4 things you can do for under $1,000 that will help your nonprofit start 2009 stronger

We are getting a lot of calls from many of you who feel you need a consultant more than ever: to help you through these tough times, think through strategy, activate your board or raise more money. But with donations down, you may also be worried about investing in training or capacity building costs.

So, how do you plan for 2009 so you can start and get through the year in a strong position?

Here are four ideas that you can implement before the end of the year:

1) Train your board on its roles and responsibilities (especially in fundraising) and asking for money. Better yet, train board, staff and volunteers in asking for money. The more people involved in your organization who know how, and are comfortable with, asking for money, the more money will come in to support your cause. As Barack Obama’s campaign has amply shown, it’s a passion + numbers game. JVA’s board and fundraising experts can come into an already scheduled board or staff meeting to teach people how to ask for money in a really fun way.

2) Undergo an extreme proposal makeover. Is your grant proposal as compelling as it needs to be in this competitive environment? Does your needs statement have current stats? Do your program descriptions reflect best practices? Does your evaluation plan focus on measurable outcomes (or on outcomes at all)? Have you discussed how your organization is addressing inclusivity and diversity? JVA can help you strengthen your template grant proposal with everything from a review from our expert grantwriters to an extreme makeover that includes pulling articles with stats, a look at your evaluation plan, etc.

3) Review your online appeal and/or your direct mail pieces. Are they compelling enough to make people in a tight economy open their pocketbooks? Moreover, do you have a strategy to get people to your Web site so that they see your online appeal?

4) Develop an action plan for 2009. As the saying goes, those who fail to plan, plan to fail. A lot may have happened since you last worked on a strategic plan—the economy has soured, and many nonprofits are finding it tougher to get funding. Demand for services is increasing at the same time that organizations have fewer resources. This may be a critical time to revisit your plan or create a powerful action plan to put you in a strong position moving into 2009.

For help with any of these at a price you can afford, call 303.477.4896 or e-mail Jessica at JVA Consulting, and we can get you started on the right foot for 2009.

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