To kick off a whole new year of fundraising, we’re taking some New Year’s resolution advice from Dr. Phil and showing you how it can work for your fundraising goals too!
Fundraising Resolutions – Advice from Dr. Phil!
Happy New Year everyone! If you’re like us, you like to take the start of a new year to reflect on the year gone by and set your goals for the year to come. It’s a great idea to also do this for fundraising!
But once you’ve set your New Year’s fundraising resolutions, how do you keep them? Dr. Phil recently did a show on New Year’s resolutions where he identified 7 key steps to making effective resolutions and keeping them.
According to Dr. Phil, the 7 steps are:
1. Be specific about your goal.
2. Set a goal that is measurable.
3. Set a timeline.
4. Be sure your resolution is something that you control.
5. Integrate it into your lifestyle.
6. Make a step by step plan.
7. Be accountable.
Let’s look at how Dr. Phil’s advice can be applied to fundraising:
Being specific about what you want to achieve is important because it will keep you focused in your efforts. What area of your fundraising efforts do you want to change, improve or add to this year? Do you want to raise more money? Host a ‘first annual’ event? Communicate more with parents/supporters/donors/volunteers? Choose a specific area (or areas) that you want to work on.
Want to raise more money? That’s an easy one! You can either set a total amount to raise, determine a percentage by which you want to increase last year’s results, or choose a set amount by which you want to increase your fundraising. For example, if you raised $2,500 last year, maybe this year you want to increase that by $500 for a total of $3,000 for the year.
What about something like communication? If your goal is to communicate more with donors, find a way to make it measurable. For example, you could set a goal or sending one newsletter each month to all your donors, or to call each donor personally after every donation to thank them.
As Dr. Phil says, “you’ve got to say what you’re going to do by when.” Have a goal of being a positive leader in your organization by organizing more fundraising events with your group? Great! Set a timeline of when you will host your first event, what needs to be done to prepare, and when each task needs to be completed.
You can’t change something you don’t control, so be sure your resolution is something that is completely within your control. You don’t control your group members’ decisions to participate or not, but you can control your own performance as group leader. If you really want to increase group participation in your next fundraiser, consider setting a goal of becoming a motivational leader by taking leadership courses, reading up on effective communication, or seeking out a mentor in your community.
Resolutions and Lifestyle
It’s important to make your resolution a part of your regular activities as a fundraising organizer. For example, if your goal as an organization is to save money on office supplies, put notes on things as constant reminders like a note on your computer screen asking if you’re absolutely sure you need to print that document, or put a series of locks on the door to your supply cabinet. Each time you start to unlock the cabinet, the locks will remind you of your goal to cutback. You can also keep a stack of office supply catalogs by the phone to remind yourself to always shop around for the best prices before buying.
Build your goal into your life, and share it with the people around you. It will be easier to stick to your goal this way.
Step by Step Plan
Take baby steps to prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed. Raising an additional $1,000 can seem like a huge undertaking, so break it down. For example, you can break the year down into quarters and then again into months. Have a goal for each quarter and then smaller steps within each month that you can take to achieve your quarterly goals. Plan far ahead, but act in the now.
By putting your main focus on the small steps immediately ahead, you won’t get overwhelmed by the larger scope of the project, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you start seeing results.
When Dr. Phil talks about accountability, he suggests setting penalties for yourself. Since all of you are working so hard to make your communities and the world a better place, we’d like to suggest setting rewards instead. Give yourself a small reward for each step achieved like an hour to relax with your favorite magazine. But be accountable. If the step is not achieved, don’t allow yourself the reward until it is.
And of course, your biggest reward will come at the end of the year when you can look back on your year and be proud of what you accomplished.
Happy New Year!