Archive for January, 2012
It’s a new year and the resolutions have already started. At the beginning of each new year, approximately 40% to 60% of Americans make resolutions to eat healthier, exercise more, stop smoking, spend less money or make some other improvement in their lives. And just like people, nonprofits also find themselves making resolutions each year. Nonprofits generally make resolutions to increase funding. But like people, many nonprofits find themselves unable to fulfill their resolutions.
Karen Eber Davis of Karen Eber Davis Consulting (http://www.kedconsult.com/ ) says that, “Listing resolutions to increase your non-profit funding is easy but setting ones you can accomplish is tricky because fulfilling income resolutions requires multiple actions, unknowns, unexpected steps, and frequent recommitment. Funding resolutions that involve actions like these are impossible to keep.” Therefore, Eber Davis advises that nonprofits “shouldn’t set resolutions to increase funding.” Instead, she says that in order to avoid the negative experiences of failed funding resolutions, “do something better. Instead of setting resolutions, set goals.”
Eber Davis says that, “Goals identify specific results; require learning and refining actions as you work; and require more than a firm commitment.” She recommends to non-profit organizations the following steps in order to accomplish goals in the New Year:
1. Identify a list of outcomes you seek, like creating a more engaged fund-raising board, implementing a planned giving program or a developing a balanced budget. For most non-profits one goal will usually include increasing funding.
2. Prioritize your list based on which outcomes are most important to you.
3. Select No More Than Three Outcomes. At least one goal should be something fun. No need to make your work life torture.
4. Identify Next Steps. A step is a specific action you write on your calendar with a definite beginning and a definite ending. ‘Start planned giving’ is not a specific step. It is too general. An example of a specific step is, “Meet with Joe to ask him to be on the Planned Giving Task Force.” Once you complete the step, check it off and move on to the next step.
5. Plan for Realistic Incremental Progress. Avoid setting unrealistic steps, like trying to visit all twelve board members in January. If you completed seven visits last year, undertake a realistic plan of three visits per quarter.
6. Create Your Own Motivation. When you have a choice, motivate and please yourself. Take time to think about what will motivate you to accomplish steps necessary to meeting your goals. For example, if your goal is to spend more one-on-one time with your board members, find meeting spots that you enjoy and that energize you. And once you identify your incentives, write them on your calendar in ink.
7. Eat Peas First. Certain steps will need to be completed before others. But when possible, complete the steps you like least in the beginning.
8. Evaluate Your Progress. Assess your progress briefly each week and in-depth at the end of each month. The evaluation process is a good time to identify and schedule additional next steps.
9. Resolve to Achieve Your Goals. Nonprofit organizations should steer clear of making resolutions. But if you must make a resolution, resolve to do whatever it takes to achieve your goals.
For a free consultation and more information on setting goals for your non-profit call the HR4NON-PROFITS team at 630.830.4443 or visit our website at http://www.hr4nonprofits.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )