Hello 2017! The New Year is the perfect time to throw out those pesky bad habits and start a new routine. And as you’re planning out your own personal resolutions, you should also be thinking of resolutions you can do at your nonprofit.
Starting off the new year with new goals can motivate you and your organization in ways you never thought possible. Below is a list of 17 (because 2017) New Year’s resolutions you can do at your nonprofit.
Nonprofit New Year’s Resolution Ideas
1. Clean up your database
Dirty data is bad data. Spend time going through your Raiser’s Edge, Financial Edge, Abila MIP, or other financial/fundraising software to clean up your records. Fill out entries completely or delete those that are too outdated.
2. Improve donor retention
Improve your donor retention by analyzing your donors and sending them messages that target their preferences. Segment your donors into specific groups like high-wealth donors, multi-year donors, end-of-year donors, etc. and send them personalized messages to keep them engaged – resulting in improved donor retention.
3. Get a mobile website!
If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, you’re making it really hard for mobile and tablet users to learn more about you, and more importantly, donate to your cause! Make it a priority to update your website and ensure it is responsively designed.
4. Find your perfect email templates
Email marketing is one of the easiest ways to engage donors, thank them, share content and fundraising updates, and keep them updated on what’s happening at your organization. Test different email templates to see which ones give you higher CTRs. You could end up having different ones for specific emails, like a template just for sending announcements and a template just for thanking someone for donating.
5. Repurpose your marketing content
Producing quality content takes a lot of time and effort. Probably more than you have to spend. By repurposing your existing marketing collateral you can get more mileage out of pieces you’ve already spent time creating. Break up your content to create social posts, images, a blog, etc. You can then use email to direct your newsletter subscribers to those posts.
6. Connect with other nonprofit professionals
Meet up with other nonprofit professionals once a month or so to talk shop. You’re probably facing some of the same challenges so it’s a great way to learn what is working for other orgs. While their solutions might not necessarily work for you, it can help you think outside the box and solve your problem.
7. Create a social strategy
Social media is a great way to share with your donors, and the rest of the world, the amazing contributions you’re making to the world. However without a social strategy, you could be spending more time spinning your wheels than engaging with fans. Outline a basic social media strategy that shares who you’re trying to target on which channel, the types of posts you want to share, how to respond to fans, etc. This can also come in handy if you need to train new employees on social media policies.
8. Optimize your giving experience
When was the last time you went through your giving experience? If it’s been a while, chances are it might need some revamping. Take notes as you go, highlighting the positive and negative aspects of the process – these notes will help you improve and retain more donors.
9. Get to know your volunteers
Your volunteers spend their free time and energy helping your cause succeed. Next time your volunteers are in the office, working an event, etc. take a few moments to get to know them. Ask them about their family, why they’re volunteering, their favorite part of the city, anything to make a connection and let them know their hard work isn’t going unnoticed.
10. Professional development
Whether you work in accounting, finance, marketing, human resources, or another department, keeping up with professional growth is a must. Attend a webinar or in-person course on something in your field to keep learning and stay up to date on the latest technologies and trends.
11. Thank your donors
Without your donors generous support, you wouldn’t be able to provide programs to those in need. Take the time to thank your donors: send them a nice email outlining what their donations have been able to do, invite them to a party honoring donors, snail mail a handwritten thank you card.
12. Keep up with trends in the nonprofit space
Just like you need to maintain professional development, you should also be keeping up with trends in your industry. Following blogs and sites like npengage, The Nonprofit Times, and even our blog, can help you stay in the loop.
13. Use your database data create marketing strategies
Your database is a wealth of information. You can use it to see who is donating, what methods they’re using to donate, how many times they donate, are they engaged in communications, etc. After analyzing the data, you’ll be able to create customized marketing plans just for these segments — resulting in increased donation retention.
14. Get to know your employees
How much do you know about your employees? If you see them in the breakroom or at the water cooler, take a minute to ask how their day is going or see what their plans are for the weekend.
15. Celebrate milestones
Receive a huge donation through your website? Or surpass your event fundraising goal? It’s time to celebrate! Get the entire organization involved and commend your team for their great work.
16. Reply to every Facebook comment, tweet, Instagram comment, LinkedIn message, etc.
This may seem like a huge undertaking, but the effect it can have on your community will far outweigh the effort. Even a simple “thanks” or a heart emoji can make the day of your followers.
17. Enjoy the everyday moments
You’re busy: you have tasks to accomplish and goals to meet. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy the small moments of each day. Slow down and take the time to chat with coworkers and employees, have an extra cup of coffee, or take a walk during lunch.
Setting a New Year’s resolution that involves your nonprofit work can help you achieve and surpass your goals. Keep at it, even when you think it’s too late to make improvement. By the end of the year, you’ll be glad you stuck it out – and ready to take on another challenge.
Capital Business Solutions is a fundraising and financial solutions provider for nonprofit organizations throughout the United States. Learn more about our fund accounting solutions, fundraising software, and more by contacting email@example.com, calling (888) 249-6008 ext.110, or filling out this form.