding of the goals and the rationale for selecting them
better goals by having more ideas and opinions in the decision process
Brainstorm goals as a group
Choose from the brainstormed list those you want to work on and prioritize them as a
Determine objectives for each goal and plans of action for each objective
Move into action (many groups fail to do this step and their goals never are achieved)