It may seem fruitless for fundraisers to make New Year’s resolutions—beginning the year by resolving to do things which they never could accomplish. While these sorts of resolutions are part of a trite annual exercise, fundraisers who make reasonable New Year’s resolutions accomplish their goals and improve as the year progresses.

Resolve to stay relevant; trying new things (albeit cautiously) will prevent you from becoming complacent. When you do not know how to do something new, resolve to learn how to do it well. Conversely, do not discard tried and true fundraising methods, even if you don’t like them. Fundraising is about how the donors want to be treated, not how the fundraiser wants to treat them.

Resolve not to waste time. This means stop doing things that do not help the nonprofit raise money. Be organized. Document procedure. Steps like these allow the prepared nonprofit to adapt to new situations as they unfold. If fundraisers do not see that their nonprofits run like well-oiled machines, then they cannot effectively function.

Most importantly, resolve to value donors above anything else in the organization. Do not think of them as a nuisance. Fundraisers must go out their way to show donors they value their support. This means doing things like speaking to them personally—even when not asking for a gift—and handwriting notes to the most valuable supporters. Donors are the lifeblood of the nonprofit; treating them as such is of paramount importance.

As the New Year unfolds, be ready for change. Making resolutions like these will allow the attentive fundraiser to succeed in 2016.

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