What is a development plan?

A development plan is a strategic document that sets out your organisation’s vision and aims for the future and the actions you’ll take to achieve them. It acts as a roadmap to support the growth and development of your organisation over a specified period.

Your development plan should also feed into and compliment your other strategic documents, for example your business plan.

Benefits of having a development plan?

A development plan can:

  • Help you identify your vision and aims.
  • Provide a strategic plan to help achieve your short and longer-term goals.
  • Help you plan for your future by identifying your current position and opportunities for improvement.
  • Provide a clear direction and purpose for everyone to work towards.
  • Help you set out how you’ll attract and retain participants and volunteers.
  • Demonstrate to external stakeholders (including funders) that your organisation is well run and plans to grow.
  • Help secure your future sustainability.
  • Help ensure the efficient and effective use of resources.
  • Help you proactively develop plans to mitigate any foreseeable challenges and risks.
  • Improve links with local partners.

Creating a development plan?

Creating a development plan may seem like a daunting task but should be seen as an exciting and engaging process that helps to give everyone a clear, shared plan for the future. Help make this process easier by:

  • Involving the right people. If you can, create a small working group, involving people with different skills and knowledge to help shape your plan. You may already have a skills audit, which you can use to help select the right people.
  • Assigning roles and responsibilities. Once you’ve established your working group, assign people tasks to improve your effectiveness, communication, and collaboration. You could also form a sub-committee who report progress back to the main committee.
  • Consulting with your people. An effective development plan will be developed in consultation with others, including your participants, volunteers, and wider stakeholders. This will ensure it represents and has buy-in from everyone.
  • Be clear on what you want to achieve and by when. It’s important that your plan is achievable and realistic. Through consultation outline what you want to achieve and by when. Development plans vary in duration from 1 year – 10+years, so it’s important to pick a timescale that’s appropriate for you and what you want to achieve.

What should a development plan cover?

Your development plan should cover all aspects of your operations. It should seek to answers five key questions, including:

The first step in creating a development plan is to be clear on what your organisation’s purpose and vision is. Think about what’s most important to you and your people. Write down your shared values. Having a clear and united understanding of this from the outset will help you identify your future aims and actions as you move through the stages of creating a development plan.

Be sure to find out what your current position is. You can do this by conducting a thorough analysis of your strengths (S) and weaknesses (W), and the opportunities (O) and threats (T) you may face. When creating your SWOT analysis, be sure to consider all aspects of your organisation, including your:

  • Participant and membership base (including who you currently reach, who you don’t and who you want to target).
  • Workforce (voluntary and paid).
  • Training and qualifications.
  • Facilities.
  • Activities (including those you offer and those you may wish to).
  • Finances.
  • Marketing and communications.
  • Community links.
  • Governance structures.


Strengths (What we do well)

·         Strong volunteer workforce.

·         Wide variety of activities offered to participants across varying age groups and abilities.

Weaknesses (What we could improve)

·         Limited available finances to support the development of our organisation.

·         Limited social media following, and promotion of the activities offered.

Opportunities (Chances to improve our operations - internal and external)

·         Attract participants, members, and volunteers from a range of different backgrounds.

·         Create more partnerships with local organisations to raise awareness of our organisation.

Threats (Things that could impact our offer and delivery (internal and external).

·         Tenure on our leased facility is expiring in 18 months.

·         Cost of living crisis (decrease in people’s disposable income).

·         Increased running costs for the organisation (energy costs and consumables).


Once you’ve completed the SWOT analysis, discuss the findings and implications with your committee or leadership team. Use this opportunity to identify any challenges to address and priorities to develop. You can use these to create a set of goals and objectives that align with your overall vision and mission.

Once you’ve analysed where you are, focus on where you want to be in the future. Think about the findings of your SWOT analysis and your overall vision to determine some short, medium, and longer term aims. Be sure you build on your strengths, address any weaknesses, capitalise on any opportunities, and be aware of and mitigate against potential threats.

Ensure your aims are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) and are realistic in terms of timescales, cost, and the resources that you have available.

The next step is to plan how you’ll achieve the SMART aims you have set. It’s good to break down aims into smaller, easier to achieve actions which can form the basis of your organisation’s development. Ideally, your action plan will cover your:

  • Aims - what you want to achieve.
  • Actions – the specific steps that will need to be taken to achieve each aim.
  • Timescales – when each action will be achieved (short, medium, or long term).
  • Responsibility - the person/people that’ll be responsible for each action.
  • Resources – how much it will cost, what people, equipment and time is needed.
  •  Success measure – how you will track progress and know you’ve succeeded.








Success Measures

Increase the number of female participants under the age of 18 by 20% before the end of next season.

Run a weekly taster session for 6 weeks, at a local secondary school (within 5-mile radius of our organisation) for females under the age of 18.




Short term - 6 weeks. 1 x hour long sessions per week at a local secondary school

Coach of female sessions.

·         Time commitment of the secretary to make initial contact, maintain relationship with the school, and meet any requirements of partnerships (e.g. insurance and DBS checks).

·         Time commitment of the female coach to run weekly sessions at the local secondary school. A total of 6 sessions will be delivered.

·         Expenses for the coach to travel to weekly sessions. The rate of expenses will be £0.40pence per mile. Maximum cost £24 across the 6 weeks (based on 10-mile round trip every week for 6 weeks).   

·         Females under the age of 18, engage with the taster sessions and become members of the organisation.

·         Partnership with the school is successful and there’s the opportunity to explore further partnership working in the future.

·         Roll out taster sessions to other local schools to further promote our offer and encourage engagement from females under the age of 18 from the local area.

Undertake research to establish the needs and motivations of females under the age of 18 to help identify any changes required to our current offer. Needs and motivations to be established via an online survey.

Medium Term - Within next 4 months

Coach of female sessions.

·         Time commitment of secretary to promote survey to target audience via local secondary schools.

·         Time commitment of the female coach to undertake research and analyse results.

·         Cost of using survey software to develop survey and analyse results.

·         Costs associated with adapting sessions based on research findings.

·         Understand the needs and motivations of females under the age of 18.

·         Adaptions are made to the current activity offer to cater for the needs and motivations of females under the age of 18.

Increase promotion of activities for females under the age of 18 via social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook and X, formally Twitter) by using current female participants to share their experiences of our organisation.

Short Term - 6 weeks in duration. At same time as taster sessions running at local secondary school.

Social media lead.

·         Time commitment of social media manager to increase social media posts and share experiences of current participants.

·         Time commitment of current female participants to share their experiences.


·         Increased social media posts across all platforms promoting the organisation's offer for females under the age of 18.

·         Females under the age of 18 engage with social media activity.

·         Females under the age of 18 attend sessions at the organisation after engaging with social media posts.


Once you’ve developed your action plan, be sure to make it available to your participants, members, workforce (both paid and voluntary), sponsors, and community partners. If you’re applying for funding, you may also want to share your plan with funding organisations to demonstrate what you want to achieve and how you will do this.

It’s important to regularly monitor your progress against the aims and actions you have set. This will ensure you continue to move in the right direction and help you recognise and measure what you’ve achieved. Your development plan should be a working document, so it is important to regularly review and monitor it. Not only will this enable you to monitor progress, but also update or make revisions due to unforeseen delays or changes to circumstances e.g. people or available finance.

Organisation Development Planning

The video opens with the Club Matters logo shown in the centre of a white screen, with the National Lottery and Sport England logos underneath it. Upbeat music plays and continues in the background throughout the video. 
The video switches to a scene of a gymnastics centre with various mats, an exercise ball, and apparatus on display. One child is tumbling across mats, one is stretching with her feet on the exercise ball and a coach is spotting the landing of another child. The screen changes to show a male coach assisting a boy with his positioning in the air as he tumbles. 
The screen focuses on a man standing in front of gymnastic equipment. In the background a group of children and another coach can be seen. There is a caption to the right of the screen introducing him as ‘Rob, Revolution Gymnastics’. As he starts talking, subtitles come up onscreen. Subtitles are used throughout the video to display all narration as text. 
Rob: My name is Rob Owen and we’re at Revolution Gymnastics in Birmingham. 
The screen changes to show another angle of the gymnastic centre, where a boy is tumbling, and two girls are talking to one another. A male coach is overseeing the session. The screen changes to show a girl swinging on a bar being helped by a female coach. 
Rob’s voiceover: In terms of being part of Revolution, you can be any age from walking ability up into your 70’s but the most popular age group, I would say is around 5-11 years. 
The screen shows several girls doing the splits on blue mats and a coach overseeing them. In the background, two trampolines can be seen. The screen switches to show a girl on the uneven bars jumping from one bar to swing on the other. Several other young girls look on and a coach is supervising. Other gymnasts and coaches can be seen in the background. 
Onscreen a caption appears on the right-hand side with the text ‘Revolution Gymnastics currently has over 1000 registered members’. The camera pans around the gymnastics centre showing a variety of sessions in progress including bar work and tumbling. 
Rob’s voiceover: For a lot of the participation kids, there’s lots of local competitions within the West Midlands that they can take part in. Specifically the tumbling, they compete nationally, and sometimes internationally, so it’s a big, broad spectrum of competitions that we offer. 
The screen changes to show a girl tumbling down a red track. On the side of the track, a coach supervises several children who are doing floor exercises with their toes pointed forward in the air and arms stretched. The screen changes to show a boy tumbling, with some other gymnasts in the background. The girl tumbling on the red track is then shown again as she finishes her routine, landing on a blue mat. 
The screen changes to show the back of a female gymnast. A wide spectrum of gymnastic equipment can be seen. The screen changes to show her face and then her putting chalk onto her hands. The screen cuts to the same gymnast, now wearing a navy t-shirt with GBR on the front right-hand side. A caption on the left of the screen displays her name as ‘Amy’ as she talks.    
Amy’s voiceover: I started my gym sessions when I was about 4 years old. My main event is tumbling, and I chose it because I’m a powerful gymnast and I have a lot of energy. Tumbling has actually made me feel more confident so if I have a stressful day at school and I come to the gym after school I feel 10 times more relaxed. 
The screen changes to show Amy tumbling down a black mat, while Rob watches on. Other, younger gymnasts can be seen training to the side of the screen. The screen changes to show Amy talking with Rob and another male coach. The screen focuses in on the other coach and shows him laughing. The camera then pans around the gymnastics centre showing a variety of equipment including mats and foam pits under the bars. On the screen, a caption appears on the right-hand side with the text ‘Revolution Gymnastics is 30,000sq/ft’
Rob’s voiceover: A high about being a part of Revolution, aside from competitive results? I’d say, most recently in Christmas and January time, when we took the big move from our old facility to our new facility. It was the sheer amount of people that were here to lend a hand. 
The screen shows the top half of a girl standing with her arms raised, she then leans backwards. The camera pans back to show her on a beam doing a back walkover. The screen changes to show a number of black obstacle blocks outlined in fluorescent yellow. A male gymnast somersaults from one obstacle to the other. He is then shown running up the sloped wall of a block and flipping backwards. The screen then shows the back of him walking away from the equipment towards the main gymnastic centre area. The screen cuts to show another female gymnast tumbling.  
Rob’s voiceover: The community has developed over the years, I think mostly because we’re more like a family. The kids often become very good friends with each other, and it’s just a really nice environment that people like to be a part of and help out with.
Rob is shown onscreen talking to the camera. In the background, some gymnasts and a coach can be seen. The screen changes to show Rob assisting a boy with his positioning in the air as he tumbles, as another boy walks across the screen, before a younger girl is shown with a female coach helping her as she tumbles backwards along a low beam. The screen changes to show a girl tumbling on the high beam watched by a coach. Other young gymnasts are seen around the beam area.
Amy’s voiceover: I would love to achieve going to the World Championships again. But, for now, inspiring and encouraging our younger tumblers to keep going and pushing through. 
The video cuts to show Amy talking to the camera. Behind her, the foam pits and uneven bars can be seen. The screen then shows a female gymnast tumbling down a blue mat, watched by Rob. Several other gymnasts can be seen waiting their turn at the start of the mat. The screen changes to show another gymnast tumbling down a red mat, watched by Rob, with several younger children sitting and stretching by the side of the mat. The screen then shows a female gymnast tumbling on the blue mats and landing, before the video returns to show Rob talking to the camera. 
Rob’s voiceover: It’s quite difficult to envision what the future looks like for Revolution.  If I had to hazard a guess and a prediction, I’d like to say within 10 years we’ll have doubled our participation numbers at the club, we’ll continue to increase our standards at competition level, and just make a larger impact on Birmingham as a whole.
The screen shows a gymnast tumbling down a red mat to land on a large blue mat, with younger gymnasts seated and stretching alongside. The screen changes to show a female coach assisting a girl swinging on the bars. The screen then cuts to show a male gymnast somersaulting off of a black obstacle block.   
The video closes with the Club Matters logo shown in the centre of a white screen. Underneath it, the text ‘Search Club Matters for more information.’ is displayed. The Sport England logo is displayed in the top left hand of the screen. The video ends.

Last modified: Monday, 11 September 2023, 2:44 PM