We can’t believe it’s almost 2020! As the holiday rush settles, January offers the opportunity for respite, self-reflection, and a bit of planning ahead. Your organization can embrace the new year, too. It’s your chance to gather as a team, reflect on last year’s successes, reevaluate current practices, and establish your organization’s intentions moving forward. To start the conversation, we present ten New Year’s resolutions that your organization can stick to!
1. Keep Up with Nonprofit Trends
Is your organization adapting to changes in the way your community—and the world—operates? What do you need to know about the latest in charitable giving, disaster preparedness, cyber security, volunteer engagement, or donor retention? Keeping up with it all can seem like an overwhelming task. In 2020, resolve to spend some time each week browsing the latest on the trends that are most important to you. At Galaxy Digital, we make a priority to keep up with nonprofit trends–and we’re eager to share out knowledge! We write about volunteer recruitment, employing today’s technologies, and leveraging corporate philanthropy. Follow our blog, along with your other favorite resources, to boost your knowledge throughout the year. You’ll thank yourself later!
2. Pursue Professional Development
The pursuit of continuous growth will empower you and can ultimately help you to improve your community. Identify a skill you would like to improve, a gap in your knowledge, or an attitude you’d like to change, and get to work in 2020! Attend a conference, find a workshop, log in to a webinar … or resolve to read that book you’ve been meaning to get to!
3. Set Achievable Goals—and Celebrate!
Goals are important; they guide our work and help us grow. Set targets that are challenging but achievable for yourself, your organization, and even your volunteers. For every goal, have a plan of action that outlines steps and indicators of success. You can set goals for volunteer responses, hours, and fundraising, and your software will keep track of your progress and generate reports that will demonstrate your organization’s achievements. Don’t forget to celebrate victories large and small–you’ll boost morale and feel motivated to move forward!
4. Take Donor Appreciation to the Next Level
Thanking your donors is vital to donor engagement and retention. Personal thank yous show that you appreciate each contribution; so while a “thank you” email is great, a personal phone call is even better! Check out this article for more on the best ways to thank your donors.
5. Engage on Social Media
Having a social media presence will increase your organization’s visibility. Start the new year with a social media strategy that outlines how you will reach target groups and the kinds of information you want to share. Plan to address comments on your Facebook feed with warm responses; your audience will feel like you care about their feedback. For more about crafting a social media strategy, give this article a read.
6. Build your Board…with Intention
Your board should represent the diverse voices of your community. Bring on members who are directly involved in the community you serve. Reach out to those who care about your cause and will bring new insight or skill sets to the team.
7. Volunteer with a Community Partner (or Three)!
This is your chance to learn more about your community partners and show that you care about their cause. You’ll get to know the volunteers you’re interacting with everyday, as well as the community members you serve. We think the best way to recruit volunteers is to be one!
8. Clean Up Your Data
A new year means new volunteers, community partners, and needs. Make room for them by combing your management databases for invalid emails and duplicate contacts, and keep an eye out for missing volunteer and partner information. When your database is prepared and streamlined, you’ll be able to focus on what’s important throughout the year.
9. Update Your Website–and Your Technology
Breathe new life into your volunteer management processes and tools. A great place to start is by refreshing your volunteer website. Highlight new opportunities and change up your pictures. A visual refresh will keep volunteers clicking through your website—they may just stumble upon a new activity they’ll love! While you’re reviewing your website, ensure your volunteer management tools are also up to date. There are some exciting volunteer management technology on the market that can help you simplify volunteer scheduling, hours tracking, impact reporting, and much more. 2020 is the year to welcome efficiency and increase your Return on Investment!
10. Savor the Moments
Planning for the future is key to success, but savoring the now allows us to feel fulfilled and be engaged. Thank your staff, enjoy spending time with the community members you’ve helped, and don’t be afraid to feel proud of all the amazing work you do!
We hope these suggestions inspired you to get planning! With achievable goals in mind, your organization will be ready to take on another year of cultivating good.