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New Year resolutions for not-for-profits in 2012

2 min read

A New Year brings with it new opportunities, and there is no better time than now to turn opportunities into success stories for your not-for-profit (NFP) organisation.

With a fresh mind and the renewed vigour that a restful holiday seasons brings, you are ready to look at your NFP with fresh eyes and action the steps necessary take your NFP to new heights. This involves:

1. Improving your communication channels
How are you communicating with your association’s members or your charity’s donors? Effective communication tools are essential to build and sustain a relationship with your target audience and also to market and promote your organisation.

Consider new ways you could effectively reach your target audience.

Does your association have a member magazine? Magazines are often the most-valued membership benefit and without having one your association could be missing out of new members. In addition to being a great member benefit, magazines remind members of the value of your association’s membership and are often shared in the workplace, making them an effective member retention and recruitment tool for industry associations.

If you already have a magazine, is it as effective as it could be? Are you, and your target audience, happy with the design and quality of editorial content? Is your magazine complimented by a more regular e-newsletter or Chairman’s email? These are all important things to consider and can make a huge difference to the effectiveness, professional standing and growth of your organisation.

2. Consider refreshing your organisation’s image
Is it time to update the look and feel of your organisation? Perhaps your organisation could benefit from the redesign of its website, magazine or even logo. Bringing your NFP into the 21st century will boost the image of your NFP and its standing. Remember, the first impression your organisation gives can make the difference between securing a new member/donor, or not.

3. Ensure you have an effective marketing strategy
How does your NFP plan to grow in 2012? How is it going to attract new members/sponsors/donors? How does it plan on retaining the members/sponsors/donors? Are the strategies you have been using really working, or is it time to seek fresh ideas?

4. Be realistic about what you can achieve
NFPs are busy places, often overcome with lots to do and simply not enough time, or people, to do them all well. Recognising what you can and can’t do is critical if your NFP is going to move forward and achieve all that it can in 2012. Were projects slow to action in 2011? Perhaps your organisation requires assistance. This may mean recruiting volunteers, hiring extra staff or leaning on other organisations to help achieve your NFP’s goals. Asking for help will ensure your NFP is moving forward and allow you to get more done.

5. Admit your weaknesses
No one is skilled at everything; it’s a simply impossible. By admitting that your NFP does not have the required skills for a project is a step in the right direction – it will ensure the job is done properly and at the highest possible standard, which is likely to mean a better outcome. Seeking help from organisations that specialise in providing professional services to the NFP sector will ensure your NFP receive specialised help when they need it most. Furthermore, outsourcing can often be cheaper than hiring someone internally.

Follow these resolutions and enjoy the improved functioning and efficiency of your NFP.

All the best for 2012!

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