Build an Action Plan
If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.
Once you've gathered information about your community's assets and priorities, you can start to put together a master plan for action. The plan developed by each community is as unique as the community. It provides context for the way you are planning to implement change and is a tool for engaging residents (some of whom may join you as volunteers), local organizations (future partners), and municipal decision-makers (critical partners to make changes in policy and municipal infrastructure).
A well-written action plan helps to bring people together with a shared understanding of goals; it builds consensus and a sense of ownership among the people and organizations engaged with your work. It establishes timelines and outlines the concrete steps you envision for achieving your objectives. The plan specifies measures of success that will be critical to assessing the overall impact of your work. It's a living document that can - and should - change as your initiative evolves.
Although this action plan is a requirement for communities that participate in the AARP's Age-Friendly Network (and must be completed within two years of joining), all lifelong initiatives benefit from having a clearly defined approach to their work.
Note: Below, and throughout our site, underlined text indicates a live link.
For a Bit of Inspiration
Check out a few of our Lifelong Communities' action plans or Portland's progress report below. If you are interested in looking at additional plans, visit Lifelong Communities Communication Toolbox, Action Plans and Progress Reports.