Setting strategies, tactics, budgets, and goals for the coming year can be tricky.
If you choose to plan based on past methods and expectations, you’re planning for a world that is very different compared to 2019, before the pandemic. Additionally, in our newly re-opened world, we know that commanding donor attention and participation is likely to be much more challenging than it was in 2020.
We also know that in 2020, results were uneven. Some sectors such as public media, health care, and the environment experienced significant gains. Other sectors such as education and the arts had a more difficult time maintaining revenue.
As we look forward, economic indicators are strong but still uncertain, and not all people are impacted equally.
Even though this is an incredibly challenging time to confidently predict outcomes because they can’t realistically be based on the past, there are four things you can do to set your organization up for success:
- Build a plan anyway. It won’t be perfect, but having no plan is almost always a recipe for failure. During the pandemic, the organizations that fared the best within their sectors were those that started with strong plans, teams, systems, and technology to back them up. Thus, their pivots were based on actual strategic knowledge and were trackable against expectations.
- Lean towards what’s working. Keep doing that until it doesn’t work. But also, invest in smart innovation and testing in order to be ready when you need to launch what’s next.
- Stay nimble. Track your results in a timely and careful manner. Be ready to react to what the results show. Work as a team to reward strong, flexible thinking and action.
- Listen to what your donors are telling you. Stay close. Keep in communication. Understand how your donors are reacting to your campaigns to make them as effective as they can be.
In every challenge, there is opportunity. Seize it.