Low-cost ideas to prepare your nonprofit for 2012

By Amber Alarid, JVA Consulting

While you might already feel overwhelmed with your personal New Year’s resolutions and goals for the year ahead, you shouldn’t feel overwhelmed when it comes to your nonprofit. With the help of  JVA staff members I have compiled a list of low- and no-cost ideas to kick-start 2012 for your organization.

Increase your social media presence.

JVA Research Associate Katie McCune suggests you “amp up your social media.” Depending on where you social media is at already at, this could mean utilizing a new type of social media and committing to incorporating it into your social media plan. Maybe you need to plan to write a blog every week, tweet every day, or make a new YouTube video about the work you’re doing once a month. Whatever you choose, make sure your goal is realistic and you have a clear plan including a timeline to carry out your resolution. Also make sure to think strategically about which types of social media you’re using and the ways it will connect the work your organization does to others. Also, make sure to tag people in your Facebook posts and join conversations on Twitter to drive more traffic to your posts.

JVA Senior Associate Ashley Kasprzak added that you should be “dedicate[ing]15 minutes a day [to] using social media for your organization.” Having dedicated time in your schedule for social media means that it will not get pushed aside when other deadlines come up.

Send your executive director to our Executive Director Academy (EDA).

John F. Kennedy once said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” What better way to start the new year than with an opportunity for your organization’s leader to continue their personal and professional growth by learning from JVA experts in their field and from peers with inspirational ideas. Topics covered at EDA range from grantwriting to evaluation and are all designed to help new, aspiring and learning executive directors alike to stay on top of the latest trends in the nonprofit sector. To learn more about EDA and to register, click here.

Attend networking events.

Ashley Kasprzak says that attending networking events a minimum of once a month “strengthen[s] connections and keep[s] your finger on the pulse of your community.” Networking events and opportunities can include your local young nonprofit professional chapter’s events, community meetings, trainings and JVA’s new networking event that is part of our Nonprofit Job Networking Club.

Use Action Method Online to get organized.

At JVA, we are starting off the year by implementing the Action Method Online to keep running to-do lists and to share resources with our colleagues. If planners and sticky notes aren’t doing everything you need them to do, supplement them with this great online resource for keeping projects organized.

With these tips you can give your organization a much-needed boost without costly side effects. Add these tips to your toolbox and suggest your own by commenting below.

Happy 2012!

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