Another year has come and gone. And now’s the perfect time for nonprofits to reflect on and evaluate both the good and bad of 2016. The beginning of a new year is ripe with opportunity, offering the prospect to grow, change and become better.
As we usher in 2017, here are three ways nonprofits can proactively leverage the hard work of the past to ensure an even more impactful future.
1. Fire yourself and re-apply for your position
In the nonprofit realm, you wear many hats. Often, the work is messy and everyone’s required to be a Jack of all trades. Many executive directors and CEOs wear the hats of both visionary and executor. One day they’re meeting with the board to discuss vision and financials and the next day they’re in the weeds, pouring their heart into the cause.
A great practice in efficiency is to fire yourself (check out this interview with Donald Miller and Nigel Green). Not literally, of course! But this exercise can help you step outside of yourself and your personal ownership of a cause to look deeply into who the right type of person is to fill the seat of your obligation.
This process helps extract your personal habits and emotional connection to the organization t0 reveal what qualities one must possess to best fill the seat you occupy.
Nonprofit work is deeply personal and it’s extremely healthy to figuratively remove yourself from the cause to evaluate the job you’re doing. Your role is vital to your nonprofit. Let’s make sure you’re keeping the main thing the main thing.
2. Commit to transparent stewardship
The core of any cause is connected to its people and supporters. Last year, many people championed your mission through their prayers, time, and resources. Your nonprofit wouldn’t exist without these supporters. To fuel the passion of your contributors, it’s time to be completely transparent about your effectiveness in furthering your mission.
A great way to accomplish this is through an annual report. Believers in your cause desire to experience the narrative and summation of last year’s journey. Take the time to invest in communicating not only your impact metrics and finances but also the real stories of transformation.
3. Set big goals and commit to achieving them
It’s cliche but true; a failure to plan is a plan to fail. A lot of nonprofits are enjoying the fruits of their labor and rejoicing in them. Which is crucial! You should give thanks and rest after a season of intense, fatiguing effort.
However, it’s equally important to use this time to measure and evaluate what worked and didn’t work from the previous year. Dream big, pray and ask God to take you to the next level this year.
Just think, if you don’t establish goals and metrics now, how will you even know to rejoice at year end? Setting and committing to marketing and fundraising goals is a must.
At Angel Oak Creative, one of our key values is relationships. We’re here to meet nonprofits where they are. Oftentimes, this means coming in at the last minute to pull together an effective strategy and campaign.
But we’d love to see our clients putting plans in place right now to set themselves up for success later in the year. In the spirit of love, we encourage all nonprofits to rejoice in their 2016 accomplishments and start making wise steps to position themselves for success in 2017.
If you need help, we’d love to stand shoulder to shoulder with you to make it happen!
– Will Saunders, Digital Marketing Consultant