4.1 Strategic Plan
It may seem strange for a church to need a strategic plan but for a project involving a major building development a clear plan is essential. A strategic plan is not just about finances, so we haven’t called it a ‘business plan’, though it very much includes that. A strategic plan should also cover the vision, aims and mission strategy for the project as a whole.
A robust, well thought through, strategic plan is an essential tool to put together at an early stage of your project. It will help you as a church through the process of deciding why you want a building development, what that will look like and how it will be run. You will also need this in order to attract both internal funding (from the church congregation) and external funding (from trusts, grant bodies, Councils etc).
Here is a suggestion to help with developing the headings:
- Vision statement (about the wider church mission) – a short statement that is inspirational as well as aspirational. It may use words like ‘transforming’ or ‘improving’. Try and let it cover the who, why, where and what of the church.
- Mission statement – describes what you want to achieve in a little more detail. Maybe highlighting certain target groups of people who the church is trying to serve.
- Include a diagram of the reporting structure and governance structure for the project. How will decisions be made and who makes them. You may include terms of reference for your Building committee/group.
- Strategy – Explain the church’s strategy and how the building development fits in with that. This might use specific SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed) objectives. It can be helpful to summarise this in table form, with the following against each item:
- Key result area – eg ‘Develop a costed plan for the build’
- Who is responsible for this action – e.g. ‘Church Treasurer’
- By when – (Date)
- Develop a detailed financial spreadsheet to project future income and expenditure, cashflow and balances over at least 3-5 years. Include at least 12 months after the building development has fully opened so it shows how sustainable the project is. (You will want to know that and so will potential funders/donors). See the Downloads section for a sample Excel spreadsheet.
- Marketing plan. Describe how will you price, promote, develop the ‘product’ and place it in the ‘market’.
- Have a mechanism in place for constant review of this document. It needs to be a living tool that can change during the process.