A new year brings change and opportunity for people. They set “New Year’s Resolutions” for a healthier diet, to exercise more often, practice their religion, read more books, etc. But what about nonprofit organizations? What types of resolutions should they make for the New Year? We have a few ideas…

Join a networking or industry-related group.

If your nonprofit helps children, make your New Year’s resolution to join an education group that holds conferences and meetings to keep up with the industry standards and trends. The same goes with helping animals, senior citizens, the arts, etc. Staying in the “know” about your nonprofit industry is helpful, especially when the group may have businesses that could sponsor, volunteer for and fund your nonprofit after some networking.

Set realistic goals.

It’s easy to say that in 2014 you want your nonprofit to double its volunteer list or raise three times more than you did in 2013. We all have big dreams and wishes that we would love to see happen to our organization. But setting unrealistic goals only makes you discouraged and you lose focus on all the good things your nonprofit already does. Your New Year’s resolution should be to strategically set goals that are achievable for your organization, including the measurement tools to track these goals.

Learn something new.

The world is evolving and changing faster than anyone can keep up. Most nonprofits are using technology more to share their mission and recruit volunteers. New methods of strategic planning are popping up to fit different business styles. Is there something you want to do for your organization but don’t know where to get started or the most current way to do it? Our Shine the Light sessions offer many topics for nonprofits to learn something new in 2014.

Drop what’s not working.

All products aren’t going to be best-sellers, all employees aren’t going to be Employee of the Month, and all campaigns aren’t going to be record-breaking. Figure out what hasn’t been working for your nonprofit in the past year or few years and let it go. Don’t invest a lot of time, money and energy into trying to make the unworkable workable because we all know these resources are valuable. Something better will turn up.

Try a new fundraising idea or event.

Have you been dreaming of starting an annual gala for your nonprofit? Or hosting a 5K run? How about a silent auction? Now think about what’s holding you back. Is it most likely money or man power? Don’t let that stop you! Use all of the resources you have and see how far you get. You may not reach your (realistic) goal the first year, but it lays the groundwork for the next year to build upon. Even starting with just one sponsor is better than not trying the new fundraiser or event at all!

We hope you all have a safe New Year and a happy, healthy & successful 2014!