Preparing for a new year
Just as we prepare our gardens for winter, can the last of our crop, and move our summer clothing into storage, we need to consider preparing for a new year of fundraising. Whether you are a CEO, ED, Board Member or volunteer, Fall can be a great time to have frank and open conversations about what has been working and what has not be working within our organizations.
The landscape around our nonprofits in the US is changing rapidly. Government funding at local, State and Federal levels have shrunk. Technology is changing communication methods. Where we get news and updates about our community is changing. Baby Boomers, who have been rock solid board members are retiring and some are moving. Branding is the name of the game in terms of marketing.
We need to ask is our mission and vision still valid? Are we using precious resources to create lasting improvements in the world or are we using resources to get people through the most recent crisis? What do our donors expect? What do our clients expect? What do our corporate and grant funders expect? What do new board members expect? Are we meeting or exceeding expectations and communicating the outcomes? Is there another organization meetings those expectations better than we are able to at this time? How do we create a sustainable funding stream in today's world?
If we are afraid of asking these questions, we already know that our organization may be following the wrong path in to 2018. I strongly urge my clients to prepare their budgets for 2018 not solely based on what happened last year, but based on a clear view of the effectiveness of their organization's mission, vision, policies, administrative structure and programs.