Stage 2 of No-nonsense Guide to planning your event or activity

Stage 2 – Define the Scope of Your School Event or Activity

Ok, in your efforts to engage school staff and parent association stakeholders you’ve been able to define their views and priorities. In Stage 2, you can begin defining the extent of your school event or activity needing volunteers.

First, start with the same event or activity that was held last year. Find as much information about last year’s event/activity as you can. You may want to speak with the person who managed last year’s event/activity. Here are a list of questions you may want to ask:

  • What were the pieces or components of what they did?
  • Did the person have a documented plan? If yes, can you have it? Having that plan will provide you with an instant foundation to define what you will do for your event or activity.
  • What were the main components of the event/activity.
  • Was a communication plan for the event/activity one of the components? If no, then you’ll need to add that to your own plan.
  • What were the main areas/needs for volunteer?
  • Did any of the volunteer tasks need any special skills?

After learning about last year’s event/activity, you can begin defining the scope of your plan, think about what you think are the essential components; learn from what was done last year, add anything you think they missed, and eliminate what you think you can do without.

Here are some starting points as essential components:

  • Food, if applicable. How much will you based on estimated attendance levels? Again, last year’s event/activity will help here.
  • Location, again, if applicable. Related to location might be something like parking for the attendees of your event/activity.
  • People/parent volunteers
  • Communication/promotion 
  • Permissions (particularly if your event/activity requires transporting people/children from one place to another).
  • Licenses – for things like the selling of food or if you are holding a Bingo event or a raffle to raise money.
  • Money administration if you’re holding a large fundraiser.
  • Security – particularly if your event/activity is big enough to have a Money administration team.
  • Budget – what initial funds will you need for any purchase of things like supplies, etc.

After you’ve defined the essential areas, start to break them down into small parts, then create a list using Microsoft Excel. For example:

Communication

  • Get a webpage on the school website, or use an online tool to centralize communication, volunteer recruiting and coordinating people.
  • Communication plan – what information will you need to start sending out? For example, to recruit volunteers, what does your timeline look like? e.g. how far in advance of your event/activity date will you need to start sending things out?
  • People – what skills will you need to help you with communication?

As you break down the Communication component, do the same with all the other components. Put everything into the Excel spreadsheet. You’ll quickly realize you now have the beginnings of your Master plan.

One important consideration – before you start on Stage 3, it’s a good idea to discuss your Master plan with your school staff and parent association stakeholders, get their feedback to make sure you are aligned with the priorities.

In our next post, Stage 3 – Outline Key Needs of Your Event or Activity…

Happy Volunteering!

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