We’ve all been there.
After some well-earned time off around the holidays, we return to work, ready to hit the ground running in the new year. The renewed vigor is met with worthy goals worth chasing. We’re feeling ready to take the world by storm.
And then, panic settles in.
First, it’s the outpouring of emails. Then the impromptu meetings are thrown onto our calendars. And of course, that laundry list of tasks – the one we told ourselves confidently we’d tackle once we return from break - inevitably hits us like a brick wall. Just like that, the window of opportunity to pursue bold, new challenges seems nearly out of reach.
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Giving up on such New Year’s resolutions can’t happen for nonprofit fundraisers. The need for fundraisers to continue to stretch their productivity and think differently about their approach to donor stewardship remains steadfast. While philanthropic giving held strong in 2021 despite early concerns of donor fatigue, the percentage of new donors retained by nonprofits shrank by more than 13%, leading to longer-term worries about organizations’ abilities to properly nurture new donors who entered the pipeline in the last few years.
In addition, fundraisers need to be mindful of new ways to engage the next generation of philanthropists, who act differently than their predecessors when it comes to their approach to giving back.
With all this on fundraisers’ plates, the need for improving time management remains ever-present. With this in mind, here are a few easy tips to help ensure you create meaningful traction in the new year:
I know. It’s stupidly simple, but at the same time, it bears repeating, especially during those times when you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by a mountain of tasks.
Rather than focus on all that sits in front of you, the best advice is often to develop a practical plan to help you get moving. And to start, focus your attention on the simple tasks you can quickly cross of your list so that you can begin to feel you’re making progress firmly.
Break It Up
Once you get moving, continue to classify your approach. Then, start to take on more daunting projects that may be serving as a source of your anxiety. But to help you battle through, give yourself a break. Or two.
Rather than spending hours or days on these intimidating undertakings, dedicate smaller amounts of time to them. Even something as small as 15 minutes of focus can help to ensure you move the needle. Need some further inspiration to get you going? Try a productivity playlist to help you achieve your goals. Again, keeping your focus limited to a shorter amount of time will help keep your attention while minimizing any unneeded stress around accomplishing general, non-specific goals.
Now that you’re progressing, focus on what you can do to keep the productivity ball rolling. A simple way to accomplish this is to start by writing down your impending tasks to keep you on point. Then, as you execute each assignment, cross it off your list. Again, the sense of accomplishment – no matter how small – can play a significant role in keeping you motivated.
Of course, when it comes to productivity in today’s demanding world, there’s only so much that’s humanly possible to accomplish. But, unfortunately, that rising list of projects and demands doesn’t magically extend your day beyond 24 hours, so look to technology for a significant assist in realizing your goals.
It shouldn’t shock anyone that technology is predicted to continue to rule within the world of philanthropy. Faced with the daunting task of further saturating portfolios and making meaningful connections with the next generation of donors, fundraisers and their organizations need to think strategically about how best to scale such efforts. In most cases, fundraiser enablement tools designed to increase fundraiser’s productivity and empower efficiency will rule the day.
Don’t be afraid to lean in on tech to ensure your fundraising and organizational goals achieve the same outcome.
Looking for more ways to increase your productivity? Gravyty's Ultimate Guide to Fundraising Productivity takes a complete look at how you and your team can optimize their time. Download for free today and begin your journey towards being the best fundraiser you can be: