It’s hard to imagine life returning to normal as we’re just coming to grips with the effects of a pandemic, but someday we will get back to our lives. In the meantime, we can only manage the change to our routines and take it day by day.
One way to cope can be to focus on the future. We can use this time to think about the things we’ll do once it’s over. This could be a good time for projections and planning, such as considering what to do with any left-over money.
If you are one of the lucky ones who have left over money, there are some good measures to take and make it work for you. Focusing on these now may help you get through this uncertain time as well as emerge in a better place once life gets back to normal.
Tip 1: Prioritize, and Fund Accordingly! Identify any existing gaps between your goals and vision and the current on-site conditions for your program. Brainstorm and discuss ways you can fill the gaps to better the program. Once you have some ideas, attach costs to each and budget with the remaining funds to see which you can accomplish. This extra money could make the difference between maximizing the potential of your program or just getting by.
Tip 2: Communication and Collaboration with Staff! Never use the word “I,” always use “we.” It takes a team to make a difference. Communicating and collaborating with your staff are key to a high-performance program! Also, these will protect you from a misconception because you are taking proactive steps in the direction of transparency and long-term planning by including your team. Let the team know the funds exist and work them into the solution. Include them in the brainstorming or solicit ideas. They work the program and might know best about the ways to improve it. You could always start by asking, “In a perfect world, what would you want to…?” (change, fix, see happen, etc.)
Tip 3: Never Lose Sight of Your Program Vision and Goals! It’s easy to see extra money as a sudden windfall and begin to get some grandiose ideas. However, just because you could do something does not mean you should do something. Continue to make sure every decision aligns with your vision and goals. Make sure that the actions you take further progress toward a goal and work towards making your vision come true. It’s like the expression, “Stay in your lane,” meaning ideas that might work for others are not necessarily the best for your program. Ensure that the money goes towards the solutions and progress of your program.
Today, while you have an opportunity, set aside time to work together with your staff online or by phone to allocate the left-over money accordingly. Now can be a useful time to plan ahead and build a more robust program.
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