by Marie Palacios

How has the Fall been treating you so far? Are you staying warm, enjoying comfy blankets, fires and comfort foods? We are! This is one of our favorite times of year around Funding For Good. Marie and I have one final road trip for work next week, then we are in NC the rest of this year. Hanging with our friends and family, working on great new workshops and content for 2019, and trying to sneak in a little rest too. Much needed at this point in the year is a little extra nap time, snuggle with the dogs time, and general slowing down.

We have lots to look forward to in 2019 and have already begun to update our calendar of events with workshops, webinars and free seminars. We are booking board development training, conferences, and keynote engagements into the Spring now. If you want to work with us, book us to present, or create a custom program for your organization, email me now at mandy@fundingforgood.org.

Today we are going to talk about ‘wrapping up the holiday’. Let’s jump in.

Have you spent the past few weeks racing against the clock? Are you gripped by “holiday fear” instead of “cheer” as you close out the calendar year? Are you already stressing that you will ring in the new year with a “TO DO” list longer than Santa’s naughty and nice one?

Year-end mail appeals, Giving Tuesday campaigns, herding volunteers, hosting special events, tracking year-end impact data, and submitting financial reports…
It’s EXHAUSTING!

We know how difficult it can be to plan for next year when all your energy is focused on surviving the next month, so we put together a quick checklist to help you plan for a SUCCESSFUL 2019!

Top 5 Things Your Nonprofit Needs in 2019 to Grow for Good:

  1. Strategic Plan – If you have one…awesome! Pull it out, dust it off, and make sure the organization is actively implementing the plan and reporting progress to your board and stakeholders! If you do not have a current plan, check out Funding for Good’s free “Pre-Strategic Planning Checklist” [https://fundingforgood.org/freestuff/] to get started.
  2. Fundraising Plan – No more “winging” it. To create a stellar development, plan your organization needs to identify your top needs now so that you can establish a realistic plan and hit the ground running in January! A realistic operating budget, capital campaign expenditures, messaging/marketing strategies, and key donor prospects are critical to fundraising success! If you need a simple template, check out our free Development Planner Template
  3. Marketing and Communications – You have heard the adage “It’s not what you say…it’s how you say it.” Nonprofit boards exist to ensure that the organization is efficient, ethical, and transparent…so what you say absolutely IS important! Block out time in January to map out key organizational events, programs, fundraising, and other things you will want to share. Next, map out a communications schedule, so everyone knows what messages will be shared each month and via which mediums (social media, hardcopy, email, press releases, flyers, etc.)
  4. Donor Relations Plan – You all know how important it is to identify donors and ask them to support your cause, but do you have a comprehensive donor relations plan?  Focus on best practices for donor engagement. Remember that new donor acquisition and donor retention are both keys to a thriving organization. Schedule at least seven donor touches annually…and that doesNOT mean you are requesting a donation every time! Donor touches might include a phone call, newsletter; hand-written thank you note, an invitation to a special event, an award/recognition, and more! 8 Strategies to Gain and Retain Donors
  5. Board Development – An educated, empowered, and active board is on every organization’s wish list! Instead of dreaming up ways to magically transform your board, make sure your board is and willing and ready to roll up their sleeves in 2019. Need more ideas? Check out Ten Ways to Engage Your Board In Fundraising.

We hope this quick list and our other free tools are helpful as you continue to do amazing things for your community! Check out the videos below for more great tips and best practices.

If you aren’t sure where to begin and would love to have a “Pro in Your Pocket” next year…Funding for Good is here to help. Email Mandy to learn more about coaching availability, customized programs, board retreats, and more! mandy@fundingforgood.org

Happy Holidays!

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