7 New Year’s Resolutions

 
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Here it is. Another year and another opportunity to make a resolution to improve your life. 

If your resolution - or your boss’s goals for you - include improved fundraising or professional effectiveness, consider the following 7 resolutions to make the best out of your year for you and your organization.

  1. Develop a strategic fundraising plan. Not just any plan, a strategic fundraising planhelps you identify how you can do more of what you do best and less of what you don't do so well. That way, instead of working harder, you work smarter. What better way to start the new year!

  2. Simplify your grant research. Invest in tools to help you take hours of grant research and turn them in to minutes. 

  3. Thank your donors again and again. Research repeatedly shows that donors fail to make a second donation when they don't know what impact their first gift made for your clients. Thank them immediately then show them throughout the year what a difference they make for your clients.

  4. Educate yourself. Nothing is constant except change, and it seems we are in for some significant changes politically, socially, technologically, and economically in the coming year. Read what you can, take classes and talk to your colleagues about how these changes might impact you. Organizations like the Association of Fundraising Professionals and Grant Professionals Association offer conferences and regional chapters that can help you stay abreast of changes in the fundraising profession. 

  5. Develop and nurture your network. Fundraising can be a lonely profession. Get to know other fundraisers in your community.  Organizations like the Association of Fundraising Professionals and Grant Professionals Association provide a natural venue for networking. If you do not have a local chapter, pick up the phone and contact others fundraisers for drinks, lunch or breakfast to get to know each other.  People in your network can lend a helping hand, sympathetic ear, shoulder to cry on or celebratory high five. Often you learn from others that your struggles mirror theirs!

  6. Take care of you. Nonprofit executives tend to have great passion for their causes. Add that to the never-ending tasks of fundraising (have you ever finished raising money?) and you have the perfect recipe for burnout. Take time to nurture your soul so you have something left to give your organization.