Beginning Your Strategy and Budget

The Master’s Trestle Board
“Beginning your strategy and budget”

RICHARD H. RYDER (January, 2017)

This is the first in a series of article to help the Senior Warden, in anticipation of being selected “Master-Elect”, to plan his term as Master.  So as not to overwhelm him with too much information at once, this series of articles will take a sequential approach that follows the Master’s “Preterm” Time Line.  In this series segment we will look at timeline items for January.

Measure Twice, Cut Once
It is imperative that the Senior Warden begins early to plan his year as Master. Before he knows it September arrives and all eyes focus on him to lead and direct the lodge.  Taking the time to prepare a concise and focused vision statement, simple goals and objectives, corresponding and time-based action items, a basic budget, and practical ways to engage the officers will result in a productive and successful year.  As the carpenter is wise to measure twice, cut once, so too the Senior Warden is wise to proactively plan his year before putting his designs into execution.

Creating a Strategy
So, what are the components of a sound strategy.  Let’s review them:
·         Vision Statement to focus your strategy
·         Goals to meet the vision
·         Objectives to meet the goals
·         Action Plan to meet the objectives

In the next few articles we will look at each of these, but initially we will focus on the first two.

The Vision Statement
The vision statement is nothing more than a very brief description of what you would like to accomplish during your term.  It doesn’t have to be profound; it doesn’t have to be complicated.  A vision statement should be concise, specific enough to provide a sense of direction, but not so specific that it is restrictive and unattainable.

For example, the following simple statement provides a direction for all, but leaves open the many possibilities for attaining it.

“Create a lodge environment that makes members want to attend and be active.”

A goal is simply a statement that, when fulfilled, helps to meet part of your vision statement. For example, the following simply stated goal helps to focus everyone on creating a lodge environment that makes members want to attend and be active.  There can be scores of ways to accomplish the vision, but this is just one:

“By the end of June make each member feel a valued part of the lodge.”

This is considered a SMART goal, which stands for the following: Simple, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely.  As with the vision statement this simply stated goal provides a specific direction for all, but leaves open the many possibilities for attaining it.

Begin Budget Planning
We’ve all heard about the importance of a household budget;  the same should hold true for the Master and his lodge.  January is the time to start thinking about the budget and how it is so closely tied to lodge operations and programming.  Sound financial management and operating to a budget is one of the best things a Master and lodge can do to succeed on many different fronts.  For now, the soon to be Master should become familiar with the components of a budget and start thinking about costs as they relate to his strategy and goals.


Click the following link to view the preceding information along with step by step help and templates on creating your mission statement and goals:


Click the following link to DOWNLOAD a budget template. (Email Masonic Maven ( if you cannot download and open the spreadsheet) 

Budget Worksheet – NEW – now includes entry notes (xls version)

Click the following link to get budget template screen images in PDF format

Sample Budget Worksheet – Screen Images

Richard Ryder
January, 2017