Soon we will be ringing in a brand new year and with it our many hopes for a mission-filled 2016! To prepare your nonprofit to begin its best year yet, December offers a terrific opportunity to develop those ‘resolutions’ that will guide the way.
- Start at the top and create a board of directors that reflects the specific needs of your nonprofit – Bring on members who are best able to help achieve the agency’s mission. This includes seeking out members with the right qualifications, passion for what you do and those you serve, and should include considerations like diversity (think age and/or life experiences) and capacity to serve.
- Take an introspective look back – Thoroughly understanding those strategies that have or have not worked well during the past year can serve as your best insight into developing a promising and intelligent plan for the upcoming year.
- Outline your ‘Plan to Plan’ for the upcoming year – Once you have thoughtfully evaluated your most recent year, begin by creating an outline of who and what you will need to develop an effective strategic plan to guide you toward the future. Consider the people and teams needed for planning for various areas of the organization as well as the resources that will be necessary in each step throughout the planning process.
- Share the stories of those you serve with those who make it possible – Sharing success stories of those your nonprofit has helped is often the best testimonial of the change that can occur when people come together and work for a common cause. When donors, supporters and employees alike see the difference their contributions have made in the lives of others (both monetary and otherwise) they will be all the more motivated to continue their commitment to your cause.
- Give time and attention to your social media outlets – Whether you use a simple website or use other tech-savvy outreach methods such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram (among others), each of these online venues will accumulate clutter throughout the year. Review each of the platforms your nonprofit uses and be sure that your mission and all current content is front-and-center. Never delete content since you will likely need to access it again, but carefully archive it (or simply make it inactive) to avoid taking up the space needed for current news and events.
- Give special attention to social media responses – Many of your supporters and followers on social media are passionate about your cause or at the least interested in what your nonprofit is doing; pay attention to the feedback you receive from each of these outlets. Many offer wonderful donor feedback and perspectives, mission encouragement, or even share their own stories of how your nonprofit has made a difference in their lives. All of these can be archived and used during donor communications in the forthcoming year.
If you have any end of year tips to share with others, please enter them below. Happy New Year!