Nonprofit resolutions for 2012 | The experts weigh in

Welcome to 2012!

What resolutions will you be making to advance your organization in 2012?  I asked a few of my friends and colleagues to share their best resolutions for 2012.

Nonprofit database expert Robert Weiner said “like many people, my resolutions are often the same year after year.  If you’ve tried and failed to keep your resolutions, keep trying.”  His offers a resolution that every nonprofit should heed:  Be good to your data.  Robert says “I wrote this post two years ago and still stand behind it   I hope nonprofits will resolve to be good to their donor data.  That means making sure that there are documented standards for how data is stored, that staff are trained on those standards, that data is entered properly, that someone is in charge of keeping your data clean, that you know what is and isn’t a gift and how to properly issue tax receipts, and that you treat your donors’ data with the care and confidentiality it deserves”

Jeff Schreifels of Veritus offers up Six New Year’s Resolutions that will Change Your Life…or at Least Make You a Better Major Gift Officer–#5 Be Curious—Ask More Questions.

I think nonprofits should resolve to ask more in 2012. Hopefully in the context of researching, engaging, and loving on donors and prospects. But if they did all that without the ask, next year would be dismal. My mantra? “More asking in 2012!”
Marc A Pitman, CFCC, The Fundraising Coach

  1. Work on Partnerships.
  2. Fund Development. Get at least two development staff/consultants to help you.
  3. Learn. Take a webinar, attend a workshop, read a book. If you know how to be better, you will do better.

Mazarine Treyz, Wildwoman Fundraising

1.       Make fundraising a priority.
2.       Focus on the donor, not themselves.
3.       Spend more face time with their donors.

Sandy Rees, Get Fully Funded

I offer some new year’s resolutions for board members:

1.  Get more engaged.
2. Embrace a bias towards action.
3. think big.
4. Be optimistic, no matter what.

1) Respond to every donor.  Personally.  Every single time.  And, as much as possible, do so by the donor’s preferred means of communication.

2) Know your donors.  Conduct sufficient research to develop growing and deepening relationships, both at the major gift level and in every segment of your constituency.

3) Ask.  Often.  Through all available channels.  Just because mail or phone worked yesterday doesn’t mean it will work tomorrow.  And just because it doesn’t appear to be a big source of revenue today doesn’t mean it won’t tomorrow either.  If social media fundraising seems like a fantasy just remember how we all felt about email fundraising ten years ago.

4) Ask broadly.  America is a rapidly diversifying philanthropic marketplace.  We owe it to our causes and organizations to open the doors to a much wider community of supporters.

5) Go Global.  Wealth and philanthropy are expanding rapidly around the world.  Social media is opening avenues to reach audiences in places we once thought too far away to solicit support.  This is a perfect time to begin cultivating an international donor constituency.

Jay Frost

My resolutions for myself and the organizations I work with, in 2012, include the following: 1. Every nonprofit board achieve 100% participation (all board members make a significant donation), 2. Every nonprofit significantly expand their individual giving programs and at least double their donations from individuals, and 3. Every nonprofit solicits bequests to begin or grow endowment funds.  My personal resolutions include helping as many nonprofits as possible with these goals through writing, speaking and consulting.

I think an important new year’s resolution for any non-profit would be to make a commitment to learn more about the other non-profits in your area.

There are many great reasons to do this, but I think the the best would be to possibly strike up a new collaboration opportunity.

I think non-profits are at their best when they combine forces to solve local problems.  If you have never teamed up with another non-profit, let 2012 be the first time!
Jim Berigan
Everybody Hates Fundraising

I think that every nonprofit employee should do one thing that is completely outside of their comfort zone, whether it is making a presentation, going to a conference outside of the nonprofit sector and reporting back the ideas and trends from the conference, or starting a blog. Stretch yourself and make connections with sectors outside of the nonprofit space. These will help you understand larger trends
Marti Fischer
Marti Fischer Grant Services, LLC

My own resolutions?  I’m urging organizations to focus on the lifetime value of a donor – for long-term success.  Resolve to cut the nonprofit jargon, learn how to market and, lastly, try exploring outside-the-box educational venues.  Rather than signing up for yet another AFP workshop, why not attend an Internet marketing seminar?  Get outside your comfort level.


3 Responses to “Nonprofit resolutions for 2012 | The experts weigh in”

  1. Sandy Rees says:

    Thanks for compiling this list Pamela! There are some great suggestions from some very smart people.

    And thanks for including me. 🙂

    Sandy Rees

  2. […] (typeof(addthis_share) == "undefined"){ addthis_share = [];}Pamela Grow, of Pamela’s Grant Writing Blog, has compiled a list of new year resolutions from nonprofit professionals. Here are a few of my […]

  3. Great resolutions from wonderful people. Thank you Pam, and thank you all. My resolutions?

    To set clear goals.

    To work on them in little bites every day.

    And to see and appreciate the wonderful people and opportunities around me.

    Happy New Year!