What to do in January?Back in November I wrote about what you should be doing in December to finish strong. I really hope it’s going well.
Today, I want to suggest what you can do in January that will set the stage for an incredible 2018. Your theme for January should be about evaluation. But that should start AFTER you close the books on 2017. Typically that is around January 15th.
So before you start the evaluation process (and I’ll suggest what you can focus on), January 2-15 should be all about thanking your donors appropriately and reaching out to them.
Undoubtedly, you’ll be getting a number of gifts from donors who are specifically giving before the end of the year. I suggest you blow your donors away by thanking them with blazing speed. Why? Because they will not expect it, and none of the other non-profits they gave gifts to will do this.
But you will, and you’ll win the day and have a great start to 2018. Okay, so you’ve got this. The first part of January is all about thanking your donors and reaching out to them. So now let’s move to evaluation:

Metrics Stuff — Here’s What to Evaluate

  1. Actual total caseload revenue vs. Goal revenue
  2. Actual 2017 giving vs. Previous year giving
  3. How many meaningful connections did you make in 2017 vs. 2016?
  4. Donor retention rates — what percent of your donors gave in 2016 and again in 2017?
  5. Value attrition or growth — what was the total giving in 2017 from all the donors on your caseload who also gave in 2016? How much did it grow or shrink?
  6. Total value of your caseload at the end of 2017 vs. 2016.
  7. Did you work your plan?

2018 Strategic Plan and Goals

You most likely have already done your 2018 strategic plan and goals, but that’s now one or two months old. A good thing to do is re-evaluate how you ended 2017 and go back and check if your current revenue goals by donor are accurate. For the most part they will be, but sometimes it changes. Also, think about which donors are going to make a transformational gift in 2018, and make sure you have your plan for them in place.
Make those changes with the consultation of your manager.

Personal Evaluation

Richard and I think this is always a good idea for you. Take a half-day later in January to reflect on 2017. Here are some suggestions and questions for you:

  1. Go back and look at your 2017 calendar. Look at what you did every day. Believe me, you will be in awe of all you have done. It’s a good way to start your reflection by reminding yourself how much you really do every week.
  2. Ask yourself these questions: What did I learn last year about my donors, my work, myself? What do I feel good about? What do I want to improve on? How am I going to do that?

Finally, set up a time to meet with your manager. Prepare for that meeting by writing up a document with your entire evaluation of your metrics, your updated goals for 2018 and your personal reflections. Then go over it with your manager. If you did this and I were your manager, I would be elated that you proactively took the time to do this.
All of this work in January will set you up for success in 2018. Take the time now, and you’ll be better served for greatness during the course of the year.
Have a great 2018! Veritus will be right here walking with you.