After the chaos of the holiday season, January can feel like a break. However, the work of the nonprofit volunteer or employee is never done, so it’s important to set aside time to reflect on your organizations’ past year and plan for the next. This time is sacred; put up the “do not disturb” sign, turn off your ringer, and ignore the emails! You will always have clients, interruptions, and life happenings however, you only have one chance to start your year with a plan to make it your best ever.
Here are some goals that you may want to consider:
- Thank Your Donors
Your donors deserve to feel special and appreciated. How can you personalize your thank-you communications? It might be as easy as updating your thank you letters’ opening line. Check out a recent Spokes blog article for tips on donor appreciation.
- Quit Micromanaging
Do you commonly find it’s easier to do something yourself than to ask your colleagues for help? You might be guilty of micromanaging, which is a sure way to run yourself ragged. In the Philanthropy Daily article, “3 New Year’s resolutions for your nonprofit’s sake”, author Katharine Janus suggests that clarifying your communication is the key to improved relations. Does your colleague understand the task? Do they know your expectations? Allowing your teammates to own their tasks not only empowers them, it also improves operational workflow.
- Organize Your Calendar
Since it can be easy to get busy in day-to-day activities and overlook longer-range planning targets, identify and circle these important dates on your staff calendar to manage the key functions of your nonprofit in a timely manner. Also, you can attend “Creating an Annual Development Plan” at Spokes to focus your organization on a diversified revenue stream that includes individuals, small businesses, corporations and foundations.
- Ask for feedback
SurveyMonkey or Google forms enable nonprofits to find out what they are doing well and where they could use improvement. On an individual level, surveys are an excellent anonymous tool to understand how your colleagues see your strengths and weaknesses. Even though it may be daunting to solicit constructive feedback from your leadership or staff team, doing so will provide you with the information needed to better focus your time and energy for greater results. If you’re new to surveys, sign up for Spokes’ class “Research 101”, designed to teach you how to research and evaluate program and service goals.
We hope you find these goals easy to incorporate into your new-year planning session. Three cheers to a new year filled with gratitude, improved teamwork, organization, and professional advancement!