End-of-year tasks for a non-profit organization typically involve scrambling for last minute funds to make their budget. The following ideas will help alleviate the hustle and get you on your way to putting your cause’s financial house in order. Here’s how to make your nonprofit year-end successful:
1.) Make year-end appeals to major donors
The pending expiration of the “Federal Estate, Gift and Generation Skipping Transfer Tax” provisions may make 2012 an attractive year for major donors. For major donors who have considered making a donation upon their death (estate) rather than one during their life (gift), considering the possible benefits of reversing that thought and making the gift this year could mean more funds available for the recipient.
While anyone able to give funds of this magnitude (the current exemption amount is more than $5 million) should be aware of the pending expiration, including it in your marketing materials and conversations may spark more interest from the donor.
Help donors understand which year their donation is deemed received. For more information about gift dates check out “Charitable Gifts: Date of Delivery Rules.”
2.) Assess who and what you need to further growth
In my article 4 Fundamentals for a Fundraising Board I asked you to consider the concept of having your leaders in the right seats according to their natural skills and talents for fundraising. Now is the time to go beyond fundraising, and make sure each leader in your organization is in the right seat and making an impact through their position.
Many nonprofits will evaluate or vote on new members of their board for the New Year. Without a clear picture of who/what you have and who/what you need to grow as an organization, you could succumb to another year of off-path leadership. Mosaic’s Capacity Blueprint can help get you on the path to a strategic organization with high mission impact that attracts solid, sustainable funding.
3.) Hire a fiduciary to get set on the path toward financial success
An advisor with fiduciary responsibility will help you develop a plan for your cause’s investments, get the documentation in order, and help maintain that documentation going forward. There have been times where I have been asked by foundations to help get their investments organized and managed.
At the beginning, often documents are in chaos. Sometimes organizations are missing documents spanning several years. Many times the reasons behind financial decisions haven’t been recorded, and several times I’ve even encountered deceased board members named as the primary contact on documents!
Don’t worry if your cause’s financial documents are a mess. It’s better to get started now to bring order out of the chaos, than let it rest until you can “get to it.” It may be a long, tough process at times, but getting things in order and developing an investment plan are crucial tasks to creating or maintaining a sustainable organization.
Don’t overwhelm yourself at year-end by thinking you can tackle several projects at once, while still handling your day-to-day operations. These three tips can help you finish your fundraising strong, get organized with a solid plan to move forward, and find the people who will help you do so. Remember, these steps will not only help with short-term success, but are beneficial to the long-term success of your organization!
Here’s to a terrific Year End!
Photo sources: tripointfundraising.com, theglobeandmail.com