For many organizations, summer is a relative downtime compared to the rest of the year. This makes it a great time to do some "summer cleaning" to prepare you for the fall and next year. In that light, there are some specific tasks you can do now – some more "fun" than others – to set you up for even greater success down the road.
Clean up your donor database: This is a chore that can be tedious, but it can help you save a lot of time on your next direct mail or when pulling donor reports. Remove/combine duplicate entries, remove deceased donors, and confirmed recent major gifts were entered correctly.
Review your development plan: Whether your development plan is in constant use or it's sitting unused on a real or virtual shelf, summer is a great time to revisit the plan and modify it to reflect changes in organizational structure, staffing, or recent internal discussions. Plus, this is a good time to reflect on what's been working and what needs to be improved.
Revisit your case for support: Similar to the development plan, your case for support should be revisited regularly to ensure that it reflects current messaging and goals. Whether you have a formal, graphically designed case statement, or just an internal document that you pull language from as needed, it's important to make sure that your case for support is up to date.
Analyze your need for Board retreats and training: Summer is a great time to get everyone together and do some strategic planning – either formally or informally. It can also be a good time to provide some training to your board in areas such as fundraising, governance, and finances.
If you need any help with your summer cleaning, don't hesitate to contact ZIM at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy Summer!