The Dog Days of Summer

dog days

by Susan Bottum, Vice President – HUB Philanthropic Solutions

I have always considered the July 4th holiday to mark summer’s midpoint – school has been out for a few weeks, the pace starts to slow, families vacation.  The pace in the workplace often follows this same trend.  People relax a bit more and it feels like we all have a chance to catch our collective breath.  Even if your organization is hosting a golf outing in the near future, it (hopefully) feels a bit more manageable this time of year.

Given this opportunity, you may take time to clean your office, organize your files or schedule a long overdue lunch.  It is also a great time to reflect on the past year and plan for the year ahead.  Here are some things to keep in mind.

Objectively reflect on the past 12 months.  This exercise is for your eyes only, so be brutally honest!

  • Did you have specific goals in mind?
    • If so, did you meet those goals?
    • What got in your way?
  • Did you meet the objectives outlined in your development plan?
    • If so, how will these milestones help you create your upcoming development plan?
    • If not, what can you change to ensure you are meeting the objectives going forward?
  • How much time did you plan for donor cultivation?
    • Individual meetings
    • Small gatherings or other get-togethers
    • Mail correspondence (thank you notes, annual appeal, newsletter, etc.)
    • Email correspondence
  • Did you meet or exceed these plans?
    • Why or why not?
    • How will you modify these plans going forward?

Plan for the next 12 months.

  • What would you like to improve upon over the next 12 months?
  • What are your top priorities?
  • How do those support the objectives of the organization?
  • How will you ensure you meet these priorities?
    • Are there others (co-worker, supervisor, Board members) you can ask for support?
  • Draft your development plan.
    • When looking back 12 months from now, what will you consider a success?
    • What will stay the same in your next development plan?
    • How will your development plan change?
    • How will you communicate your plans?

I am hopeful this exercise will provide you with some “wins” as you reflect on the past year and some energy and enthusiasm as you plan for the year ahead.  Enjoy the sun and slower pace.

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