Top 501(C)3 Musts for 2024


You and your staff made it through 2023, another year with unique challenges and successes. Maybe 2023 was your nonprofit’s launch year, your first year as a 501(c)3, or your first end-of-year (EOY) campaign and you’re still amazed you somehow made it to today.

Well, first, let me congratulate you. Nonprofit work isn’t easy, or as I always say, it’s not for the faint of heart. If you’ve been in this industry as long as me, you’ll know why that statement rings so true to our sector. So, congratulations, and make sure to pour yourself the biggest cup of coffee for your efforts.

But the work isn’t over. 2024 is here and it’s time to get the ball rolling on your first quarter. Of course, the end of each year is significant to a nonprofit 510(c)3. There’s “Giving Tuesday“, the holiday season, and a lot of EOY campaigns many nonprofits rely on. That said, the first quarter of a new year is a great time to set your nonprofit organization up for success.

With all of that said, here’s some advice from me on how to start 2024 off on the right foot:

501(c)3 Nonprofit First Quarter Must-Do List

1. Thankuary.

Depending on your organization, you may or may not have written Thankuary into your 2024 strategy. Thankuary is when nonprofits use the month of January to show gratitude to donors, and usually works along with the previous year’s EOY campaign. If you don’t have an official plan for the month or the time to develop one, there’s always next year.

However, if you’ve written this holiday into your strategy, it’s time to hit the ground running:

  • Double-check names and addresses to ensure the acknowledgments are sent to the right house.
  • Keep track of which letters are returned. You may have to reach out to the donor for an updated address.
  • Know which donors prefer digital over physical communications. Their preference matters.
  • Share photos of your team signing thank you cards and post them on your socials with a caption thanking donors!

2. Clearing Space.

I know we have the saying “spring cleaning” but why not get your dust rag out in January? This month is the perfect time to organize your digital and physical space to better accommodate your nonprofit’s work. This could look like rearranging the office for better walkability or clearing out old documents from the cloud that clutter the search results.

3. Evaluate Your Goals.

Most nonprofit 510(c)3’s set their 2024 goals in 2023, so they can enter the new year with some direction. However, I don’t believe goals are stagnant. They can change, and should, based on the changing needs of the organization. The first quarter of 2024 is a great time to reevaluate the goals you made in 2023. Ask yourself if they still make sense to your mission and vision.

4. Implementation.

Ready, set, action! You’ve set your goals, evaluated them and now it’s time to get your hands dirty. As you start taking action, make sure to record your progress for reference later down the road. You’ll need to know what worked, what didn’t, and what can be improved for the next go around.

5. Rest.

Last year, I wrote a few blogs on work-life balance, and I plan on continuing to harp on this important issue in 2024 too. I feel that people show up at their best when they are rested. We communicate more clearly, engage better with our team and more deeply interact with the communities we serve when we’re not running on empty. The reasoning behind this is pretty simple: You can give more when you have more. That’s it.

If you’re interested in learning more about how I can support your work, schedule a free 30-minute consultation with me to see what we can do together!

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