Fund Times

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Midway is More Than an Airport July 13, 2011

Filed under: accountability,capacity,strategic fundraising — fundtimes @ 10:51 pm

Congratulations on making it to the middle of the year!  I hope you’re making progress on meeting both your program and revenue goals.  Now I know this is the time of the year where hardcore assessment is the furthest thing from your mind.  After all, its 90 degrees outside and that luscious red sangria is calling your name.  But, the summer months are also great for reviewing your organization’s fundraising plan and adjusting your program activities (if necessary) to make sure your organization doesn’t end up in the hole at the end of the year.

So where do you start? Below are three tips to help you stay on track to meet your year-end goals:

  • Review your financials.  All nonprofits should produce monthly financial statements.  Not only does this keep your board of directors up-to-date on the health of the business, but it allows you to have current financial information handy when it’s time to submit foundation and government grant reports.  When assessing your nonprofit’s progress in the middle of the year, these statements also provide a snapshot for your staff to consider how your remaining expenses will be covered given your expected revenue.  If the latter is less than the former, then you may have to scale back some of your program activities for the year.
  • Prioritize.  If the worst-case scenario happens and you have to scale back  your program activities for the year, don’t panic.  In fact, take a deep breath (or a deep sip of that red sangria; when no one is looking of course) and prioritize those activities that are most in line with your mission and the needs of your constituency.
  • Get creative.  If you find that you can’t cut out any of your program activities, then it might help to find creative ways to still meet your mission.  Could you partner with another nonprofit to deliver your services? Do you have an existing funder that would consider providing a discretionary grant to your organization to supplement the revenue gap?  Fundraising is all about creativity and being able to tweak programs/revenue-generating strategies midway is a great strategy to practice in strengthening your organization’s long-term sustainability.      

How does your organization use the summer months? Are there are any other practices that your organization uses to assess its progress midway?

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