Sample Action Plans

The first sample action plan was developed for a health-care clinic. Organized by life-cycle stages (perinatal, pediatric, adolescent, adult, and geriatric), it begins with a problem statement. Each problem then has a set of goals, objectives, action steps, and evaluation measures.

Remember if you are instructed to double-space your proposal, you must also double-space all grids, tables, and graphs. Though foundation funders will not be overly particular about this, government funders often are and may reject your proposal immediately.

Note that timelines and the person responsible for each step are incorporated into the chart. For instance, each objective begins with “By this month” (in correlation with the timeline), and each evaluation statement tells who is responsible for evaluating progress toward the objective. Timelines and responsibility assignments also may be called out separately in action plans.

These three different ways of presenting a timeline demonstrate the flexibility you'll have for presenting the requested information clearly and concisely, in a form that does not eat up excessive amounts of your page limits.

Following is an action plan organized under a problem statement, showing a set of goals and objectives for the named problem.

Life-Cycle-Stage Organization

Problem/Need Statement: “The population of this state ranks highest in the U.S. in incidence of chronic disease illness. ‘Healthy County 2010’ targets reducing preventable chronic disease incidence and mortality, focusing on cancer (173.8 per 100,000), cardiovascular disease and stroke (231.6 per 100,000), and diabetes (approximately 26,570 individuals). The poverty and cultures of the clinic's geriatric patients contribute to their high risk of developing one or more chronic illnesses. The clinic sees many patients for episodic care only and has developed objectives to increase prevention services to these patients.”

Goal (funding): “To increase education about prevention and treatment for clinic's geriatric patients, thereby working to reduce incidence and mortality due to chronic diseases. (CHC funding)”

Horizontal Landscape

The second example is from a community problem-solving organization. This horizontal (landscape) timeline is a good way to graph activities that are scheduled to take place over a period of months, a year, or more. You'll see activities for five months in this sample.

Timeline Example

The last sample is a simple timeline of a year's activities for each of the first twelve months. Begin a timeline with the month in which funding is likely to be approved. Whether as dots on a chart or in narrative form, be sure to identify recurring activities throughout the project. Also, continuous improvement is, by definition, recurring and continuous. Be sure to illustrate evaluation steps that lend themselves to constant review and program revision.

JUNE: Announce to local media memberships of partner organizations and citizens, the grant award, and launch of the commission. Finalize job description and seek applicants for project coordinator.

JULY: Interview and select project coordinator.

MONTHLY: Convene meetings of commission; select and schedule speakers and/or expert consultants for gathering information and sharing lessons learned.

AUGUST — JANUARY: Gather data from Information Infrastructure providers, businesses, and others needed to identify current infrastructure.

JANUARY: Map current public-access sites and disseminate to sites frequented by those who are believed to lack access to computer equipment. (Note: This activity is funded by the Community Foundation.) Hold “town meeting” to encourage input by commission nonmembers on issues regarding technology infrastructure and digital divide.

JANUARY — APRIL: With professional facilitator and available data, develop vision, key findings, and recommendations for the Information Infrastructure.

APRIL: Perform SWOT on data, findings, and draft recommendations; identify gaps between preferred infrastructure and existing infrastructure.

MAY: Begin mapping process for inclusion in commission report. Report evaluation of the planning process and grant expenditures.

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