10 Steps for Change in Your Community
Planning for a Next Chapter project in your community is not a rigid process; it can be adapted to incorporate different starting points, players, and priorities. But it does require a comprehensive community-wide approach that involves a diverse group of people, a clear understanding of what already exists in your community, and knowledge of the priorities and interests of older adults in your community. You do not need to start from scratch, but may need to inject new perspectives into existing programs and resources.
The following 10 steps have been used effectively by Next Chapter planners and developers over the past few years as they have broken new ground:
- Create your Next Chapter vision, making sure that it is a shared vision that incorporates The Next Chapter core components into your own community.
- Develop leadership for The Next Chapter, enlisting a wide variety of community leaders as champions and spokespersons.
- Deepen your community knowledge and understanding, learning about assets and issues that already exist in your community.
- Involve stakeholders and secure their support, building strong community ownership and buy-in for the idea.
- Engage older adults from the very beginning, reaching out and involving your target audience, particularly baby boomers who may not access traditional or existing services.
- Create your Next Chapter plan, setting your goals and priorities and developing your plan for programs, places and activities.
- Define partner roles and responsibilities, focusing on sponsors, partners, older adults, and other individuals and organizations that will be part of implementing your plan.
- Establish your Next Chapter identity, language, and marketing approach, testing it to make sure it will resonate with your community.
- Get underway by testing and phasing in programs over time, making sure your implementation strategy builds on your strengths, allows you to pilot new ideas, and includes ways to assess your progress along the road.
- Lay the foundation for long-term sustainability, putting in place partner contributions, funder commitments, and creative revenue generation strategies that will endure and grow over time.
Planning tools and resources
A note on the registered trademark: To ensure consistency and comprehensiveness
in local projects that associate with the national initiative, The Next Chapter
is a registered trademark. Use of the name requires permission from Civic Ventures.
To inquire, send a note to jluce [at] civicventures.org.