15 Ways (And 15 Days) to Make Your Nonprofit Better Before Year-End

Today, we’re exactly 15 days away from the end of the year—enter all of the cliché sentiments about what a year it has been, all we’ve accomplished and how time really flew by (even though those statements are true).

Sometimes making your organization better doesn’t have to start with a huge leap. Instead, improving can start with a tiny action and a promise to keep trying to be better. That’s why we’ve compiled 15 ideas that can be done quickly each day to make your organization even better before 2016 rolls around.

December 17

Send a thank-you to an unsuspecting long-time donor. Make it hand-written. Send it not because they just gave you money, but because you genuinely love having them as a donor. They won’t be expecting it, which makes it all the more special.

December 18

Set personal goals for yourself within your organization. Start with an overarching goal you hope to accomplish in 2016, then break it down into smaller steps. For example, your overarching goal could be to improve communication for your organization in 2016. A small goal that you can implement in January would be to ask staff, volunteers and donors how they’d like to see communication improvement in 2016. Then in February (or earlier) take those suggestions and see what you can implement or being to work on.

December 19

Pick one of your lists and engage cleanup mode! Steven Shattuck suggests taking out people who haven’t given in two years. It’s time to say your goodbyes. Check out Shattuck’s other tips on segmenting lists while you’re at it.

December 20

Add title tags to your website. Title tags appear when somebody searches your website online and in the top of the browser window as a tab. This will help with SEO.

December 21

Set Nonprofit Hub as your Internet home screen. OK, selfishly, we’d love that—but it would also help you get our top content every single day. You can also do that through signing up for our Hubcap, which is an email delivered to your inbox every Monday with our top articles of the week.

December 22

Try out an email marketing tool you’ve never used before, simply to experiment with change. Nonprofit professionals are just like everybody else—slightly terrified of change.

December 23

Freshen up your social media pages. People will be active on social sites throughout the holidays. Make sure all of the information is filled in and current in the about sections on your social media sites. While you’re there, post if you have something to say.

December 24

Take 10 minutes to brainstorm new and unique fundraising ideas for next year. You could brainstorm by yourself, but it’s incredibly beneficial to bounce ideas off of other people. You never know when one idea will spark another idea from somebody else.

December 25

Laugh at these awesome posts from our friend Rory at Fundraiser Grrl. Know that you’re not alone in your nonprofit journey, and that sometimes it’s easiest to laugh about life and the fundraising adventures we go through.

December 26

See if you can recite your mission statement without looking. If you can, would it make sense to somebody who has never heard of your organization? If not, it’s probably time to reevaluate how you’re portraying your organization.

December 27

Scout out conferences that you’d like to attend in 2016. Jack Karako from IMPACTism outlined five nonprofit conferences for us in a post earlier this year. Networking with other nonprofit professionals can help you gain fresh ideas to improve your organization.

December 28

Find a mirror. Step in front of it. Practice giving your fundraising pitch. Sound ridiculous? Maybe it does, but do you know what doesn’t sound ridiculous? Getting that major donation because you really know your stuff.

December 29

Call up your board chair and ask them what’s up. Ask them how you’re doing from their perspective. Ask them what you should know from their world. Make sure to check out our next issue of the Nonprofit Hub Magazine for more on how to maintain strong staff-board relationships.

December 30

Send a survey to your volunteers (you should be doing this already!). Make it a year-end survey. Ask them how they’d like to be involved in your organization in the coming year. Find out what they loved about volunteering, and what they might like to change.

December 31

Think of a topic you’d like to see us write or present on in 2016 and send it to us at [email protected]. We appreciate your feedback and would love to help you out in whatever way we can.

Happy New Year!

By 2016, you’ll be feeling strong in your nonprofit operations. The best part about this? If you skip a day or if you don’t see this article until halfway through, you can start at any time and pick up where you left off. Take five to 10 minutes each day to make your nonprofit organization better. What other quick tips can your organization apply in a few minutes to drastically improve?


Lyndsey Hrabik

Lyndsey is a former editor for Nonprofit Hub and Nonprofit Hub Magazine. She now serves as a guest contributor, writing on topics such as social media, technology, marketing and starting a nonprofit.

December 17, 2015

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