4 Things Every Afterschool Program Should Do to Become Sustainable
By the UpMetrics Staff
In uncertain economic times, here are four things that every program should know to build toward financial security.
UpMetrics Director of Solutions, Stephen Minix, cut his teeth as a coach and athletic director in South Los Angeles, at Locke High School, where he learned the importance of being prepared for changes in funding structure and building a strategy for continued success. Here, he outlines four ways, based on his experience, that every afterschool provider can become more sustainable/less at the mercy of sudden budget cuts.
1. Data matters, no matter how small the group
Who is in your program? What are their demographics? All must be a priority for ASP programs—not an afterthought.
2. Building a network of support is key
There is no sense playing ‘hero ball’ and trying to run the ASP on your own. Reaching out to community-based organizations to leverage additional resources is vital.
a. The key is to make strategic and intentional connections that will help advance your pursuits to run quality ASP.
b. Authoring a thorough community needs assessment at your school/facility and surrounding neighborhood is critical to give you guidance on what is available or needed to service your stakeholders.
3. It’s a political game
ASP leadership must become professionally active. In other words, be there or be square.
4. Knowledge really is power
Getting involved in local level ASP advocacy (county office of education, working advisory groups, etc.) is essential. Not only will it make you more informed about what is going on, it will also give you more of a stake when it comes time to make decisions.