Advance Preparation

To help maximize what you will get out of the 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. On the morning of the first day, we will ask all participants to introduce themselves and their project to the group. 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. Why is my project important?
  4. What is one issue I am struggling with (in terms of financial sustainability)?

#2: Read the MECO Case Study. What is MECO? Download the case study materials below to find out.

MECO Planning Document

MECO FY 2014 Financial Statements

MECO Organization Chart

#3: 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. Why are you doing the work that you’re doing?
  2. What is the one most important thing for you to get out of the SBI course?
  3. What is the biggest obstacle to enhancing your project’s sustainability – programmatically and financially?
  4. What are your plans for the future programmatically?
  5. How well do you understand the expenses of the work you do?
  6. How much money does your program need to become sustainable?
  7. For how long will your project or program be financially sustainable?
  8. How many users do you have?
  9. How do you communicate with your users and stakeholders?
  10. How can you reach new or non-traditional users or partners?
  11. What role have you played in securing a major gift?
  12. 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?

#4: Gather Your Materials. We ask that you bring  the following with you to the course:

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