They say, “there’s no rest for the wicked,” but the truth is that there is no rest for the kind-hearted. We know this time of year can be very hectic, personally and professionally, so we put together an end-of-the-year checklist as reminders for nonprofit organizations during this busy season. While your fiscal calendars are likely more aligned with your funding sources than the calendar year, there are some important steps you can take to wrap and put a lovely bow on 2022.
Nonprofit End-of-Year Checklist:
We all may still be recovering from too much green bean casserole and stuffing, but that doesn’t mean we can’t muster up some more thankfulness. Pull updated mailing lists for donor thank you messages.
Bring Your Data to Life
Find good stories! Look for clients you can reach out to that you can feature in End of the Year appeals. Work with staff to capture anecdotal stories or quotes to make your data come to life.
Measure annual clients served and impact across programs within the calendar year to share out in materials. Put Salesforce to work for you!
Work with staff to ensure all data is up-to-date for end-of-year reports. Even if you are on a different fiscal year, you may need to put out an Annual Report on the calendar year. Prepare data, such as the number of clients served and targets reached for the community.
Look Back at Your Annual Plans
Many times the calendar year end is a halfway point to measure against annual plans and annual budgets. This is a good time to “true-up” the plan and make any necessary changes.
Secure Funding & Foundation Awards
Remember that mailing list? Get that ready for appeals. According to Nonprofits Source, 30% of all annual giving occurs in December, and 10% of that happens within the last three days of the year. (https://nonprofitssource.com/online-giving-statistics/). It is also the time of year to secure large foundation awards that often run on a calendar year.
Send End-of-year Outreach
Schedule marketing campaigns: Post-Thanksgiving, Appeals all through the holidays, and Final appeals before the New Year
And, finally, do what you do best! Take care of your community, whether you run a food drive, a charity auction, or a toy collection. But remember to also take care of yourself. Get some much-needed rest and enjoy time with your family and friends. As writer Anne Lamott said, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.“
Marjorie lives in Saint Louis, Missouri. She received her Master’s degree in English from Truman State University. Her responsibilities at Provisio Partners include content creation and technical writing.