This article was written by Suzy Geppert, former SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Partnerships Field Specialist.
Developing strong 4-H programs can be a difficult task. Many times people consider funding before program purpose. We are living in a world where financial support can be a struggle and diminishing budgets lead us to chase the dollar. However, as we look to the future in program development and grant writing let’s not forget our purpose and in the case of 4-H Youth Development that purpose is our youth. You will find that if your purpose is clearly identified it is easier to achieve the financial support you are seeking.
Identifying Your Purpose
Ask yourself the following:
- Why are we doing this program?
- What is the outcome we want to achieve?
- Who are we trying to reach?
- How are we going to reach them?
- How will we know we have had success?
Once those questions have been asked and answered you will be able to define your purpose and find it is much easier to achieve successful programming. Your purpose will help you identify possible partners and grants with the same focus area in common. It helps you determine measurable benchmarks and accountability standards. Finally, defining your purpose makes it possible to set realistic goals that can be achieved by creating a strategic plan that will lead to successful application and assessment.
Strong youth programs create enthusiasm, empower their young people, and instill confidence so that they may become equipped leaders of tomorrow. Engage your youth with purpose! For more information on opportunities for youth engagement through 4-H contact your local 4-H Youth Advisor.