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  • Marty Zimmerman

SMART Goals in 2023

Updated: Dec 6, 2023

2023 Goal, Plan, Action graphic

Last month, the ZIM team offered advice on readying your organization for the new year. Though 2023 is here, it’s still not too late to get your goals in order. Do you need to raise more dollars? Engage more volunteers? Align your hiring practices with your core values? You can achieve any of this by being SMART about your goals.

SMART goals, developed in 1981 by George T. Doran (read more here) provide you with a path and a finish line, something we’ve noticed can be elusive in nonprofit work, wherein agencies have to respond to changing realities All.The.Time. But the constant is that your agency must stay focused to keep your promise to your clientele and to the world you exist to improve. SMART goals can be your anchor when you’re feeling pulled in too many different directions and aren’t sure which way to go.

The Acronym

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. You want to assess each goal using this rubric.

Practice Practice Practice

Let’s take a stab at some goal-setting using this method. Say you see an opportunity to increase your fundraising capacity and wish to increase your marketing and communications to inspire more individuals to make online donations.

Goal: Raise individual donors’ awareness of our organization on social media.

SMART Goal: Raise 10K from our social media followers in the first quarter of 2023 by placing a new ad into their Facebook feeds weekly.

SMART goals also help you become very reflective about your organizational infrastructure. You may look at the goal above and realize you need to lay some groundwork first, like finding out more about who follows you on Facebook (income, philanthropic habits, interests), or maybe you don’t have social media followers but think you should. There’s a SMART goal for that!

Goal: Have a more active Facebook presence.

SMART Goal: Increase Facebook followers in the Denver metro area by 10% over the next six months.

Let’s Get You Started!

What goals do you have for 2023? Write three down and share them with your team to get started.


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