1 - Take advantage of events and initiatives that attract the general public
Events in the philanthropic and non-profit sectors are seldom covered by the media and rarely attract the attention of the larger public. Every opportunity to stand out is therefore crucial: take advantage of each event or newsworthy happening that could create publicity for your organization. Montreal's 375th anniversary and the Canada 150 celebrations last year are good examples where organizations, regardless of their sector or mission, benefited from the general goings-on to increase their visibility. In the same vein, Giving Tuesday (November 27, 2018) and International Volunteer Day (December 5, 2018) are noteworthy events that make it easier to reach the media and the general public.
And don’t forget to add these events to your internal calendar: It will help you to keep track of important days and plan the necessary steps to take in advance.
2 - Invest time in trainingRegardless of the expertise you’d like to develop or the tool that you’d like to learn to master, getting training is always worth it. This personal and professional investment (often an investment of time alone since there are so many free resources online) will help you advance and develop your NPO even further. For example: Why not take a course on SEO to improve your website’s visibility?
3 - Continually strive to make your daily operations more efficient
Your time is valuable and, in 2018, there are so many ways to work more efficiently! From well-known time management methods (such as the Pomodoro technique) to the use of digital tools (online scheduling systems, or even these memboGo features that we’ve developed specifically to save you time), any time you can save to develop your NPO is precious.
4 - Explore the non-profit sector
While we’re often used to networking within our own sector, it is rarer to take the time to meet other organizations or foundations outside of our immediate circles. And yet, networking with peers helps us to glean new ideas, hear about new trends and learn best practices.
5 - Measure twice, then measure againWe all know that we must monitor the evolution of our expenditures, number of donors or members, partner engagement and board of directors. But do we really use this data strategically to propel our organizations forward? With increased “competition” throughout the sector for smaller amounts of funding, evaluating your NPO's impact and opportunities (marketing, reduced administrative costs, partnerships) is crucial. But where do you start? We've created a quick guide for you, available here.
6 - Take good care of your collaborators
This suggestion is nothing new but, even in 2018, your team is what will make all the difference for your NPO. Becoming a choice organization to work or volunteer is important: staff and volunteer turnover is costly, not to mention that only passionate and talented people are equipped to best serve your community.
As noted by numerous experts, nonprofit employees often expect to be paid what the organization can reasonably afford (instead of comparing it to the salary they would receive in the private sector). They are also often looking for a flexible work environment, recognition and the sense of contributing to a greater mission, in addition to a “more human” work environment.