The key to a good program is to have an organized planning period. The most successful events are those that have had thought and creativity put into the planning process. Remember one quality program is better than three unorganized and thoughtless programs. Anyone in a chapter can plan a program. If you follow this step-by-step guide to program planning, you will find programming for your chapter both easy and successful.
Identify folds in which programming is needed Ask the chapter what kind of programming has been lacking. Determine if multiple folds should be addressed. Establish goals to accomplish the program. AZA Folds: Athletic, Judaic, Community Service/Social Action, Educational, Social. BBG Folds: Recreation, Social Action, Creativity, Jewish Heritage, Sisterhood, Community Service
Brainstorm Ideas Remember to set a time limit for the brainstorming session. Write down all ideas or suggestions during session. Do not allow criticism or any idea or suggestion during the session.
Narrow the List Re-examine the goals of the program. Determine which program ideas fit into the goal framework. Be sure to save the list for additional program ideas.
Select a Date for the Event Check the regional calendar for conflicts. Make sure to check the calendar for holiday or Shabbat conflicts. Make sure to observe the guidelines of Shabbat and other traditions if programming is done during these times. Make sure to allow at least 2-3 weeks for proper planning of small event and 5-8 weeks for planning a large event. It is best to plan on one advisor or chaperone to 15 youth ratio for most events.
Select a Program Coordinator and Committee Select a coordinator to plan out the details of the event. Appoint committee members to help with the program development. Make sure the people chosen are interested in the event being planned.
Work out the “W’s”
Who are you inviting? Is it just for your chapter? What chapters are invited? Is it only for AZA or BBG? Are prospectives invited? When is the event going to be? Is it on Shabbat (do you need services)? Is it Saturday night (do you need a Havdallah service)? Is it late at night (do you need to provide housing)? Where are you holding the event? Is it located in a person’s home (did you clear it with the parents)? Are you renting a JCC or synagogue (did you call far enough in advance, and did you fill out the necessary paperwork)? Are you going to be in a public place (did you clear it with security or local police department)?
What are the details of the event? What is the program? Do you need to make any arrangements with speakers or guests necessary (be sure to see if they charge a fee, don’t assume they are free)? Did you make a supply list? Are you serving food (if so, make sure everything is either dairy or kosher. Remember not to serve meat with milk)? Do you need transportation to the event, if so, who are the drivers?
How much are you going to charge? Make a rough budget with any expected expenses, and divide by a reasonable number of people expected to attend.
Ready to plan an event? Still unsure about planning your first event? Tell the S'ganit! Let it out, yo!