Image of three stacked hands

Scaling Plan

Systems Strategies


This resource aims to stimulate serious dialogue about scaling with key internal and external stakeholders. It contains a worksheet with focus areas and questions to guide a productive conversation around scaling.

Why should I do it?

Once a project or pilot has been successfully implemented, the next step is to build upon this success by sustaining and growing it further. Essentially this means extending the reach of your work to a bigger population. There are many ways of scaling up – from replicating the project across geographies, to collaborating with different organisations towards a shared vision, or even expanding upon the problem your work addresses. 

Social organisations can face quite a few challenges in scaling up their work: keeping a clear focus (e.g. strategic spread rather than just sprawling out); negotiating cost structures and revenues (e.g. sustainable income rather than one-of grants or capital);handling effective supply and demand (e.g. demonstrable results, at the right costs, for a receptive audience); leading organisational change (e.g. founders are replaced by managers); choosing the right organisational form (e.g. grow the organisation, partner, merge, take over, license, franchise). There are several resources that need to be in place for a pilot project to be scaled without compromising the necessary impact it must have. Regardless of how and when you decide to scale, it is key to first build a shared vision for scaling within your organisation. The Scaling Plan aims to stimulate serious dialogue about this with key internal and external stakeholders.

How to Use This Resource

The worksheet helps developing a shared vision on scaling up, while assessing your resources and whether your organisation is ready to take the next step. Based on the assessment of the situation, you can decide your readiness to scale, what aspects need strengthening and what aspects need more work. 

The worksheet can be used in a workshop with team members from your organisation, potential donors or even the intended beneficiaries and other stakeholders. It shows five key areas which you should consider to analyse whether your organisation is ready to scale. Use the questions on the worksheet as prompts to have a critical in-depth conversation on what you are certain about and what needs further investigation. 

While filling out the worksheet, try to give evidence in the form of factual data, rather than just anecdotes. It often helps to collect some of this evidence in advance of the meeting. 

Try to be as open, thorough and self-critical as possible. The more detailed answers you give, the deeper your understanding of the situation will be. 

The Worksheet

For a pdf version visit DIY Toolkit.