• Nonprofit Learning Lab

Planning for 2020: Networking & Meetings

Updated: Dec 20, 2019


The end of the year can feel a bit overwhelming for nonprofits with year end giving and all the other "to do" items that need to get done. Give yourself time to plan ahead and envision what you want to achieve in the new year and you will more likely achieve your goals in 2020. Just the act of writing something down on paper makes the goal more present in your life and gets you thinking about it. Maybe in 2020 you want a new job, or to raise more funds for your nonprofit, or network more to build your professional relationships. Below are some of our favorite tips for scheduling meetings and networking in the nonprofit sector.


Schedule Meetings: Everyone is really busy at the end of the year but your network and community probably has a moment to schedule a meeting with you in 2020. Below are some of our favorite meetings to schedule for after the new year:

  1. Donor meetings: It is time to look through your donor tracking system and see who donated in the beginning of 2019 but hasn't donated since then. Schedule a meeting with them in early 2020 just to thank them and find out why they care about your nonprofit and what would make them give again. Nonprofit donor meetings are hard to schedule. So taking December and early January to plan for the new year.

  2. Informational Interviews: Looking for a new nonprofit job in 2020? You should line up 4-6 informational interview meetings to chat with nonprofit professionals in the community. An informational interview means that you are gathering information and not asking for a job. Questions to ask include: 1) Why they chose to work at their organization? 2) What inspires them where they work? 3) What goals are their nonprofit trying to achieve in 2020? These types of questions will give you an indication of the organization's culture. Naturally, during the conversation, you will have a chance to share details about your experience in the nonprofit sector. During informational interviews, it is much better to let the other person do more of the talking than you. You don't know what job information the other person holds. It is always best to meet with someone that has more experience than you or has a position title you desire as they likely know similar openings to their position at other companies or can give you advice about great places to work.

  3. Networking and Community Meetings: Want to get more involved in your nonprofit community in 2020? Professional networking groups, associations and community organizations often host new member meetings right in the new year. Do you have friends that are involved in the nonprofit sector in your city? Ask your colleagues what professional events they attend and which one's they like the best. Put something on your calendar in early 2020. Networking in the nonprofit sector is also a great way to get a new job or learn how to do your own job better!


Here is a to a happy and productive new year!

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