It’s summertime and believe it or not that means 2022 is halfway over. Don’t panic!
Early in my nonprofit career, I associated summer with a little slowdown. People were traveling and in general not as accessible. I too always try to take a summer vacation, but I quickly came to realize that summer was also an important time of year for my work. Somewhere along the way, I got in the habit of doing a midyear checkup in June or early July. This checkup helped me to assess what work had been accomplished to date and what was left to do. I found that when I was proactive, all the influx of tasks at year-end wasn’t so overwhelming. I had clearly identified the areas that needed work and communicated along the way. So, that meant challenges didn’t come as a shock to my board, partners, and staff. Let’s embrace summer and use this time for your nonprofit’s midyear checkup!
Here is a midyear checklist to help you go into the second half of the year ready to conquer your year-end goals.
- Evaluate your financial health. Revisit your budget and any areas that may need an adjustment. Address challenges and areas of concern with your board and appropriate staff. Create a plan to work on funding gaps and reprioritize items if necessary.
- Revisit Your Strategic Plan and Priorities
Pull out your strategic plan. (I hope it’s close by and not tucked away collecting dust!). Utilize time at an upcoming board meeting to share an update on goals and strategic priorities. Identify what has been successful and where attention needs to be focused for the remainder of year. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your board to accomplish this work.
- Communicate Impact. Midyear is a great time to connect with donors, volunteers, and partners to provide an update about the impact your organization has created this year. Gather stories, metrics, and other tools to help you demonstrate how your work is making a difference. Share this news individually with supporters and through social media, email, and your website. Build excitement about your goals for the year and what It will take to reach them.
- Examine Upcoming Fundraising Campaigns. What are your remaining campaigns and fundraising asks for the year? Use this time to set your timeline and ensure any proactive work that can take place happens. Ensure any technology needs are addressed and systems are in place to process your donations effectively and efficiently. Review your stewardship plan and how you’ve been connecting with donors. Are you providing meaningful opportunities for them to engage with your work? Be sure you’ve been showing your donors love and appreciation throughout the year so that an ask at year-end feels comfortable and something they are expecting.
- Review Policies and Procedures. I hope many of you had the opportunity to review your bylaws and other policies prior to completing your 990. If so, Congrats! If you haven’t, put this on an agenda item and be sure it’s complete by year-end.
- Reengage Staff and Board Members. Midyear is an excellent time to meet one-on-one with board members. Acknowledge and thank each board member individually for their support this year. Provide specific examples of how they have helped move your mission forward. Revisit goals related to board performance and involvement in a way that celebrates what has been accomplished and outlines the work left to do. Do this with staff members as well. Schedule a social lunch to celebrate your team and the hard work they are doing.
- Revisit Your Calendar and Time Management. Some form of time management will be on every checklist I create! It is just so important. Take some time to think about your own schedule and the work being done. Go back and look at your strategic priorities and goals. Are you setting aside time to specifically work on these areas?
I hope these items will help you chart a successful path forward for the remainder of the year AND help you feel organized so that you can fully enjoy the summer!
If I can be an accountability partner to keep your work on track and moving forward, reach out. In the meantime, soak up the sunshine, eat some ice cream, and enjoy the summer!