Getting Ready for the New Year

Getting Ready for the New YearOn the first day of the New Year, I found a few things that gave me pause for thought as I clear the decks and begin getting ready for the New Year.

    1. At the end of the year, most organizations judge their success by one question: Did we meet our budget goal?But growing future giving means investing in activities that may not generate revenue now, but will make a difference in the years to come. That’s why it’s important to ask yourself: What things do I want to make sure happen in 2018 as a result of my organization’s fundraising plan, assuming, of course, that you have a written, highly focused plan with clearly measurable objectives? Example Focus Areas:
      • Engage donors early and often to learn about what interests them.
      • Find one more Board member interested in becoming involved in fundraising.
      • Start a monthly giving program.
      • Improve our database practices so that our donor reports are consistently correct
    2. Congress has passed a new tax bill which the president has signed into law.The last year ended with a steady stream of advice from nonprofits, accountants, financial advisors, and the like to increase deductions and defer income. Now, I am not an accountant nor the son of an accountant, to paraphrase the prophet Amos (Amos 7:14). I am not here to give anyone tax advice. Anyway, it is too late as 2017 has passed.However, I think all my friends in nonprofit development shops ought to beware of the law of unintended consequences. As we watched results mount for 2017’s year-end giving because of the “bundling” of gifts or multi-year pledge payments, should we begin to think about what the impact of such riches now will mean for 2018 and beyond. Just sayin’.
    3. I am always thinking about leadership talent—acquisition, management, and transition. Are you or your organization confronting a potential transition in the coming year?Nonprofits require high-impact leaders who are audacious, visionary, bold, and results-oriented. This is the type of leadership we all need, and it’s the type of professional we will help you find or the volunteer whom we will help you develop.
      This past year, we added two outstanding leaders to our firm, Howard Charish and Kerry Olitzky, who are already making a difference.
      We understand that executive search is not just a recruitment activity, but an opportunity to define your organization and the change it will drive for years to come. Our executive search process is collaborative and focused. With your organization’s specific goals in mind, we work in partnership with you to find the best, most qualified executives to lead your mission. We serve both nonprofit executives and the organizations who need them to pave the way to the future. In this coming year, I want to focus on your leadership talent needs.

    Watch this space for a new series on managing transitions and finding the right person to make the change you envision.

  1. For now, all of us at Mersky, Jaffe & Associates wish you the very best for 2018, a year
    • without any unintended consequences
    • in which your focused plans are executed to a tee, and
    • your volunteer and professional leadership exceed your aspirations.