Summer is almost officially here! It’s by far one of my favorite seasons, if for no reason other than the longer daylight hours here in Vancouver. It’s also the time of year that I tend to feel most creative and engaged with my work.
However, I definitely remember times earlier in my fundraising career when it seemed like I could literally hear crickets around the office. People were out of town on holiday, donors were more difficult to get ahold and there tends to be less fundraising activity. It can be a slow time of year.
All that being said, I do think that the summer is a great opportunity for organizations to reflect and regroup before the busier fall season. Here are a few things that your organization should think about this summer.
Remind yourself of your goals
One of the reasons people often don’t reach goals is because they fail to continuously remind themselves of what their goals are. It’s a simple thing, but sometimes in the face of all the other responsibilities we have we forget about the goals we set at the beginning of the year.
Now is a great time to break out your annual or even strategic plan. Take a look at what you wrote down. Are you still committed to these goals? What can you do to remind yourself each week or each day about your goals?
I have a 3×5” card pinned to my bulletin board in my office that has my three goals for the year written on it. I look at it at least once a day and it helps keep me on task.
Check in on your progress towards your goals
Another great thing to do at the midpoint of the year is to check in on your progress towards your goals. If you had certain milestones you wanted to meet, have you met them?
I like to do a mid-year check in because it’s often a reality check for me. Did I wildly overestimate how much I could do? Did certain projects take far less time than I anticipated? This gives me some data points for planning for the rest of the year and that brings us to our last point.
Plan for the rest of the year
Yes, you may have an annual plan already laid out for the year, but plans can change. Maybe you had staff turnover, maybe there was a change in your funding situation, or perhaps you’re not hitting the milestones that you hoped you’d hit. Now is the time to figure out what needs to happen for the rest of the year in order to meet those goals. I call these my plan B and plan C.
If you tuned into last week’s episode of Summer FUNraising then you’ll recall that I talked about plan B’s and plan C’s. I think it’s so important to have contingency plans. Even if you are very certain that things will go according to plan, you just never know. Having backup plans in places gives you peace of mind.
I’d love to hear about what you’re working on this summer. Leave a comment below and share what’s on your summer to-do list.