Five ways to jumpstart your New Year’s Resolutions

23 Jan

It’s nearing the end of January and we now know where our NY resolutions are headed. The grim determined sort is jumping out of bed at 5 am and tripping over sneakers strategically placed at the bottom of the bed, as a note to self to run. The weak-willed have done what they suspected all along they might do, and are drowning their sorrows in drink or hot chocolate.

Fundraisers come in both these kinds. For those of you that have stuck to your resolutions of the 1st, good luck (and damn!) For the others, there’s hope yet. One of the reasons our NY resolutions go nowhere is that they are vague. You’ve heard weight loss motivational coaches say this all the time: instead of saying you want to lose weight this year, say you’ll lose 2 kg every month for six months.

So here’s an example of the top five resolutions that a fundraiser might make. In each case, we’ve rewritten it so that they are more realistic, bite-sized and have a chance of actually getting done. 





Be better at donor relations.

Make real contact (meeting, phone, handwritten note) with one donor every day. No email.


Write better appeals, newsletters and mailers.

Read what I write out loud and ask myself, “Do I sound like a real person talking – in modern times?” 


Explore corporate fundraising.

Read the pink papers three times a week to keep tabs on what companies are doing.


Make a start with social media.

Take 15 mins out every day for a week to study what a great not-for-profit brand is doing on Facebook. After a week, do the same for Twitter. And so on. (Note: Opening a FB page doesn’t qualify as making a start.)


Create kickass communication materials.

Budget for it. (Couldn’t resist that one!)

So, go on. Rewrite those NY goals and get them done.

I’m leaving this with a Nick Hornby quote (the inspiration behind the top five lists): “You have to work at relationships. You can’t just walk out on them every time something goes wrong.” The same could be said of resolutions.


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