Get help now Make a donation


It’s important to think carefully about the way you want people to influence and participate in your organisation’s work. Planning for the year ahead is an essential aspect of this; this annual plan then needs breaking down into activities so each can be thought about and planned in depth. For people with lived experience, good planning leads to more meaningful and influential involvement; it can mean the difference between taking part in a single activity, and then feeling motivated to participate in and influence more projects and pieces of work or not taking part again.

Effective planning leads to more confident staff and quality opportunities, this in turn builds and nurtures relationships which positively shape people's perceptions of your organisation.

You should give full consideration to the work you'd like people to get involved with and give enough time to plan how you will make this a reality.


Managing Expectations


Developing your opportunity

Recruitment and selection


Valuing people

Diversity and difference

Top tips

Tools in this section

Annual influence and participation planning

This tool can help you identify how people will take part in each stage of your work and ensure people can meaningfully influence your work at the earliest opportunity and beyond.

With instructions | Without instructions

Application form

This tool helps those interested to tell you about themselves. It will help you make informed decisions about who should take part.

With instructions | Without instructions

Creating a group agreement

If you're asking people to join a one-off focus group or discussion event, a group agreement lets everyone know where they stand and helps to create a safe space for openness and honesty. If you're setting up a regular forum, make sure you have some terms of reference in place so that expectations are clear.

With instructions | Without instructions

Defining and refining

You can use this tool to quickly and robustly focus your team around the priority questions and methods that you will take into your influencing activity.

With instructions | Without instructions

Developing your opportunity

To make sure you're taking everything into account when planning your activity, you might find this 'Developing your opportunity' template useful. It takes you through all the things you need to consider to promote your opportunity and attract the people you want to reach.

With instructions | Without instructions

Identifying participants

You can use this tool to help you to think about which audiences and specific groups you would like to take part in your work, the methods you need to use and who can help you do this.

With instructions | Without instructions

Invoice for involvement

You could use this invoice template as a guide when paying people to be part of your participation activity or develop your own.

With instructions | Without instructions

Managing risks

Use this tool so that you can be 5 steps ahead of yourself and plan any risks that might present themselves.

With instructions | Without instructions | Further guidance on risk

Setting a good agenda

This tool can help you structure your agenda so that all participants are clear on the topics being discussed and know what is expected of them.

With instructions | Without instructions

Thinking about your timeline

Use this tool to situate your influence and participation activities into the bigger picture of your work. This will help you run meaningful initiatives that have the maximum level of impact.

With instructions | Without instructions

Main menu

Other ways to get involved

arrow_upwardBack to Top