DBD-resolutions-graphic-500x500An article from the December 30, 2013 issue of the Chronicle of Philanthropy suggests an unconventional approach to New Year’s resolutions for nonprofit leaders. Instead of providing a list of things to add; it recommends things to stop doing. The list was compiled with input from experts in the nonprofit field and provides some thought provoking ideas for consideration.

    A few of the suggestions from “What Nonprofits Should Stop Doing in 2014” include:

    STOPignoring people who make medium-sized gifts.

    A little personal attention added to direct mail and electronic communications will help retain donor loyalty and draw them closer to your organization.

    STOP...using social media indiscriminately.

    Rather than jumping on every new platform that becomes available, be more strategic with a few that your donors tell you they access to get information.

    STOPhoarding information.

    Don’t wait for your annual report to be produced to let donors know how their donations made a difference in the previous year. Instead communicate one important point about the impact of charitable contributions on a monthly basis.

    STOP…using generic language.

    A sweeping statement such as “we help educate” doesn’t help anyone get to know you better. More specific messaging like “we help fifth-graders with financial literacy” is much clearer and more understandable to someone who is not intimately involved in your work.

    After reading the full list of suggestions in the article,

    a few additional ones came to my mind. In 2014, nonprofit leaders should also:

    STOP recruiting new board members by telling them “they won’t have to do much.”

    Instead express how much you need them specifically and why. “We have grown rapidly in recent years and need your experience and expertise to help us navigate through our growing pains.”

    STOP shielding young staff members from working with boards and committees.

    Young staff members considering a nonprofit career will inevitably be called on to work with volunteer groups at some point. You can prepare them for the challenge by giving them opportunities to learn and practice skills with your guidance and support that will be very helpful in the future.

    STOP putting off starting an endowment program.

    There is no better time than the present to ensure that your organization will be there to serve future generations.

    If you have some suggestions to add to the list of “what nonprofit leaders should stop doing this year,” we’d love to hear about them! Please share your ideas in the comments section below or on the Donor By Design page on Facebook.

    Posted by Michele Goodrich on Jan. 28, 2014
    Michele Goodrich

    Written by Michele Goodrich

    Since joining the Donor By Design team in 2010, Michele Goodrich has provided resource development counsel to youth-focused, arts and cultural, health-related and educational nonprofit organizations throughout the country. Her extensive and diverse experience in nonprofit leadership positions makes it possible for her to tailor her approach to each nonprofit client’s set of circumstances as well as its unique culture and distinct strengths.

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