Advance Preparation – Online Strategies for Success

To help maximize what you will get out of the Online SBI Strategies for Success course, and to help you hit the ground running, we ask that you do the following before the course:

#1: Prepare Your Mini-Pitch/Introduction. During Week 1, we will ask all participants to introduce themselves and their project to the group during the live sessions on Sept 28 and Oct 1. You will have two minutes to convey the following information (no slides, please):

  1. Who am I?
  2. What is the purpose of my project?
  3. What excites me most about my work/project?
  4. What is one thing I hope to be more confident and/or comfortable with as a result of being a part of the ESA SBI program?

#2: Test your computer setup. We will be using Google Classroom as the main course hub. This is where you will access all course materials and resources. We will also be using Zoom for live sessions and Slack to facilitate asynchronous discussions. We recommend the following:

  1. Have a laptop or computer with a working microphone and camera available for the duration of the course (Sept 28-Nov 6)
  2. Have a headset with microphone available and, if possible, a dual monitor setup
  3. Ensure you have regular access to a high-speed internet connection
  4. Test Zoom in advance – please see our page on Zoom Tips for Live Sessions
  5. You will receive information on accessing the SBI Online Course Hub (Google Classroom) by September 21 – please access this prior to Week 1 of the course (September 28) and let us know if you have any problems by emailing 
  6. If you’re less familiar with Google Classrooms or Slack, these short videos may help:
    1. Google Classroom Overview: Student Guide to Google Classroom
    2. Slack overview: Quick Start Guide to Using Slack

#3: Gather Your Materials. You should have access to the following during the course:

  1. A copy of whatever financial statement you regularly receive, review or produce (or, alternatively, a recent project budget);
  2. A copy of your annual report (if any); and
  3. A copy of your mission and vision statements (if any).

#4: Think Through Some Key Questions. Below are some questions that we hope you will consider before arriving at the SBI Strategies for Success course. You don’t need to send us your answers or even write them down. But please think about them.

  1. What are you hoping you will be more comfortable, confident, and/or competent doing as a result of participating in this training?
  2. Why are you doing the work that you’re doing?
  3. What is the one most important thing for you to get out of the SBI course?
  4. What is the biggest obstacle to enhancing your project’s sustainability – programmatically and financially?
  5. What are your plans for the future programmatically?
  6. How well do you understand the expenses of the work you do?
  7. How much money does your program need to become sustainable?
  8. For how long will your project or program be financially sustainable?
  9. How many users do you have?
  10. How do you communicate with your users and stakeholders?
  11. How can you reach new or non-traditional users or partners?
  12. What role have you played in securing a major gift?
  13. Is any part of your research currently available for sale or license?
    1. If yes, what have you learned from your experience?
    2. If no, why not?

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