[2017 dates to be announced soon.]
Our introductory webinar offers an overview of the course and the stages of sustainability planning. Participants will meet others taking the course, and receive guidance on preparing for the in-person session, including advance readings and exercises.
A three-day workshop brings all participants together to learn and apply the basic tactics of sustainability planning. Mornings are devoted to presentation and group discussion of new topics, while afternoons allow ample time for smaller group breakouts, where close attention is paid to each participant and her or his project. At the end of the session, participants will have drafted a sustainability hypothesis and a list of specific action steps to further test and refine it.
Follow up Webinar
A sharply focused follow-up webinar provides a chance for participants to check in with faculty and each other, and to get feedback on their work.
TOPICS COVERED IN THIS COURSE
Impact and Sustainability Goals
The program opens with a session intended to help participants identify/clarify the impact they want their project to achieve and the goals that must be reached for this to happen. Participants will define goals, establish metrics and create milestones to help measure progress over time.
Defining the Value of Your Project to Its Users
How does your project deliver something of value to its audience? Why do users want to spend time there? Why would donors, funders, sponsors, and paying customers want to support it? Participants will start by developing a “first pass” value proposition statement, to be refined over the course of the program. In addition, participants will discuss best methods for communicating this value to users and key stakeholders.
Who is the primary audience for your digital project or service? How do these people (or institutions) contribute to the overall sustainability of your resource? What do they need from you, and how can you best reach them? In this unit, participants will begin by defining their key audience segments, brainstorming potential new audiences, and designing research to test assumptions about what will drive people to participate.
Considering the larger landscape in which you operate can be a powerful way to sharpen the focus of your project, identify new partners and opportunities, and surface potential obstacles to growth. Participants will examine the competitive and complementary forces operating within the larger environment in which their resource lives.
What will it cost to keep your initiative running, post launch (or post-grant)? Building upon the goal-setting exercise, participants will develop a goal-driven full-cost model of all resources needed to continue to develop the project or service, including staff time, direct and in-kind costs as well as volunteer contributions.
Every project or service relies on a mix of funding sources, from grants and in-kind contributions to revenue generating activities of all sorts. Which are most critical to your long-term success? Which are most reliable? Participants will develop a snapshot of their current funding model, explore new potential funding sources, and design an action plan to help secure existing support and assess new opportunities.
When resources are scarce, which opportunities should you focus on? Participants will learn methods for evaluating and prioritizing opportunities, whether investing time and resources in a portfolio of digital initiatives, program areas, or new approaches to generating revenue.
Whether managing one project or many, project management skills help ensure that the strategy you have worked so hard to develop gets implemented. This session addresses implementation strategies both for managing a single project or a portfolio of several.