Ah, June.

School's out. Pools are open. Vacation season is in full swing.

Alas, summer isn't always a picnic for nonprofits. That's because the beginning of June also means the end of June isn't far away.

And for many nonprofits, June 30 marks the end of their fiscal year. For others, it's the midway point.

Regardless of where you are in your nonprofit's "year," there are five things you need to do now.

IF JUNE 30 MARKS THE END OF YOUR FISCAL YEAR,

  1. Compare your year-to-date actuals to your budget.
     
    If you're in the black, congratulations!
     
    If you're not there yet, don't worry. You still have time to get there. Keep reading.
     
  2. Reach out to your donors.
     
    If you haven't met your budget goal yet, run a LYBUNT report. These are your donors who gave "Last Year But Unfortunately Not This." Because they gave last year, they're good prospects for a last-minute ask.
     
    If you've met your revenue goal for the year (and even if you haven't), consider thanking your current donors for their past support.
     
    Send a postcard. Pick up the phone. Organize your board and have a thank-a-thon. Just to say "Thanks for supporting us. We appreciate you."
     
    Your donors' support makes your work possible. You need them as much as your community needs you.
     
  3. Review your grants.
     
    Many foundations require mid-year or year-end reports. If you have a grant report due on June 30, now's the time to get it ready.
     
    Some foundations won't let you apply for funding again until you've filed your reports. So get yourself ready for next year's grants, by getting your current reports in. On time.
     
  4. Look back at all you've accomplished and think about how you'll report that to stakeholders.
     
    Year-end is a time to celebrate your hard work. Take time to celebrate your staff, your board, your volunteers and everyone who had a role in your successes.
     
    Be sure you're collecting success stories and other program metrics. That way, you'll be ready to produce an impact report soon after the end of the year. 
     
    And remember, dollars raised isn't the only measure of success. A job training program might track the number of people who get new jobs, promotions or raises. A free health care clinic might track how many people receive preventative services or screenings.
     
    Whatever program metrics you measure, don't forget to set goals for 2017-2018.
     
  5. Create a plan for the new year.
     
    I'm not talking about creating the expense side of your budget (which, for many nonprofits, starts with last year's actuals).
     
    I'm talking about the revenue side of the equation. How will you raise the money you need to meet - or exceed - your budget goals next year?
     
    You'll find an idea at the end of this post.
     

IF JUNE 30 IS IN THE MIDDLE OF YOUR FISCAL YEAR,

  1. Compare year-to-date actuals to your budget.
     
    Every quarter (if not every month), you should compare your year-to-date numbers to your projections. Assess, and adjust as necessary.
     
    For instance, maybe your signature fundraising event is next month, and you expect donations to go up. Do they?
     
    Maybe a grant you were counting on falls through, and you need to make up that funding elsewhere. But where?
     
    Take time at every board meeting to understand your financials - where you should be and where you want to be. Be proactive about what you'll do to be sure that your year ends in the black.
     
  2. Reach out to your donors.
     
    Fundraising experts say a donor should receive six "touches" for every ask.
     
    Imagine your donor's surprise and delight when she receives an unexpected thank you call or card - not a solicitation. Just a thank you. Just because.
     
    Send a postcard. Pick up the phone. Organize your board and have a thank-a-thon. Just to say "Thanks for supporting us. We appreciate you."
     
  3. Review your grants.
     
    Many foundations' fiscal year ends on June 30. They may require "year-end" reports based on the end of their year - not yours.
     
    If you have a grant report due on June 30, now's the time to get it ready. And get it in.
     
  4. Assess your year-to-date performance and think about how you'll report that to stakeholders.
     
    Don't wait until the end of the year to assess your performance. And don't gauge your success purely by the money you raise.
     
    Consider your number of new donors. Your donor retention rate. An education nonprofit might track students' improvement in standardized test scores or graduation rates. An environmental group might track the bags or pounds of litter removed from rivers and streams.
     
    Whatever you measure, measure it all year long. And compare it to this year's goals. (If you don't have goals, compare the numbers to where you were this time last year.)
     
    Remember to collect success stories and other program metrics as you go along. Then you'll be ready report those outcomes when and where it makes sense.
     
    In grant proposals. In your newsletter. On social media. During donor visits.
     
  5. Create a plan for the rest of the year.
     
    A lot will happen between now and the end of the year. And a lot of planning needs to happen, too.
     
    Yes, it's only June. However, it's not too early to be thinking about your end-of-year campaign (#GivingTuesday, anyone?)
     
    Beyond that, you need a bigger plan for how you'll meet your fundraising goals before the end of your fiscal year comes around.
     
    You'll be glad you were proactive instead of reactive. You'll be glad you planned.
     

FINAL THOUGHTS

Meeting your organization's annual goals doesn't just magically happen. It's a journey.

And plans are the roadmap to help you on that journey - a way of helping you get from here to there.

Maybe you have a strategic plan. What about a fundraising plan?

A robust fundraising plan is the roadmap you need to help you meet all of your annual fundraising goals.

If you're ready to start that journey, I encourage you to learn about my new program: " Plan for Your Fundraising Success." I'd love to talk to you about coming to your area.

You can raise more money. You can meet your fundraising goals. And it all starts with a plan.


Need help creating a fundraising plan and reaching your fundraising goals? Laura Rhodes can help.

Send a message to start the conversation and learn how Laura can help you and your organization raise more money for your cause.

You may also be interested in upcoming training events.


Photo thanks to Andreas Lischka at Pixabay