If you run a nonprofit, I know that your task has been made much harder by this year’s curtailing of in-person events and individual meetings. I’ve witnessed some amazing creativity as you and your leadership teams work to maintain donor relationships and recruit new ones in spite of these limitations. Here are some ideas for New Year’s resolutions to help you maintain your momentum.
- Get serious about social. Many nonprofits struggle to keep up a robust social media presence. The key is frequency and consistency. I suggest you post something every day – at least Monday through Friday. Whether I read your posts or not, seeing them in my daily feed keeps your name top of mind. You don’t have to say something profound every day. Just let folks know what’s happening with your clients, your volunteers and your sponsors. The best way to get this done is to dedicate someone to the task. Don’t be afraid to ask your subscribers to share your posts with others. Set a goal for the number of followers you want and publicize it. You can also ask your donors and sponsors to help you reach it.
- Support your site. Without in-person visits, your website is more important than ever. Make sure your site is updated. If that task is overwhelming, consider simplifying your site. The relevance and accuracy of your information are more important than the quantity.
- Sustain your supporters. Without in-person opportunities to thank, recognize and socialize with donors, you’ll need to work harder to reinforce their relationship with you. Think about sending letters to the home, custom gifts – even personal delivery.
- Deal with your data. Without event planning work, you may have some extra time on your hands. This is a great opportunity to clean up your database. Build better lists. Make a plan for addressing or dismissing dormant donors. Find a way to elevate existing donors to the next level. What sources do you have for finding new prospects?
- Prepare for price increases. The cost of insurance is going up. This is the first “hard” market we’ve seen in 20 years. And the number of carriers insuring nonprofits is getting smaller. This may be the time to shop around for the best rates. Talk with your broker and make sure you understand all your options.
- Cultivate your culture. This time has been rough on your employees and volunteers, and attracting and retaining staff is as important as ever. Make sure you’re doing some kind of listening activity so you understand what’s really important to them. Could you be doing small things that make a big difference? Some ideas we’ve seen recently: Adding flexible scheduling options, treating the team to lunch, adding a recognition program, and creating a culture committee. At The Miller Group, we recently changed our 401(k) match funding from annual to monthly; it was a huge satisfier, and it cost us nothing.
I hope these ideas have helped inspire you to hang in there and keep up the great work. All the best to you in 2021!
By Pat Murphy, Chief Revenue Officer, The Miller Group