Spring is finally here, and it’s time for everyone to step back, take a deep breath and start off the season with a new perspective. Spring cleaning is a time-honored tradition for millions of people – and while it’s a wonderful thing for sheds and kitchen shelves, the concept can go far beyond that. Spring can be a wonderful time to look at what you’ve been doing and how you’ve been doing it, and clean up things that aren’t working positively and productively. This is especially true for organizations, and non-profits like yours are no exception.
For non-profits, spring is often an exciting time. Many of the things you may have been fundraising for – school events, sports, travel and more – may be coming up soon. It’s smart to use this time, then, to step back and take a good look at where your non-profit is, from the status of your fundraising to the satisfaction and productivity of your staff. Spring is a time for energy and action, but where should you start?
First, take a look at your fundraising activities, especially for the last six months. Try to objectively review your last fundraiser. Did you choose a good method of fundraising? Is it a campaign you want to continue on an annual basis, or should you maybe start researching new fundraising options now? What were your goals? Did you meet them? And were those goals sufficient for your financial needs until your next fundraising event?
It’s also a good idea to check in with your staff. Let’s face it – working as part of a non-profit can be stressful at time. You want to do so much, but it isn’t always possible to help everyone or meet all of your personal goals. Whether your staff are volunteers, are paid a salary or both, it’s important both that you get their feedback about the status of the organization, and that they know you care enough to ask! I like to put together a brief survey, or hold an organizational get together where we discuss the past, present and future of the organization. Of course, you can always do both, as many people will not feel comfortable publicly expressing opinions that may not be popular – like concern about how securely funds are handled during campaigns, et cetera.
Just like the gardens that people are starting to plant, non-profits need care and attention to grow to their full potential. So take the opportunity this spring to consult with your staff and volunteers about their individual progress and concerns, and also to review the fundraising efforts and goals status of your non-profit. A company wide event is one great way to do this. When you do periodic check-ups with your people and organization, you will set yourself up for success throughout the year.