Resolutions Nonprofits Need to Make

Happy New Year! 

The New Year is a time when many people make resolutions in their personal lives. I’ve never been that fond of making personal New Year’s resolutions, but try to strive for continuous improvement throughout the year.

Nonprofit organizations do need to make resolutions. You have to plan and strategize in order to be successful. 

Here are some resolutions for you and your organization to make and use throughout the year.

Stick with your plan
One of the biggest problems with making New Year’s resolutions is that people don’t keep them.  In my last post I wrote about creating plans and strategies to prepare for 2013.  Do you create fundraising and marketing plans and then ignore them?

Make a resolution to stick with your plans and monitor your progress.  If something is not working, you can always make adjustments.

This Dashboard can help you monitor your progress. Library of Sample Dashboard Indicators 

Be realistic
If you want to lose weight, it’s unrealistic to say you will lose 20 pounds in a month.  It may also be unrealistic for your nonprofit to hold a huge gala or produce a glossy print newsletter. Figure out what will work best given the resources you have.

Make room for growth
In our personal lives, we might want to learn a new skill or take a class.  This should apply to our professional lives, too.  Make a resolution to learn something new or build on existing skills.

Your organization should also take advantage of new opportunities. Be realistic, of course.  As you look to increase your donor base, reach out to people who will be receptive to your cause.

Do your best
Always strive to do your best within your capabilities.  If it’s only feasible to send out a monthly e-newsletter, make it the best newsletter you can produce.  Give your readers interesting stories that show how you are making a difference. 

Be nice
Many people want to improve their personal relationships, and this should also apply to professional ones as well.  If you want people to be nice to you, you need to be nice to them first.

Be nice to the people who support you.  Send thank you letters right away.  Keep your supporters engaged and interested in your work.  Make your messages positive and conversational.  Always be warm and friendly.

Don’t give up
If something isn’t working, don’t give up.  Perhaps you need to do things differently.  Take a moment to assess what you have done.  Maybe your fundraising campaign didn’t do as well as expected because you targeted the wrong people or didn’t use engaging messages.

Figure out what adjustments you need to make and keep going.

Relax
Some of us work on reducing the stress in our personal lives, and the same should be true in the workplace.

You have a lot to do this year.  But that doesn’t mean you have to work every single minute and stress out about your to-do list. Take breaks and time for yourself.  Creating a better work-life balance will help make you more productive.

Remember that these resolutions are just as important in June as they are now, so keep them up.

Do you have any resolutions to add?

Best of luck for a successful 2013!
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