• Nonprofit Learning Lab

15 Spring Cleaning Ideas for Your Nonprofit

Updated: Jul 8, 2020

This is a guest blog post shared with permission by Wild Apricot.

We may not be leaving our houses right now, but outside our windows, spring is definitely here.

And you know what that means – it’s time for spring cleaning!

You may have already Marie Kondo-ed your entire house, but have you thought about how to freshen things up at your nonprofit?

It’s a huge undertaking and let’s be honest, most of us procrastinate on it for as long as we can: not because it’s not important, but because we never seem to have the time to do it.

Depending on the nature of your nonprofit’s work, right now might be a great time to get things organized and cleaned up.

Of course, if your nonprofit is busier than ever dealing with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, thank you for your work (and please bookmark this blogpost for later).

However, if you’re finding that things are a little slow right now and your nonprofit is staying put and waiting out the storm, this is a really good opportunity to do all those things you’ve never had time to do before. 

It’s a chance to strengthen your foundation and quietly prepare to soar when the COVID-19 crisis is behind us.

In this post, we’ll cover 15 ideas you can do to spring clean your nonprofit. 

Feel free to read them in order or jump to the ones that interest you the most:

1. Reach Out to Donors

Are there donors that you haven’t reached out to in a while? 

Board members, volunteers or ambassadors that you haven’t heard from in some time? 

The people who make up your community should always be at the top of your list of priorities. Since most people are at home right now, it’s a great time to check in with your existing relationships and find ways to nurture them.

Send them a quick email or give them a call just to check in. Make sure the outreach is personal (don’t just send a mass email) and you budget some time for a little back and forth conversation.

The people you reach out to will really appreciate hearing from you and will feel engaged and connected to your cause. If you do nothing else on this list, be sure to make some time to deepen your relationships and you’ll see the payoff for years to come.

2. Catch Up on Sending Impact Reports

Did you promise each of your major donors that you’ll send them a personalized impact report on an annual basis? 

If you’re anything like the average nonprofit, you’re probably way behind on actually following through with this.

If you have some time on your hands, catch up on preparing these and sending them out. They don’t have to be elaborate — if you have several donors who support the same initiative, feel free to re-use most of the content and just personalize small aspects of the report.

Sending these is a great excuse for a personal touchpoint with your major donors, so you’ll be checking off two items on this list at the same time. Meanwhile, your donors will feel appreciated and happy to support the great work you’re doing.

3. Create Individual Plans

What’s your approach to stewarding your major gift donors and corporate partners? 

Do you use a one-size-fits-all approach, or customize your strategy when it feels necessary to do so?

Both approaches will work for a little while, but they aren’t conducive to a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship. 

Instead, it’s important to create customized plans for each of your major supporters.

Take some time to research and put together their profile, including things like:

·  when and why they made their first gift

·  subsequent gifts they made

·  their giving capacity

·  their interests

·  events they’ve attended

·  other important details

You can use a CRM to keep track of these details. Then, use them to create a plan, complete with action items and deadlines (which you can also set up in your CRM as reminders).

Plan out each of your upcoming stewardship touch-points and identify when and how you’ll be asking the donor for another gift. 

How will you report on the impact of their support and make them feel appreciated? Will you be asking them to make a gift to the same fund in the future or will you have a better chance if you propose something new?

A customized individual plan will help you map out these details and think more strategically rather than coming up with something on the fly next time you run into your donors at an event. More importantly, a plan will ensure that you never drop the ball on anything or miss an opportunity, and that there are no gaps in communications with your donors.

4. Update or Create a Strategic Plan

It’s so easy to get lost in the day-to-day tasks and activities, constantly trying to stay on top of your emails and to-do list items. 

But when was the last time you checked in with your strategic plan to make sure the things you’re spending your time on actually align with your mission, vision and values?