Yesterday, my daughter told me that we are five-eighths through the school year. For those in nonprofits, that translates into two months into the calendar year and two-thirds through a June fiscal year. If you haven’t already, it’s time to focus on the short-term fundraising goals to help you achieve your nonprofit’s vision for the year.
Let’s define what a short-term goal is. For every organization it will be slightly different, but for the sake of this article we will define it as an objective to be achieved within three months.
This year you could consider adding fundraising goals that include:
- Meet with 13 new donors (one donor a week)
- Determine 1 new strategy to increase membership (will implementation be possible too?)
- Write down one new success story. Ask one other staff or board member to do the same
- Meet with 13 new prospects—people who might become new donors
- Perform a prospect research screening and identify 10 prospects or donors who are hidden gems.
- Find 5 new foundations that have similar focus (don’t eliminate any based on deadlines as your goal is to find the foundations, not find new foundation funding in the next 3 months)
- Make 13 additional donor “touches”
- Consider 1 best stewardship practice that you are not doing but should incorporate into your fundraising program
- Look closely at your board committees and consider which need more members, clearer direction, or new leadership
Don’t be greedy. Pick one or two and incorporate them into your already busy schedule. Moderate change is easier to incorporate than a total overhaul in the absence of a major reorganization of staff, staff responsibilities, and/or overcoming budgetary constraints.
This is not to dismiss long-term fundraising planning, but, if you are too focused on the long game, it is hard to feel good about what you are achieving now. And these short-term fundraising goals can help you achieve your long-term goals in a methodical way. It’s not too late to start planning ways to improve your fundraising for 2017, but you have to start.