We all go into the new year with hopes and aspirations. It’s a chance to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. For nonprofit organizations, the start of a new year provides the perfect opportunity to reassess the previous year’s performance and set new goals in the form of New Year’s resolutions. 

Here are five resolutions we think every nonprofit should make for 2020. 

Clean Up Your Database

The end of the year is such a busy time for every workplace — especially nonprofit organizations. It’s easy to get lost in paperwork and even basic office housekeeping can be difficult to maintain.  Start by tying up any loose ends in your database. There’s a wealth of information available to you in your nonprofit’s database. These include donors, donations, events, communications etc. Look to see if your records are clean and complete and fill in any missing information. A few hours of hard work will be worth it in the end, because a clean and accurate database provides the best foundation for lasting success throughout the year. 

Further to this, take time to analyze the data you’ve accumulated. The information you’ve collected in your database is of utmost importance. It’s good practice to put all that information to good use. A good example would be to look over past statistics before sending an email campaign. 

Focus on Deepening Relationships With Existing Donors

Donor acquisition is difficult at best.  As North Americans, we are constantly being asked to give — whether it’s to local charities within our country’s borders or to people impacted by catastrophic events in another country. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the extent of need. While your organization may be planning on adding new donors to your base, it’s important to not overlook the many donors who already donate to your organization. Always remember,  in whatever ways you can, to treat existing donors with the respect and appreciation they deserve.

A large part of your nonprofit’s focus in 2020 should be to work on deepening your relationship with donors. There are a few ways you can do this:

  • Send personalized thank-you notes to your donors, or call them personally to thank them
  • Don’t make every interaction an appeal. Reach out just to say thanks, and nothing more. 
  • Engage them by seeking their input and feedback
  • Share stories and key results that illustrate the impact of a donation in all of your thank-you materials.

At the end of the day, donors simply don’t want to be treated as a checkbook. They want to feel appreciated and valued. 

Make Self-Care a Priority 

When you invest in your own self-care, you also invest in your organization. How is this so? Happier and less stressed employees simply perform better. Self-care also produces positive feelings, which improves confidence and self- esteem too. 

It could be something as simple as taking time throughout the day to stretch — even if it’s only for a few minutes. Just 10 minutes of mild exercise can increase your productivity. 

Have a look back at our last blog for more ways to reduce stress in the workplace:/ http://www.peelleadershipcentre.org/anti-burnout-habits-eds-can-start-today/

Treat Employees With Respect and Compassion

We don’t have to tell you — as rewarding as  working in the nonprofit sector is, it’s a lot of work. Turnover, therefore, can be high. Ensuring your staff feels appreciated and valued must be a top priority.

Make sure you’re checking in with your staff regularly and see how you can improve day-to-day functions. Take complaints and concerns seriously. Employees who feel heard are more likely to feel empowered to work to the best of their abilities. An appreciated employee will give you his/her all. 

It’s also a good idea to conduct exit interviews when staff leaves. When completed in a consistent and standardized way, these interviews can help you foster positive relationships and a welcoming working environment.

Foster an Inclusive Workplace Culture

The value of diverse and inclusive workplaces is a topic that has been extensively covered, written about and discussed. There are multiple reports and studies that show that having diverse perspectives in the workplace bring important insights that results in more informed and better decisions.

Simply put, workplaces are better off when each person can bring and contribute their unique “lived experience” to the workplace. Their lived experience is influenced by factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, ancestry, age, religion, sexual orientation, family status, level of ability, etc. So organizations that adopt inclusive practices and proactively work to remove barriers to full workplace participation are well positioned to reap the full benefits of embracing an inclusive work environment.

Best wishes from the PLC Team for a happy and healthy 2020. What’s on your resolution list for your nonprofit? We’d love to hear from you.

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