27 May

For Smart Nonprofits, Summer Means. . .

As the weather is starting to suggest here in Boston, summer is around the corner. This is the time in New England that we long for all year,  when we can enjoy warm weather outside activities  and schedules are more relaxed.

Because people take vacations and aren’t on normal work schedules during the summer, often board or committee work gets placed on hiatus until the fall. Some boards choose not to schedule summer meetings  at all and even those that do often have light attendance and scaled back agendas.

While you may come to work in sundresses and shorts, smart staff and lay leaders of nonprofits do not take the summer off. Rather, they use this precious time to lay the ground work for a successful year to come.

While other nonprofits are in vacation mode, take advantage and get a head start on a great year  by doing the following:

– Revisit your Strategic Plan. Assess where you are at. It is time for you to update your Plan? If so, start to design the process you will use to do so.

-Create/update your Marketing Plan. Update your media contacts/list. Analyze and compile your PR and marketing efforts to date.

-Create/update your Financial Resource Development Plan.  Clean/update your databases. Research grant opportunities and create a grant calendar. Sketch an event calendar for the year.  Review/update donor software to make sure it is up-to-date and you are taking full advantage of what it can offer.

-Sketch out the organization’s calendar by department and as a whole.

-Review job descriptions and make sure they accurately reflect the jobs people are actually doing. Update personnel records. Work with staff to set goals for coming year (depending on your review cycle).

– Have a staff service day to spruce up your offices. Paint the walls. Plant a garden.

-Plan a staff retreat that allows for learning, reflection, bonding and fun!

– Communicate with your board members at their summer locations about the work you are doing over the summer and plans for the coming year. Send out the board meeting calendar for the year and update contact information.

Summer is the perfect time to catch up on some of the strategic projects that time doesn’t always allow for during the hustle and bustle of the rest of the year.  If your organization takes full advantage the slower pace to get to some of these done, you will see the dividends and thank yourself the rest of the year!

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