By Ashley Sharp, executive director at Dwell with Dignity.
Now that 2023 has begun, many of us are spending time reflecting on our current practices and making goals for the year to come. The new year has always been an ideal time to reflect on the past year’s achievements, think about what we could improve and make resolutions for the upcoming year.
Many people may consider new year’s resolutions to be limited to their personal goals, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, organizations should evaluate their current practices and make plans that align with long-term goals.
As your nonprofit organization reflects on all of the ways that you have helped your community this year, you should all be tremendously proud of your impact. Take time to reflect on all of the successful practices you have implemented this year.
Then, look to the future. Look for opportunities to maximize your impact and create resolutions that align with your organization’s values. Here are some real resolution ideas for nonprofits to inspire you.
Make Your Goals SMART
New year’s resolutions are infamous for being unsustainable and unrealistic. Many people have experienced that drive to completely transform their habits in the new year, only to fail to follow through on a single resolution.
Prevent this pattern from happening to your nonprofit organization by following SMART goal-setting principles. SMART goals are:
• Specific: The goal should include real numbers and specific timelines.
• Measurable: There should be metrics that you can use to track progress.
• Achievable: The goal should be possible to accomplish.
• Realistic: The goal should align with your team’s capabilities.
• Timely: The goal should include specific deadlines to help you monitor progress.
No matter what resolutions you set for your organization this year, ensuring that your goals are SMART will help prevent you from becoming discouraged and burning out.
Increase Your Community Outreach With In-Person Or Virtual Events
Outreach events can help whether your nonprofit organization needs to reach more volunteers, generate donations or find more people in the community to serve. The type of event you host will depend on your nonprofit’s mission, but these events can help your organization create more connections.
As your team plans for the new year, set a specific number of events that you want to host per month. This way, you can create your timelines, organize your schedule and plan for the resources that you’ll need.
Build Your Social Media Presence
If your nonprofit wants to reach more members of your community and easily share information about your organization, then you need to have an established social media presence.
Whether your organization currently has social media pages or not, you can always be more consistent. As you review your nonprofit’s social media presence, consider posting more frequently, sharing success stories, interacting with your volunteers online and joining multiple platforms.
Find Meaningful Ways To Thank Your Donors And Volunteers
Anyone who operates or works with a nonprofit organization knows how invaluable donors and volunteers are. As you plan for the new year, make a simple and impactful resolution to show your donors and volunteers how much your organization appreciates them.
Some personal ways to thank donors include personalized thank you letters or emails, calling donors to thank them for their contributions or posting about your appreciation for all your donors and volunteers on social media. Making a specific plan to thank your donors will allow you to make sure that everyone feels valued and appreciated. Plus, it can help your organization foster a positive, uplifting community.
Maintain A Consistent And Informative Newsletter
Whether you send out newsletters weekly, bi-monthly or monthly, they are a fantastic way to inform your community about your nonprofit’s goals and events. Creating informative and compelling newsletters will help your donors understand the causes they are supporting and help your volunteers schedule their time to meet your organization’s needs.
Committing to consistently creating and sending out a newsletter will also support your nonprofit’s other resolutions. After all, you must plan the events and information you’ll include in your newsletter.
Always Remember Your Mission
The best resolutions are the ones that are customized to your nonprofit’s specific needs. If you keep your nonprofit’s values and goals in mind as you plan for the year ahead, you are sure to create meaningful, positive resolutions for the new year.