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3) Determine Your Business Plan and Your Tactics, Programs, and Activities

Identify your resources, your needs, the challenges ahead, and the steps you can take in the short- and long-term to reach your goals. These steps should fall into a strategy you believe will get you to your goals—a business plan of tactics, programs, and activities.

  • Connect tactics to goals. Work backwards when determining your strategy. It’s important to trace your steps and ensure that any tactic you choose will fulfill the goals you have already outlined. Carefully choosing tactics will help ensure your organization is productive and successful.

  • Plan tactics based on the different arms of your organization. One thing to keep in mind is that many outdoor cat-related organizations have several prongs: 
    • Hands-on work - Trapping, transporting, and working with caregivers to ensure each cat is cared for humanely. Read more in our How to Conduct Trap-Neuter-Return Guide and our Colony Care Guide.
    • Clinic - Organizing frequent spay and neuter clinics for feral cats where caregivers and trappers can bring cats for services. Some organizations make this the focus of their work, putting a lot of resources into creating a formal low-cost or subsidized, high-volume, high-quality clinic that the whole community can use. Other organizations offer once a month or special occasion clinics through partnerships with veterinarians or shelters. Read more about feral cat clinics.
    • Campaigns - Working on the front lines for the cats. Organizations pay attention to what is happening in the local city hall and municipal shelter—where decisions are made that can impact the success of your organization. Organizations also help individual caregivers with issues that arise with neighbors or government officials, acting as a mediator in these situations.
    • Publicity - Helping your organization get the word out to the community about all of the great work you are doing. This area helps generate and mobilize advocates in the community through the use of the media. Learn more about working with the media.

Next Step: Clarify the Rules - Set your bylaws, policies, procedures, and systems