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January 14, 2021
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May 6, 2021

Prioritizing What Matters: Annual Planning for You and for Us

At my organization, we are in the middle of our annual evaluations and work plans. For me, like so many other fundraisers, this is often a time of re-sorting priorities.

There’s always so much to do, so many opportunities throughout the year and at year-end, that creating a new work plan in January is a welcome reset.

But what this exercise often ends up being for me is not a list what I will do, but more of a list of what I won’t do.

To prepare for my evaluation and work plan, I looked at:

  • Our strategic plan: This document has guided me through many iterations of priority setting. What do I need to do to make sure that I meet the spirit, vision, and the objectives of the strategic plan?
  • Our annual plan: Our annual plan for 2021 contains more granular specifics on what my team and I committed to back in the Fall of 2020.
  • My 2020 work plan: I went back to look at my objectives in my work plan for last year to see what I accomplished and what didn’t work out.
  • My team’s performance: How are my team members feeling about their work over the last year and are there any changes to their needs for support or expectations for me?
  • Results: It is really critical as fundraisers that we are guided by the data as well as the vision. I had to look at the financial data as well as statistics on donor participation.

Taking all of these things into account, I went about trying to realistically decide what I want to accomplish this year, with the big picture in mind. I organized activities into objectives that were specific and measurable so that I can figure out whether I fulfilled them in 2021.

And when prioritizing, I did have to decide what I could do this year, realistically, and what I’d have to left behind.

At Front Range Source, we’ve had to take stock of our priorities, too.

Both Ann and I have a lot going on. We both have full-time commitments to our work. So, when we sat down just a few weeks ago to take stock and look at our priorities for 2021, we decided that the core of our work was our number one priority.

Our mission had always been to give nonprofits the resources they need to raise the funds for their mission. We prioritized our blog and our toolbox because those were the most in line with our mission.

This left us with having to de-prioritized our job board, and we have decided to close it down. This was hard for us because we knew the job board had value.

But when we made our own annual plan for Front Range Source, we felt like we had to take the advice that we had been giving to fundraisers throughout the years – you can’t do it all, so make a good plan to do what you can do best.

It was hard to leave the job board behind, but look forward to continued blog posts and some more items added to our toolbox. Bringing you the resources you need – and a friendly voice of assurance – has always been our priority and it will continue to be.

Good luck for your prioritizing for 2021! Let us know how it goes!



1 Comment

  1. Kate says:

    Congrats on taking care of yourself and focusing on what matters most! While it is often so hard to step away from things that matter, I find it always makes the things that matter more get the sunshine and water they need to thrive. Thanks for the reminder!

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