Will 2023 be different from 2022 or more of the same? If recent history is a fortune-teller, the answer would be a resounding “no!” But it’s not only history that determines our future, it’s also our vision for the future and what we are willing to do to make our dreams come true. We are not saying that all you have to do is decide and life will comply. We are saying that knowing where you want to go can be a first step in moving in that direction. In terms of nonprofits and fundraising, we recommend taking a moment to commit to building the capacity and infrastructure that can support increased funding in 2023.
Here are three questions to ask yourself. 1. What are you going to introduce that is different from last year? 2. What will you eliminate? 3. Will you make modifications here and there based on what you learned in the prior year? There’s no need to change everything, no matter what your situation. Just start with one idea and implement it. Then start with another. Ask others how things are going. Look at your data. Make readjustments. Talk up another idea, and then put it into action. But for right now, don’t do anything. Just take a moment to reflect on your development and fundraising plans for the coming year. Whether yours is an emerging grassroots organization or a century old institution there are always ways to improve. If you are a grassroots organization, you may call improvement “capacity building.” If you are an established institution, you may call your improvements “innovation.” In all cases it’s about being more effective and “spot on” in 2023.
Here’s a long list of things to consider. Remember – don’t think about all of these! Just pick one or two. These are things that we have found influence fundraising. Sometimes the connection is clear, other times you may need to look a little closer. Without further ado, here is the list: staffing; leadership; programs; communication and awareness; donor benefits, opportunities recognition, and acknowledgement; data management; special events; methodology; engagement; orientation, onboarding, and training for staff, board members, and volunteers; your case for support; the organization’s mission and goals; the organizational culture; financial goal setting processes; fundraising campaign planning; the work and culture of the board; special events; and very importantly, your programming, service delivery, and advocacy.
Use your time out of the office to mull over the three questions and the list above. Let things percolate in the back of your mind while you are focused on what we hope are more personal and enjoyable activities. Let one or two items rise to the surface of your consciousness. Turn these over in your mind – if you don’t think they will make a meaningful impact, let them go and see which other items call to you as priorities. When you’re back in the office you can begin the work of implementation. For right now, you’re just looking to find your way to what will be new.
Copyright 2022 – Mel and Pearl Shaw of Saad&Shaw – Comprehensive Fund Development Services. Video and phone conferencing services always available. Let us help you grow your fundraising. Call us at (901) 522-8727. www.saadandshaw.com.