We wish you a Happy New Year as so many nonprofits began their new fiscal year yesterday on July 1, 2020. It may be helpful for you to begin your New Year with a fresh, clean slate, so we want to provide you with some specific strategies to “ring out the old and ring in the new.”
Since your financials are closed out, now is the time to clean up the files and the way you do business. Did you post a lot of expenses to miscellaneous over the past year because you weren’t sure where else to put the expense? Pull all of these expenses now and review them….is there a common thread that you can use to file them into a line item of your budget? If not, you may want to consider creating an additional line item on the budget to account for these expenditures. Accountants and funders who look at your financials would prefer to see all expenses tied to one of the line items in your budget and not dumped into a miscellaneous category.
Did you end the year in the black? If not, what can you do differently this year to ensure that you do? Gather your team together now, while there is still time, and develop a funding plan for the year. Then, assign people to actually carry it out. Include board members in this discussion, as well. Your funding plan should be diverse and include grants, individual donors, fundraising events –when you have a diverse array of funding sources, your risk is reduced in the event you would lose one source of funding.
How are you serving? In other words, are your programs and services effective? Are those you are serving satisfied with the services? Now, with the start of the New Year, begin to evaluate your programs and services. In addition to understanding what you are doing well and where your organization is challenged, you will also have some great data that can be used in grant proposals and to demonstrate the impact you are making in the community.
Does your board need training? Now is the time to get it on the calendar. Guide and direct the board so that they understand their roles and responsibilities, turn them into your allies and ambassadors. Training your board does not have to be expensive, if you are operating on a limited budget, visit www.boardflics.com for an inexpensive training option.
Perhaps your organization had a great year. Wonderful!!! Now is the time to celebrate. Demonstrate your appreciation to the staff and volunteers who made it happen. Plan an organization picnic, or gathering…anything to let people know that you know and value their commitment to and sacrifices for the organization. This is probably more important this year than ever before as COVID-19 has created additional stress for most, possibly more work and fears about the unknown.
What is on your to-do list at the beginning of the year?