Fundraising Resolution No. 2: Get Organized
If you’ve found a great tool to help you banish random bits of paper, share it in comments below. While the paperless office may not be coming to a desk near you in 2014, you can start now to get a handle on much of the paper that contains information that may be needed on another day.
Get rid of the samples that only serve as ‘bad examples’
I am a hoarder of only one thing: direct-mail samples. Just today, I received two more in the mail — both controls that I have received over and over again. Yet, I am tempted to file them in the appropriate box in the closet (“Environmental” and “Local Humanitarian”). I also have a few more e-mails that I received from nonprofits that I just might want to use in a class or webinar, or perhaps for inspiration, sometime in 2014.
Having access to great samples can be a tremendous help. But if you’re short of space or time to scan, check out Who’s Mailing What! I’m learning to love this tool because the work of scanning and saving is done for me, and the variety of samples is far more than I personally receive.
Another option is to keep the top 10 percent of samples you receive (but no duplicates), scan the next 10 percent to 15 percent and recycle the rest. While it takes a little longer to make the judgment call when the piece lands on your desk or in your inbox, you’ll save time in the long run by managing it now rather than setting it aside so it will need to be taken care of later in the year.
Keep your goals for 2014 where you see them daily
Having your goals front and center can keep you focused on activities that contribute to accomplishing those goals rather than chasing down rabbit trails that are interesting but aren’t truly advancing your fundraising program.
Pamela consults with nonprofits, helping them develop their fundraising strategy and writing copy to achieve their goals. Additionally, she teaches fundraising at two universities, hoping to inspire the next generation of fundraisers to be passionate about the profession. Previously, Pamela led the fundraising programs for nonprofit organizations. Pamela is a member of the Advisory Panel for Rogare, the fundraising think tank at Plymouth University’s Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, a CFRE, a graduate of Wheaton College (IL) and Dominican University, and holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from California Southern University. Contact Pamela at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter at @pjbarden.