Tag Archives: Strategic Planning

The Importance of Looking Back

From Year-End Reviews to Strategic Planning for the New Year

Evaluating your year is important, especially as a nonprofit organization. Today we will discuss who to do your evaluation with, how to do it, including prompts and templates, ways to use your year-end review and how to move forward in the coming year.

Who should be involved

Make it a group effort! Your leadership, staff, board members, and other volunteers are of the utmost importance in conducting a year-end review. Give them the chance to share their experience of the year and provide a safe environment for them to do so.

How to do it

The best part about this one… it’s easy! Gather a list of prompts, questions like… “On a scale from 1-10 (10 being very successful), what would you rate the level of success of the organization and why?” or “What has been our greatest loss/challenge as an organization this year?”

Prompts are there to help lead the conversation, but they don’t have to stifle other discussions that come up. Let the conversation flow naturally – at least if you’re doing this in person or as a virtual group!

If your organization is currently not meeting in person or you’d rather let them have time to think about their answers, think about setting up an online survey to send out via email. If you take this option just make sure to give plenty of time to fill it out and provide a deadline for them.

Ways to Present

Now we don’t just do year-end reviews for nothing! Your organization has done the hard work, now let it work for you.
Here are a few options we like:

  • Make it the highlight of your December or January newsletter
  • Send via email to funders or by mail with a handwritten note
  • For those involved in any successes of the year, send them a copy with a thank you note or present
  • Send to potential funders
  • Create a small social media campaign or write a blog with condensed information.

Keep the information simple by using our Year-End Review Template. Get the download as PDF or Docx.

Moving Forward.

Take time to review all of the feedback and give leadership time to do the same. Ask questions of the feedback like, “Was the leadership surprised by any of the comments?” “Were they different from yours?” or “What changes do you want to make moving forward?”

As nonprofit leaders work is never done. There is always an emerging issue to address or a person in need to care for. This is why intentionality with our work is so important.

By integrating a year-end review now, you are setting the organization up to easily transition into strategic planning. Strategic planning doesn’t have to be long retreats or an overwhelming SWOT analysis. It can be as simple as gathering information.

Got questions? Reach out to KM for a free discovery call to find out how to integrate effective strategic planning into your organization that increases engagement and accountability for future success.

Looking for more? Watch our full webinar on this topic for free here.

Don’t forget to download our Year-End Review template as PDF or Docx.