This is the third and final post in the series “Atta boys & High Fives” – ideas on bringing closure to a fiscal year and building your team at the same time. The first two ideas were pile some rocks and holding a staff retreat. The third is:
3. Commit to ongoing education in the new fiscal year
Creating trophies and holding staff retreats are internally focused. But to help make your next fiscal year the best it can be, you and your team will need to have get new ideas coming in too.
There are great free tools like:
- Movie Mondays [affiliate link]: These brief videos are sent to your inbox every week. You could call your staff in and watch them together. Or you could have each of them sign up and watch them. A standing item at staff meetings could be comparing notes from that week’s “Movie Monday” and seeing what could be implemented in your organization.
- Blogs: There are loads of great blogs on all aspects of fundraising and nonprofit marketing. You could subscribe to this blog and those in the “blogroll” in the column to the right. Many of these also have email newsletters (mine comes out every other week.) Both blogs and emails can bring the new outside ideas right to your desktop or phone.
There are some great low cost tools too:
- Fundraising Kick: Fundraising Kick is a weekly email for nonprofit leaders who know how to fundraise, they just need a little kick to get out and do it. These short messages give a specific idea for fundraising for that week, often with telephone script or wording for notes. To read more, and see samples, go to: http://fundraisingcoach.com/fundraisingkick.
- Books: Books are great ways to keep your mind fed with new ideas. Your local librarian can be your best friend in this regard. I of course offer fundraising books. And my publisher Tremendous Life Books has hundreds of books from great authors like Bob Burg that will help you with your sales skills, goal setting, and keeping a positive attitude. I also have dozens list in my bookstore on Amazon [affiliate link].
- CDs, MP3s, & DVDS: Many presenters and conferences offer videos and audios from their trainings, often at a fraction of the cost of the entire event. Mine are available in the Fundraising Coach store. 501 Videos regularly has a monthly special [affiliate link]. And for non-fundraising related topics, I’m a fan of The Teaching Company. They too regularly hold sales.
And here are ideas on investments in ongoing education:
- CFRE or Graduate Degree: You could plan on pursuing your CFRE or getting a graduate degree in some area that interests you. This type of simple act of investing in your ongoing education has lots of peripheral benefits. You could also check out stand alone classes offered by community colleges and other groups.
- Conferences: All sorts of national and regional organizations hold fundraising and marketing conferences. Chapters of the Association of Fundraising Professionals often have conferences and seminars many find helpful. But there are loads of high quality groups out there with conferences that might be a better fit for you. Or perhaps you’d be better served by going to a conference dedicated to social media like PodCamp or a social media breakfast.
- Executive Coaching: For about the same investment as a large conference, you can hire an executive coach. Coaching is like a highly personalized conference that comes directly to your desk. These sessions not only give you the great information you’d get from conferences, but you get to live them out and see how they “fit” in your day-to-day work. I am a coach, but I was a fan of coaching long before I became a Certified Franklin Covey Coach. I’ve found coaching to be the quickest way to help me accomplish my goals. And studies repeatedly show the ROI on coaching to be over 300%. I have links to those studies in my Coaching FAQ. Many of the folks in my blogroll and links also offer coaching, so check them out too.
That is a lot to digest. And it’s only scratching the surface of the training opportunities out there. I know many of them are linking to things I provide. That could seem incredibly self-serving but I’m willing to take that risk. I offered these because of my commitment to make it ridiculously easy for you to get fundraising training.
Best year yet
I’m convinced that if you do these three things: