As we turned our clocks forward this past weekend, I realized how much I love this time of year as it’s lighter later and everything comes into bloom. Things are new, young and exciting. I grew up in a household where we took spring cleaning seriously which meant thoroughly cleaning every bit of the house inside and out from windows to curtains, to the attic, taking old clothes to Goodwill and preparing for a garage sale.
Springing forward is also a time when nonprofits should take the opportunity to do some spring cleaning. Organizations should dust off strategic plans, board development plans and fundraising plans and check progress against established goals. It’s a wonderful time to thank donors and visit donors to give them an update on the impact you’re making with their money - without asking for money. Many for profits and nonprofits are gearing up for annual staff evaluations and checking in on progress and metrics as part of work plans. It’s also time to orient new Board members, provide some training to Board members on fundraising and make sure term limits are monitored so that Board members rolling off in 2015 all receive a letter from the Board Chair thanking them for their service.
Below are five action steps to help you Spring Forward:
1. Dust off the strategic plan and make sure it’s being implemented. Bring it to each Board meeting and ask Board members to grade themselves on the successes of meeting and exceeding goals;
2. Collect impact statistics from 2014 in all areas to use in presentations, donors reports and marketing materials;
3. Hold a new Board member orientation and write thank you letters of service to those Board members rolling off;
4. Visit all of your top donors, not to ask for money, but to thank them, inform them and involve them; and,
5. Provide staff with the feedback they need to have a successful year through evaluations, work plan metrics and professional development.
My daffodils have been trying to come up for the last three weeks but the ice and snow kept them at bay. Enjoy the warmer weather and take this time to do some spring cleaning. You’ll then be ready to set new goals and strategies for the year and watch your daffodils bloom.