It’s almost 2020, and many people are starting to draft resolutions that they’ll use to try and build new habits for the New Year.
Science tells us that by February, the second month of this year, most of those resolutions will fall by the wayside, and people will return to their scheduled programming of whatever they had done the year before. And it’s hard to stick to these habits, for many reasons, including that people will set lofty goals in the hopes of creating all-over change, not realizing that they need effective systems to be able to accomplish that feat. And since here at GrantWatch we care about our readers, I’m going to help make creating New Year’s resolutions just a bit easier by sharing my five best pieces of advice for drafting, and following through on those resolutions. Hopefully, by reading, and executing this list, it really will be New Year, New You.
Five New Year’s Resolutions for Nonprofit Organizations & Professionals
- Be Realistic: When mapping out your goals for the New Year, try not to be overzealous in your ambitions, to the point where it’s near impossible to actually accomplish the things on your list. If your fundraising goal is $1,000,000, start by dividing the sum into quarterly goals and plan your fundraising events accordingly. The objective is to keep you, your donors and your team from being overwhelmed. You may find that you do even better than the original goal laid out because you did not set your organization up for failure.
- Plan Ahead: If you are not receiving our newsletter, sign up today! Grants are a huge part of a nonprofits annual budget, but getting a grant is a waiting game that requires strategic planning. You need to find a grant or grants that fulfill your organization’s needs, then you need to follow the specific requirements listed by the funder. If you start the process in January or Q1, in some cases, your organization may not be funded until March or April (Q2). If you plan ahead, you can distribute the budget accordingly. Planning ahead allows you to ensure that you have the tools and the money you need.
- Have an Accountability Partner: Keep the members of your organization in the loop regarding your goals. They will essentially be your accountability partners. Have regular meetings and talk about specific issues with your progress, but also discuss mini victories.
- Reward Nonprofit: One of the ways to keep pushing through when times get tough is to have rewards set up along your path. Setting mini-goals along the way towards a larger goal helps with this and allows you to reward yourself as you accomplish smaller steps. Reaching a certain monetary goal should be celebrated. Have a potluck lunch or dinner and share your success on social media, or give your team members an extended lunch period or a short workday.
- Shake It Off: You will have good days, and less than good days. Sometimes you will meet your goals, and sometimes you will fall short – that’s okay. Take a heads up, eyes forward approach. Take stock of what went wrong, fix it and move on, don’t dwell. Double down on the things that worked well. Implement a stress reliever in your day – Go outside, do some pushups, walk around the block or the parking lot, stretch, breath. Do something other than sitting at your desk. A walk or quick stretch can help you refocus and get back on track when you are finding it hard to stay on task or when you are having a not-so-great day. Shake it off, take a deep breath and move on. Don’t give up because of one failure, just view it as a sign that things are changing, and allow yourself to grow from it.
We hope that these little tips and tricks help you this New Year as you work on accomplishing new things in 2020. Remember that there are so many new possibilities in the New Year and that staying consistent with what you wish to accomplish. Progress is key to having your New Year’s resolutions become permanent habits.