What are your plans for 2011?


That last year came and went, for some it felt as thought it was over in know time at all. How will 2011 go, what have you got planned for the year, have you even had the chance to put your thoughts together? If not, here are some thoughts you might like to consider.

We’re still being fed news that the economic recovery is taking longer than projected, that incomes are stabilising, household expenditure on non essential items is still waning; but what we need to know is what’s happening now, and projected to happen with charitable giving in the coming year.

There’s some schools of thought that suggest it will remain at about the same level as 2010, others are suggesting a slight drop off; while others still are saying there’s the possibility of it increasing – unless you have a crystal ball it’s hard to know what will happen. So the best anyone can do is plan for how they will raise and manage contributions, both monetary and non-monetary.

Grab a pen and paper and start noting down what your goals are for the year, what services you’re going to provide (will you aim to increase delivery?) – how will you do this? Where will the income come from to help you? Are you relying solely on your current core donors?

Everyone should be looking for alternative funding sources, as well as alternative sources for the ‘manpower’ required to do the work required of the organisation.

An upside to the economic downturn is that there are more people with specialised skills around who may be looking for something constructive to do while they search for new job opportunities; have you or will you seek these people out?

Some of the people who have lost their jobs during the height of the recession are highly skilled and could be more than willing to help your organisation out; all it takes is locating them and asking them if they will help. They will feel valued even through the simple act of you asking.

If you’re fortunate to gain some of these people to help you out, you’re also on the front foot to hold onto them when their situation changes, perhaps they will continue to volunteer; if not some will likely want to help out financially.

Other things you could be looking at in the coming year is to further build on letting the younger generation (schools, colleges and universities) know about the valuable work you are doing.

Contact local education institutes and ask if you could come and talk to students about the work you’re doing in the local community.

By doing this you have the opportunity to gain help from a younger section of the community, and, some of these students will tell their parents and caregivers about the work you’re doing – the flow on effect could be that you will not only gain the support of the student, but also the parent.

Tapping into under utilised resources is going to be needed, when was the last time you cleaned your database? Heading into the new year is an ideal time to have a clean up.

Categorise your supporters by when they last gave, or the frequency of their giving – this will help you tailor messages to them to let them know what you’re doing, and ask for their help.

Everyone has supporters who haven’t given for a number of years, do you? What do you do with ‘delinquent’ donors? Don’t write them off, perhaps they’re not seeing your messages, perhaps their situation has changed. Stay in touch, ask them how you can help them to help you. You never know, this is all it may take to get them back in the fold.

There’s plenty of things we can all be doing to retain and gain support; it’s a matter of knuckling down, grabbing that pen and paper and mapping it out. Perhaps gather a group of current supporters around and have a brainstorming session; you could be pleasantly surprised with what comes out of it.

Whatever – now is the time to set aside to plan for the coming year.