Terri Harel

The Essential 2014 Checklist: Make This Year a Success

December is the pinnacle of the fundraising season, so the work of planning for the New Year could have easily been neglected. But don’t worry – it’s not too late set yourself up for a great year! We’ve compiled a quick list of actionables that will help your organization hit the ground running in 2014.

1. Evaluate 2013

A bit of an obvious step, but still enormously important to spend ample time on. The Spanish philosopher and writer, George Santayana, wrote “those who cannot remember the past are bound to repeat it.” By taking a hard look at your results in 2013, you can avoid making similar mistakes and continue to develop your organization’s strengths.

Look back on the past twelve months and ask:

  • What were our big wins?
  • What were our greatest challenges?
  • Did we accomplish our goals?
  • Where did we fall short?

Learning from the past year will let your organization start 2014 as not only a year older, but a year wiser too.

2. Set Goals for the New Year

You will soon be hearing all about New Year’s resolutions: friends will share theirs, talk shows will tell you how to keep yours, and the local gym will be packed. But just like people, organizations need digestible goals to grow and improve.

Where does your nonprofit want to be in a year? Do you want to launch new programs? Serve more constituents? Increase transparency? The first step to getting anywhere is deciding where you want to go.

3. Say Thank You

You already know that the work of a fundraiser does not end once someone clicks the “Donate” button. Start 2014 by thanking all your old and new donors for their contributions – follow up with all your supporters and not just those who you engaged with during your holiday campaign.

Don’t wait until the last minute to compose “Thank You” e-mails for the different segments of your community. If you can, go above and beyond by making a few phone calls or a video in which your staff and constituents thank your donors.

4. Engage

After the windfall of donations from the holidays, you must engage supporters before they forget about you. Don’t let your organization become just another good intention on donors’ lists of resolutions.

The New Year is a great time to persuade one-time holiday donors to commit to a monthly gift. You could also encourage the audience of holiday donors to become fundraisers by forming a peer-to-peer page.

5. Get Mobile

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: making your website readable and functional on mobile devices is not a plus, it’s a must. [Tweet this quote!]

With 40% of emails being opened and 15% of donations coming from mobile devices, using integrative design for your landing pages, emails, and donation pages has never been more important.

By taking these steps, you can prepare your nonprofit for a successful 2014!

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Image Credit: Peter Rosebjerg

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