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This year, as you begin to fall back into a community program planning routine, there are many things to consider. Developing and planning programs does not happen by chance. You can’t just throw ideas out into the universe and hope they will be successful. Many people can come up with ideas, however, it takes careful planning to make those ideas come to fruition. A successful  community program planning routine comes with designing a pathway and linking each step together on a schedule that is calculated and strategic. Let me explain.

Develop Pathways

Reflect on the times people in your organization have proposed ideas that were not successfully developed into programming. Likely, most of those ideas didn’t develop into solid programs because there wasn’t a pathway that linked each step during the development process. Developing programs takes time and attention, therefore every detail and necessary step should be carefully inspected to ensure a successful outcome.

Align Mission

Just because you have an idea doesn’t mean it will fit the niche, brand, market or mission of your department or agency. Many ideas fail because they don’t align with the department’s core market and business model. A good practice is to begin by eliminating ideas that don’t align with the agency and department’s brand or market. Instead, put your energy and efforts into understanding the clientele in your community and centering a few good program ideas around your department model.

Solve a Problem

Many people have ideas based on what they would like to offer or what they think would work in their community, however, this is not the best practice when developing a successful program. The beginning of a successful idea starts with solving a problem for your community members. You should focus your energy on offering a program that can solve a problem or challenge.

Falling back into a community program planning routine with a new approach will help you develop more successful programs. Program development should be designed with a layout of a schedule, steps and careful planning. Begin the planning processes by learning about your niche, clients, brand or department model. Another crucial part of program development is solving a problem or challenge that aligns with your niche and coming up with a solution by developing a quality program. Once you know your core audience and how you will serve your community, clear ideas will begin to surface.

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Holly Metzger-Brown

Holly Metzger-Brown, M.Ed., CSA, GC-ABA, BCBA, LBS is the Learn & Play Director at the York Jewish Community Center. She graduated from Lycoming College, where she played varsity tennis and basketball. She has a master’s degree in teacher leadership and education. Holly is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, certified POINTE PROGRAM consultant, and certified tennis instructor. She has been published in several books, journals and magazines, including Onsite Fitness, Netplay, Wacky Ways to Succeed with ADHD, Strategies, TennisPro, Yorkids and Community Rec. She has been locally and nationally recognized for her youth fitness and sports programs.

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