Creating a Menu of Tasks | Training For Change

Creating a Menu of Tasks


Meeting Facilitation iconMeeting FacilitationOrganizing & Strategy iconOrganizing & Strategy




Training Tool


Going through this exercise can help  you identify what tasks are essential to event planning and where there is opportunity for skill-building and leadership development.

How to lead

Follow the questions- when done you can appropriately delegate tasks or volunteer for roles based on a sense of the big picture, as well as the opportunities for skill building.

  • What is the event you are planning?
  • What are the goals of event?
    • include task goals like get 50 people to a city council member as well as process goals, such as giving people a greater understanding of how city laws are passed
    • don’t get too caught into word-smithing or over-thinking your goals
  • What are the tasks that are absolutely necessary for the event to happen?
    • match these nuts and bolts tasks with the goals
    • To get a full menu, break-down the large tasks into highly specific sub-tasks
  • What would be a great addition to the event, but is not necessarily essential?

You now have a menu of tasks to be performed to carry out the event – with essential versus unessential tasks separated.

Last step is to circle items where there is opportunity within your group for leadership development. This means, if there is a task such as “contacting the media” where specific skills can be gained, circle it. Keep this task list in mind when doing one-on-ones.

An Example Menu of Tasks

Event: The Annual Dinner & Awards Ceremony
Goals: Energize membership, celebrate accomplishments, build community

Large Task: Prepare the dinner and all food
Sub-task: Buy paper goods
Sub-task: Buy drinks
Sub-task: Set up tables and chairs on the day
Sub-task: Cook lasagna

Large Task: Sell dinner tickets
Sub-task: Get tickets printed
Sub-task: Sell tickets by phone
Sub-task: Send out dinner flyer announcements
Sub-task: Call membership list about dinner
Sub-task: Stuff envelopes on February 2nd at 8:00pm at the office
Large Task: Awards Ceremony
Sub-task: Get awards speaker to motivate crowd
Sub-task: Get all awards certificates or awards gifts
Sub-task: Design and print award certificates
Sub-task: Notify all people who will get awards to make sure they attend

Large Task: Dinner Programs
Sub-task: Write and print program, with a list of annual accomplishments
Sub-task: Hand out program on night of dinner
Sub-task: Staff sign-in table at dinner

This just includes necessary tasks. The next step would be to circle items especially for leadership development of group members.

Where this Tool Comes From

Designed by Cory Fischer-Hoffman
Edited by Daniel Hunter, Training for Change
Task list from Building Powerful Community Organizations, by Michael Jacoby Brown