By Ashley Sharp, Executive Director at Live with dignity.
As 2023 has begun, many of us are spending time reflecting on our current practices and setting goals for the year ahead. The New Year has always been an ideal time to reflect on the past year’s performance, think about what we could improve on and make resolutions for the year ahead.
Many people may think of New Year’s resolutions as limited to their personal goals, but this is no less true. In fact, organizations should evaluate their current practices and make plans that align with long-term goals.
As your nonprofit reflects on all the ways you’ve helped your community this year, you should all be immensely proud of your impact. Take some time to reflect on all the successful practices you’ve implemented this year.
Then look to the future. Look for opportunities to maximize your impact and create solutions that align with your organization’s values. Here are some real solution ideas for nonprofits to inspire you.
Make your goals SMART
New Year’s resolutions are notorious for being unsustainable and unrealistic. Many people have experienced that urge to completely change their habits in the new year, but fail to implement a single resolution.
Prevent this pattern from happening to your nonprofit by following SMART goal setting principles. SMART goals are:
• Specifically: The goal should include real numbers and specific timelines.
• Measurable: There should be metrics you can use to track progress.
• Achievable: The goal must be achievable.
• Realistic: The goal should match the capabilities of your team.
• Timely: The goal should include specific deadlines to help you track progress.
Whatever New Year’s resolutions you set for your organization this year, making sure your goals are SMART will prevent you from getting discouraged and burning out.
Expand your community reach with in-person or virtual events
Outreach events can help if your nonprofit needs to reach more volunteers, generate donations, or find more people in the community to serve. The type of event you host depends on your nonprofit’s mission, but these events can help your organization make more connections.
As your team plans for the new year, set a specific number of events you want to host per month. This way you can create your timelines, organize your schedule and plan for the resources you need.
If your nonprofit wants to reach more members of your community and easily share information about your organization, you need to have an established social media presence.
Whether your organization already has social media pages or not, you can always be more consistent. As you review your nonprofit’s social media presence, consider posting more often, sharing success stories, interacting with your volunteers online, and joining multiple platforms.
Find meaningful ways to thank your donors and volunteers
Anyone who operates or works with a non-profit organization knows the value of donors and volunteers. As you plan for the new year, make a simple and powerful resolution to show your donors and volunteers how much your organization values them.
Some personal ways to thank donors include personalized thank you letters or emails, calling donors to thank them for their contributions, or posting about your appreciation for all your donors and volunteers on social media. Creating a specific plan for thanking your donors can help make everyone feel valued and valued. In addition, it can help your organization create a positive, uplifting community.
Whether you send out weekly, bimonthly, or monthly newsletters, they are a great way to inform your community about your nonprofit’s goals and events. Creating informative and engaging newsletters will help your donors understand the causes they support and help your volunteers plan their time to meet your organization’s needs.
If you commit to consistently creating and sending a newsletter, you’re also supporting your nonprofit’s other good intentions. After all, you need to plan the events and information you want to include in your newsletter.
Always remember your mission
The best resolutions are those that are tailored to the specific needs of your nonprofit. Keeping your nonprofit’s values and goals in mind as you plan for the year ahead is sure to create meaningful, positive New Year’s resolutions.