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Wednesday 21 March 2007
Strategy project newsletter - edition 1

The Dons Trust recently celebrated its fifth birthday and rightly looked back at a long list of achievements. More important than looking back though, is looking forward to determine where we want to be in another five years and what we need to do to get there.

So, the Dons Trust has embarked on a strategy review, looking at our aims and objectives and how best to achieve them. First, we need to find out what Dons Trust members, other AFC Wimbledon supporters and our wider community want and how the various parts of the jigsaw are seen as fitting together.

We need to ask these sorts of questions:

- Which leagues do we expect to be playing in?
- Where should we be playing?
- What sort of ownership do we want?
- What should be the balance between volunteers and paid employees?
- How should we be involved with the local communities?
- How important is the youth structure and the Community Football Scheme?
- How should communication between the club, the Trust and the supporters work?
- How are the competition doing and what can we learn from them?

Maybe there are some others that you want to raise.

A number of groups have been set up to look at the various areas and they will choose their own methods of collecting views and setting up discussions. Email contacts for each of the groups are listed below. Everyone is encouraged to contribute to the areas that interest them, whether just through an email, or attending a meeting, or by helping a group formulate its ideas.

There will be an open meeting at Kingsmeadow on Thursday 29 March at 7:30 p.m. This is intended to give people a chance to talk to the leaders of the groups and get their ideas considered as the groups prepare reports and recommendations for their areas. These reports will then go to the Dons Trust Board, who will produce a set of options that the Dons Trust members can consider and vote on later in the year. So, everyone?s views are wanted now but, in the long run, the Dons Trust members hold the decision-making power. This isn?t just a talking shop for the usual suspects but an important opportunity to get the views of as many people as possible and make them feel part of where we are going.

The format of the meeting will be a short introduction to the strategy exercise and tyo explain the format of the groups and the meeting, followed by a number of ?break-out? sessions where people can have discussions with the individual groups. Flipcharts, post-it notes and other facilities will make sure that people?s views are captured. At the end of the meeting, the aim is for those who attended to leave:

- feeling involved and energised,
- understanding that an important and constructive process is underway,
- knowing how that process will be working in terms of timescales and outcomes,
- have had their say and feel that attention has been paid,
- know how to contribute further or get more involved in assisting a group.

The groups we have are:

Business - Ivor Heller
Community - Nigel Higgs
Stadium - Tom Adam
Corporate governance and organisation - David Cox
People - TBA People
Communications - Paul Jeater
The Competition - Erik Samuelson
Financing and Ownership

They will all welcome input and assistance and, with your help, aim to make this a successful exercise, leading to continued progress on and off the field on the way to the Dons Trust?s tenth birthday.