It’s the holidays, so let’s make it a peppermint mocha frappuccino kind of coffee break. Right now it’s a flurry (no pun intended) of activity to make the most of year-end giving campaigns. As the last two weeks of December bring things to a close and life quiets down a bit, we look ahead to a new year and a fresh start.
Hopefully, through #GivingTuesday, annual appeals, events and the final push for year-end giving, organizations are meeting or exceeding goals for December fundraising, receiving the financial support they aspired to achieve. With an estimated 44% increase in donations on #GivingTuesday alone, it appears we may end this year on a positive note, witnessing a rise in overall charitable giving.
After the New Year though, nonprofits are often met with a lull in activity as we resume our daily post-holiday routines. Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean continued support and awareness takes a breather. But it’s important to find a balance between maintaining engagement with donors and asking too much too often.
So put this quiet time to good use and do some planning! Even though the big push for the season of giving is closing, keep supporters engaged with your organization and its ongoing needs, whether they’re financial, volunteer, in-kind, advocacy, or other.
As you’re watching bowl games and feeling hopeful for a better new year, here are a few suggestions to help fulfill those 2017 goals.
- Communication plan checkup. It’s the midpoint of the fiscal year, a good time to see how you’re keeping supporters connected to your organization and its mission. Take a look at some of the following:
- Do you have any fundraising events missing communications?
- Have you mapped out newsletter content? Consider having a donor or volunteer write a brief guest article about why they’re involved with your organization.
- Or (gasp!) are you in need of a communication plan? It’s ok – there’s still time to get started. Check out our series on communication planning here.
- Try out a new social media channel – See what the big fuss about Snapchat is and how nonprofits are using this quirky and fun outlet. Or take a look at what social media you need to be on and which ones you don’t. Even Taylor Swift can provide some tips on making the most of social media.
- Share your goals for the New Year – Provide insight and inspiration by sharing your organization’s hopes for the year ahead. Create a special email message that outlines your top goals – fundraising, programs, advocacy, volunteer, in-kind – and inspire your community to action!
- Prepare for MLK Day of Service on Monday, January 16 – Individuals and groups of volunteers across the nation are inspired to get involved on this annual day of service. Learn more about MLK Day of Service here. Typically December brings a flood of people interested in volunteering because they get into the spirit of giving… and then it gets quiet, right? Keep that December momentum going on January 16. Did you have a group of interested volunteers in December, but no way to put them to work? Perhaps you had the happy problem of too many volunteers and not enough volunteer opportunities? Brainstorm ways for these folks to get involved – whether it’s manual work (cleaning, painting, cooking) or maybe helping with data entry or technology projects that you haven’t had time to address.
- Most importantly, remember the mission and vision – Reflect upon your organization’s purpose and the community served through its actions. Reconnect with why you do what you do every day! Consider how your staff, volunteers and donors affect positive change in the world and are making a difference.
So enjoy this small window of time to reflect and to look ahead to a new year that brings new opportunities and a fresh start. Be motivated and encouraged by your organization’s work, and inspired to galvanize ongoing support for 2017!
We’re bringing affordable mobile giving to nonprofits in 2017! Learn how roundups can work for you, and start the new year off right. Learn more here.
Great advice, Debbie. Thanks for this “touchstone” piece. I might suggest your readers tie sharing their goals with their mission and vision. Provides stakeholders with perfect context.
Thank you for the tip, Kevin! It’s always important to bring the focus back to an organization’s purpose and vision when goal setting.