If you’re like us, the holidays aren’t really real yet until the week of Thanksgiving. As you walk out of your office this Wednesday with thoughts of turkey and family, you also know in the back of your mind that time is about to speed up. Before too long it will be January, bringing a new year of challenges. But for many nonprofits, the end of the calendar year is really just halftime. June 30 and the end of the fiscal year is still six months away – a comforting thought. Still, how great would it be to welcome the holidays knowing that you have 2013 well in hand? For the nonprofit executive, peace of mind can come from making the complicated simpler. Here are three tips to getting your 2013 off to a great start:
- Say goodbye to 2012 – Starting fresh in the new year means putting the current year to bed. Take time to reflect on 2012, from January to today, and consider the handful of learnings the year held for you. What will you do in 2013 that you were unable to do in 2012? If you had it to do all over again, are there some decisions you would have made differently? Which accomplishments from the last 12 months are you most proud of? Too often, in the rush to tackle those things left undone, we fail to take the time to reflect – start a list and keep it near your desk. Could this even be the start of a report to share with your leadership?
- Connect with your board – The holidays are busy for everyone, and you are unlikely to be a top priority for your board members as they celebrate with family. All the more reason to connect with them, individually or as a group, to prioritize activity in January and beyond. If you have an early December board meeting, consider utilizing it as a planning session to identify the pathway to success in 2013. Without intentional messaging, it may be two months before you can hope to recapture their attention.
- Clarify your objectives in the first quarter – At PMA, the primary planning tool is the 90-day plan, which rolls up to an annual/strategic plan. If your fiscal year ends June 30, you have two quarters to get everything done before closing the books. Rather than be daunted, consider phasing your activity with a focused 90-day plan beginning January 1. Prioritize your activities to 5-7 top objectives with 2-3 tactics associated with each. Mapping January-March now will build your confidence, allowing you to enjoy the mirth of the holidays!
Need help to make 2013 your nonprofits best year yet? PMA can help.