When I ask people about their New Year’s resolutions, they most often respond with a personal goal. I’ve heard things like, “This year, I’m going to run my first marathon,” or “I want to take a pottery class.” Last year, I resolved to drink more water and keep up with my laundry. (While I am now more hydrated, my laundry is still a dismal failure).
The new year is a fantastic time to check in with yourself, but it also provides an excellent opportunity for introspection in your work. Whether you’re a nonprofit, campus, or business, you’ll benefit from setting goals for improvement in the coming year. Here are some easy ideas to get you on track in 2017.
Clean Up Your Website or Blog
Online platforms tend to accumulate a lot of extra material throughout the year. This is normal! However, it is necessary to monitor what is viewable by the public. Resolve to clean up your website and make sure your content is up to date. If you come across outdated pages or posts, opt to archive them instead of deleting them. If you delete this information, you lose your historical record, and you never know when it could come in handy.
Consider a yearly habit of making sure your website is up to speed.
Seek Corporate Partnerships
If you are a nonprofit or a campus, it would be wise to note the rise in corporate volunteerism. In recent years, businesses have realized that workplace volunteerism increases employee happiness, productivity, and retention. According to Cone Research, 79% of people want to work for a socially responsible organization. Companies are increasingly responding by developing their own Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs and by offering paid time off for volunteerism.
As a result, there is an influx of workplace volunteer activity. Campuses and nonprofits have the unique opportunity to work with skilled volunteers who are eager for cause work. This year, make it a point to reach out to these businesses and corporations to set up team initiatives, skills giving, and workplace donation programs. This article will teach you how to choose and approach a corporate partner.
Review Your Bylaws
Your organization likely has a set of bylaws that describe the rules of day-to-day operation. Sometimes, you may find better ways to do things that are not necessarily “by the book.” While it’s important for your organization to run efficiently, it is equally necessary to verify if you are managing things according to the rules. If you’ve strayed from the original outline, the new year provides a good opportunity to review the old rules and make sure they still make sense for your organization. If they’re no longer practical, take some time to update them for your 2017 makeover. This article will help nonprofits, in particular, think through the process of updating their bylaws.
Become a Visual Storyteller
Visual storytelling is increasingly important for nonprofits, businesses, and campuses, and it is cheaper and more in-demand than ever before. If you consider that you’ll generate up to 94% more post views by adding compelling visual content, incorporating visual storytelling into your media strategy is a no-brainer.
In 2017, make it a point to gather stories from your volunteers, donors, partners, or community members, and pair them with visuals. Even cell phone snaps will do. If you share these via your blog or social media, you will attract people to support your cause. As an added bonus, people are more likely to share visual content on the web—which is free marketing for your campus, corporate, or nonprofit volunteer program. Charity: water is a fantastic example of a nonprofit who has embraced visual storytelling with great success. Notice that they use a combination of videography, photography, and iconography in their storytelling approach.
STOP Doing Something
Sometimes the best resolution is to give yourself more time. There is so much important work to do in your organization that it’s easy to spread yourself too thin. Choose one extraneous thing to eliminate so that you have more time to focus on that big fundraiser or event, or on nurturing donor relationships.
Set Aside Time for Introspection
When was the last time you checked in with how you are perceived by the public? I think most of us get so caught up in the day-to-day that we forget to look at ourselves from an outsider’s point of view. Take a little time to ask your communities for feedback on how you’re doing. Survey them to learn how they view your brand, what they think you can do better, etc. This way, you’ll know if you’re spending your time effectively, or if you need to allocate your resources differently in the coming year.