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Chief

California Sample Documents

Click on the below links for sample documents to be used to file with the California Secretary of State to incorporate a 501(c)3 organization.

Name Reservation:

First step is to submit a request to reserve a preferred organization name.  Your are required to submit three choices.

  Sample letter is: http://www.4x4voice.com/public/muirnet/sample-docs/name-reservation-sample.doc

Articles of Incorporation:

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John Stewart

Communications Plan for the Internet Age

Communications Plan for the Internet Age

Objective:
Provide a description of a strategy to improve communications between OHV community organizations and increase their presence on the World Wide Web.

Current Status:
Many OHV community organizations currently have web sites that provide a description of the organization and seek to entice new members to join. Most organizations do maintain web forums where registered members can engage in on-line “conversation” on a variety of topics. As a rule, the predominate model of a “corporate” presence on the web is a series of static web pages that are infrequently updated. In addition, there numerous commercial forums that cater to the OHV recreationist and the major magazines also maintain web sites.

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Chief

A marketing campaign - means to move forward - Part 2

Marketing 101 - Part 2: A marketing campaign - means to move forward

Many groups have discussed or been involved in efforts to generate a "marketing" campaign.

I would like to try to lay out a process where non-profit recreation groups can change their current strategy (or on-going efforts) in order to become more effective.

Marketing is getting your name/logo recognized in a broad segment of the market. As such, a successful campaign attains name recognition outside their field. The entire marketing aspect encompasses two different aspects: individual members and businesses.

That requires a two prong marketing strategy. One geared to individual members and one geared to supporting business members.

Okay, so what? We already have that. But, we are not effective at either effort.

A lot of time in spent on individual membership issues and I will not dwell on that effort as that requires a different marketing approach. However, it is a critical component of a successful marketing campaign.

My focus will be on the supporting business membership aspects.

For the sake of a starting point, let us say that Organization Broken Winch intends to increase name recognition as a major advocate for recreation. A measure of knowing that they are succeeding is they attain name recognition outside the traditional 4x4/OHV community.

From that perspective, you need to address two market segments: traditional partners and non-traditional partners.

In Marketing 101 - Part 1, the “traditional” partners were covered.

In Marketing 101 - Part 2, will cover the concept of "non-traditional" partners as potential supporting business membership.

Non-traditional partners is a more difficult segment to identify.
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Chief

A marketing campaign - means to move forward - Part 1

A marketing campaign - means to move forward

Many groups have discussed or been involved in efforts to generate a "marketing" campaign.

I would like to lay out a process where non-profit recreation groups can change their current strategy (or on-going efforts) in order to become more effective.

Marketing is getting your name/logo recognized in a broad segment of the market. As such, a successful campaign attains name recognition outside their field. The entire marketing aspect encompasses two different aspects: individual members and businesses. That requires a two prong marketing strategy. One geared to individual members and another geared to supporting business members.

Okay, so what? You already have that. But, are you effective?

A lot of time is spent on individual membership issues and I will not dwell on that effort as that requires a different marketing approach. However, it is a critical component of a successful marketing campaign.

My focus will be on the supporting business membership aspects.

For the sake of a starting point, let us say that Organization Broken Winch intends to increase name recognition as a major advocate for recreation. A measure of knowing that they are succeeding is they attain name recognition outside the traditional 4x4/OHV community.

From that perspective, you need to address two market segments: traditional partners and non-traditional partners.

In Marketing 101 Part 1, I will deal with the traditional partner concept.
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Chief

Your Club as a Business – Strategic Planning

Your Club as a Business – Strategic PlanningManagement is adapting to change. Planning aids the task of management; adapting to change. Strategic planning is the process of defining the organization's mission, vision, and values. Together, they provide an outline to guide the organization. The mission gives day-to-day relevance for the organization. The vision inspires beyond what may seem possible. And, the core values bind together the members of the organization by defining values that all hold dear.A quick internet search for "strategic planning" yields many books and articles describing how to do strategic planning. A plan is intentional; a method of doing something that is worked out in detail before it is begun. A plan is a detailed list of steps to be done. A plan starts with a vision, or mission statement, of what is to be accomplished. A plan forces you to clarify your goals and how much money (time) you are willing to commit. A plan determines how you will allocate your time. Time is money and it is the most important asset you can invest. A plan helps you make a wise investment.Good strategic planning always grounds vision in mission. Both emerge from core values. Visions, like dreams, will change as they are fulfilled. Missions occasionally change to meet new challenges. Core values rarely change. Mission, vision, and values are necessary to determine goals and objectives that come and go over time. The goal of any vision process is to arrive at a shared vision, one that stake-holders have worked together to create. Individuals define a picture of future success and their roles in it. When built on inclusiveness, shared responsibility, and accountability, the fulfillment of that future vision becomes the dream of the organization as a whole and of every member individually. A strategic plan provides the framework to guide the organization as the future conditions change and can be developed with five fundamental steps.Step One - Develop the Work Plan. Basically, while a number of issues must be addressed in assessing readiness, the determination to create a strategic plan comes down to whether an organization's leaders are truly committed to the effort, and whether they are able to devote the necessary attention to the "big picture".This involves five tasks to pave the way for an organized process: 1) identify specific issues or choices that the planning process should address; 2) clarify roles (who does what in the process); 3) create a Planning Committee; 4) develop an organizational profile; and 5) identify the information that must be collected to help make sound decisions.Step Two - Determine the Mission and Vision. A mission statement is the introduction to your organization. It describes your purpose and focus for being an organization. A mission statement typically describes an organization in terms of:* Purpose - why the organization exists, and what it seeks to accomplish* Business - the main method or activity through which the organization tries it fulfill this purpose* Values - the principles or beliefs that guide an organization's members as they pursue the organization's purposeWhile the mission statement summarizes the what, how, and why of the organization, the vision statement presents an image of what the expected accomplishment will look like. It is the vision of the future. Together, the mission and vision statements of an organization are an important step towards creating a shared, coherent idea of what the organization is strategically planning to accomplish.Step Three - Assessment. The mission and vision are a commitment as to why the organization exists and what it does. Once an organization has committed to why it exists and what it does, it must make a clear assessment of its current situation. The primary element of strategic planning, thinking, and management is an awareness of resources available and the resources necessary to accomplish its mission and vision. Knowing where you are and and what you need is key in successfully responding to changes. The 'assessment' means obtaining current information about the organization's strengths, weaknesses, and performance that will highlight the critical issues that the organization faces. These are the issues the strategic plan must address. The issues include a variety of concerns, such as funding issues, new program opportunities, changing regulations or changing needs in the customer population. The point is to choose the most important issues to address, generally no more than five to ten critical issues around which to develop the strategic plan.The assessment should develop a data base of quality information that can be used to make decisions; and a list of critical issues which demand a response from the organization - the most important issues the organization needs to deal with.Step Four - Developing Strategies, Goals, and Objectives. Once the organization mission has been defined and its critical issues identified, it is time to determine what to do about them in terms of a broad approach to be taken (strategies), and the general and specific results to be sought (the goals and objectives). Strategies, goals, and objectives may come from individual knowledge, group discussion, or formal decision-making techniques. The bottom line is that leadership agrees on the issues, priorities, and steps to address the critical issues.These are a flexible outline of the organization's strategic directions - the general strategies, long-range goals, and specific objectives of its response to critical issues. They determine how the organization will achieve its mission. As the goals and objectives are 'strategic', they can be modified as the situation changes based on new information or changes in priority.Step Five - The Strategic PlanThe mission and vision have been defined. The critical issues have been identified. The goals, objectives, and strategies have been agreed upon. Together, these are the elements of the strategic plan. From this plan, operation plans, or detailed action plans, are developed for accomplishing the goals.As the goals and objectives have been identified, it is easy for leadership to review the actions and determine if changes are needed as question arise or issues change.The final product is a strategic plan; an outline of who, what, where, when, why, and how and organization will accomplish its defined mission and stated vision. The goals and objectives provide a means to measure success or make necessary changes 'strategic' adjustments to the plan.
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Chief

Your Club as a Business – Start with a Plan

Your Club as a Business – Start with a PlanThe casual conversation has produced an idea. Now, how do you turn the idea from an abstract thought into reality? What is it you want to accomplish? What is it you need to accomplish? All good ideas happen when they have a solid plan to support them.So, what is a “plan”? A plan is intentional; a method of doing something that is worked out in detail before it is begun. A plan is a detailed list of steps to be done. A plan starts with a vision, or mission statement, of what is to be accomplished. A plan forces you to clarify your goals and how much money (time) you are willing to commit. Determine how you will allocate your time. Time is money and it is the most important asset you can invest. A plan helps you make a wise investment.Your idea starts with shared values and vision. Whether your desire is for the camaraderie and social life of a club or grassroots activism to support your wheeling area, it should address certain factors.A mission statement for your program describes in brief terms the focus of the organization. It is the formal document that states the goals of the organization. It is a brief description of the organization’s fundamental purpose and answers the question, “Why do we exist?” The mission statement should answer the following questions: 1) What are the opportunities or needs that we will address? 2) What are we doing to address these needs? And, 3) What principles or beliefs guide our efforts?After determining “what” is to be accomplished, the plan needs to address “how” the effort will be accomplished. This describes in general terms how the mission of the organization will be accomplished. Determining the “how” draws on a wide range of knowledge from many different business disciplines: finance, human resource management, intellectual property management, supply management, operations management, and marketing. The “how” for a non-profit organization should contain enough information to guide the organization.This is followed by a description of the structure of the organization. Will you have officers? Will you have a Board of Directors? What are the expected duties of the officers? How will officers and the Board of Directors be assigned? Next comes a brief explanation of who can participate. An important element of organizations is membership. Membership is some combination of individuals or coalitions with other organizations with shared values and vision.All organizations need to have a measurement that defines success. You have determined “who” and “how” the mission will be accomplished. A measurement of “success” will provide information that you are accomplishing your mission.Finally, your plan should outline a series of steps for those who want to join. You have determined “who” can participate. Organizations and coalitions are about creating a role for everyone to participate and contribute something to reaching the goal. Matching a willing member's skills to the needs of the organization is what builds a strong organization.It is important to note that three primary types of organizations exist: clubs, associations, and coalitions. Clubs are composed of like-minded individuals pursuing a common interest. Associations are composed of individuals and clubs and represent a broader collection of interests and retaining a strong focus on shares goals. Finally, coalitions are composed of individuals and groups with diverse interests but sharing a common goal.In all cases, clearly defined organization mission and goals are important. Each individual member should clearly define their personal mission and goals to make sure their self-interests are part of the overall organization. Organization building requires both a willingness to set aside personal agendas for a common good, and a realistic understanding that addressing the self-interests of participants is crucial. Organization should plan and carry out actions that are doable with concrete results. Their activities need to include fun and must affirm the strengths participants. The members need to take a long-range view, understanding that the organization's agenda will take time and persistence. A well-defined plan will aid in the accomplishment of the organization goals.
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