With the blink of an eye, January 2022 is upon us and with the new year comes a prime opportunity for reflection, imagination, and manifestation. Many of us are already in the habit of creating New Year’s resolutions in our personal lives (less social media, perhaps), but the new year is also an opportunity to set focused and ambitious goals in our professional lives. Organizational goal-setting is a powerful way to inspire team members into action while also staying focused and moving towards a collective destination.
By now, you have likely heard of the SMART goals framework: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-bound (or some variation of the acronym). All of these attributes are certainly important in the goal-setting process. But one underrated aspect is the importance of choosing goals that allow your organization to stay firmly aligned to its core values and mission – in other words, to stay true to who you are.
Before taking action, I invite you to visualize what a successful 2022 looks like for your organization. More students having access to your game-changing tutoring program? A beautiful new state-of-the-art library for your school? More families moving into affordable homes in your community? At the end of the day, the reality is that our fundraising and communications efforts are only a means to an end, with the “end” being the collective impact on our clients and our community. Keeping your “why” front and center will go a long way in bringing more supporters onboard for your cause.
Now that you’ve envisioned what success looks like, are you ready to develop your values-based fundraising goals for the year? Here are a few tips:
- Think beyond a dollar amount. As fundraisers, we are acutely aware of our organization’s fundraising goal – we can rattle off that number in our sleep. But some things just can’t be quantified. Do you want to connect with your supporters in new ways? Do you want to strengthen relationships so that you can count on their long-term support? Do you want to increase your organization’s digital presence so more people are aware of the amazing work you’re doing? Be creative and thoughtful about your metrics of success.
- Tactics matter. Some organizations set long-term fundraising goals without also thinking through the steps it will take to get there. It’s like having a destination in mind without a roadmap. Your organization’s tactics, or day-to-day fundraising activities, are of utmost importance, and should be flexible enough to adjust to the short-term realities of your situation. Check in on your progress regularly using a continuous improvement framework: Plan, Do, Study, Act. If a roadblock pops up, you can pivot without losing sight of the end game.
- Make it a collaborative process. When creating team goals, it’s important to get everyone’s buy-in and feedback. Take the opportunity to get input from key stakeholders at each step so everyone feels included in the decision-making process. Ultimately, it will help each member of the organization feel energized, motivated, and empowered to deliver on those goals. Go team, go!
- Finally, remember to celebrate your wins. Your organization’s program staff is counting on your fundraising efforts to make positive change happen in the community, but staff burnout is very real, especially on development teams. Take time to celebrate your fundraising successes – even the small ones! In this time of constant challenge and uncertainty, we all deserve compassion and grace if things don’t go exactly as planned. Virtual high fives, celebrations, and words of affirmation are encouraged!
So, now that we’ve given you some tips to help your organization shine in 2022, what are your fundraising goals for the year? If you need help getting started, download “My 90 Day Fundraising Action Plan” worksheet now!
And of course, if you’re struggling with any part of the process – from goal-setting to implementation to measurement, My Philanthropy Team has the tools and expertise to help you succeed. Let us know how we can be of assistance… Happy New Year!