Organizational Sustainability


Effective and relevant programs demonstrate the following qualities:

  • Developed with the participation of stakeholders. Effective programs are conceptualized together with the active involvement, either through direct participation or representation, of all stakeholders, most especially the users. This ensures their relevance and responsiveness.
  • Sufficiently described through a Program Description. A document is available that describes what the program is all about: its rationale, mandate or purpose; its contribution to the achievement of the organization’s vision-mission-goal; its goals and objectives; its target clientele or beneficiaries; and implementation mechanics (planning, monitoring and evaluation). For a review of the Project Management steps, a useful resource is Project Management Handbook, available at
  • Have SMART goals and objectives. SMART refers to Simple, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound or Timely. To know more how to write SMART goals and objectives, go to
  • Organically linked to the vision, mission and goals of the organization. Effective programs are consistent with the V-M-G of the organization. They have a strong rationale for being there, namely, the advancement of the organization’s purpose, not simply because funds are available or because they are the fad of the moment.
  • Have indicators of success and milestones of performance. Indicators are statements, usually stated quantitatively, that prove that objectives are met. Milestones, on the other hand, refer to a significant event, such as the completion of a deliverable or a task.2 A simple way to prepare a milestone is to identify the task, the deliverable and the timeline, shown below.

    Task Deliverable Timeframe
    1. To develop a program to help community foundations preserve local endowment Training course for preserving local endowment Two months
  • Adequately funded or have an identified source of funding. Before implementing a program, one must make sure that there are available funds for it, either at hand or through firm commitment. An uncompleted program due to lack of programs is worse than not having a program at all.
  • Overseen by a Board-level Program Committee. To ensure that a program has institutional support, it would be valuable to form a Program Committee among the Board. Aside from assisting the staff develop and monitor the program, the Committee can help look for funds to support it.

2“Milestones,” in Wideman Comparative Glossary of Project Management Terms,