As we prepare for the next year, there is hope that it will be the year that our campaigns win, our goals are achieved, and our missions are fulfilled. But, in order for that to happen, we must build a foundation for success now. Here’s what you need to do now to set yourself up for the best year possible in 2023.
There is a phrase I find myself saying to campaign and nonprofit staff on repeat: “you can not pour from an empty cup.” Once the election is over (and you are not in a run-off situation in your state), please let your team rest. Distance runners can attest- you can’t run marathons back-to-back without full rest and recovery in between. The past few years have been akin to running several marathons, so please provide space and time for rest and recovery for yourself and your colleagues before the next race begins.
2. Create a growth budget
Whether your organization expanded for the election cycle or your nonprofit is recovering from the pandemic, 2023 is likely to be a rebuilding and growth year. In order to build and grow properly, you have to have the money to do so. Start charting out the big goals now because if you want to be using a new system or bringing your team together for planning or training, you will need the funding to do so. You don’t want to leave big infrastructure changes until another big election year — you’ll want to implement them in a slower “off year.” You’ll need to set up a budget and plan now in order to bring in the necessary funds.
It’s no secret that the future of the economy is uncertain. Couple that with the fact that the first quarter of the year is slow for both grassroots donations and grant funding. To overcome these challenges, the best thing you can do is to secure as much funding as you can now. If you have run successful projects this past year, you can highlight both the battles you won and how much is still left to be done. If you have started ironing out plans for early or all of 2023, use this as an opportunity to introduce your supporters to your new initiatives.
4. Thank your supporters
You probably have a lot to thank your supporters for. While we have the time and energy, and before we prepare for the next fight or big ask, make sure to thank your supporters as much as you can for their time, energy, and donations. Showing your gratitude might look different for every organization and even within each organization based on the appreciation preferences of your supporters, but the key here is that they feel seen and appreciated.
5. Dig into the data
When you are deep into a drive or campaign, you may not have time to analyze the data. In the midst of organizing, you might just focus on results, and comprehensive data analysis might take a backseat. Now that the rush is over, it’s time to catch up on data entry, clean up your records, and ensure your notes are complete, correct, and well organized. Once your data is accurate, you can analyze — are you attracting new audiences? Are there new opportunities to expand engagement or donors? What messages resonated? What tactics flopped?
When you feel like you’ve just finished a marathon, it can feel overwhelming to think about the next one. After you rest and recover, spend your time focusing on thanking your supporters, looking into your data, and creating a budget that allows for growth. Next, start fundraising for that stretch budget so you will be set up for success when you are ready to start that next race.
If your team needs digital strategy help, training and transition assistance, or is unsure where to start as you prepare to take on the ambitious goals of 2023, book a free strategy session with our experts.