We at The Good Partnership are kicking off 2018 with a program called the 90 Day Year (I'll share more about it in the summer, with an invite for you join me in this great program). As we wrapped up 2017, we looked at all the things that were going well, what needs improvement and what we wanted to focus on for the year ahead.
One word kept surfacing. It was in books I was reading, on podcasts I was listening to, and seemed to be a fitting theme to our first 90 days of 2018 - service.
The single most important metric of our success as a business is, simply, your success.
We exist to serve small nonprofits and to help them fundraise. Our focus for the first quarter is not business development, or growing our email list, or making more sales, or even taking on new clients. It's service.
Our focus is to build the best systems, apply the best knowledge and implement the best strategies to help our clients and community raise more money for the work you're doing to change the world.
With our clients, we're going to be focusing on the donor side of service - stewardship. We know that stewardship is the most important foundation to long-term fundraising success, but it often gets overlooked because it's not "urgent" and the return on investment takes more time. So, in taking a step back, we're going to carve out time and focus our client work to create meaningful stewardship program. We'll be blogging through the whole process so you can follow along and join us!
Focusing on stewardship is not a new or unique idea. Simone Joyuex has been talking about "donor-centered fundraising" for years and there's a growing #donorlove movement. These ideas encompass much more than just stewardship, but we're going to start with stewardship as a foundation. I was also inspired by fellow fundraising consultant Shanon Doolittle who shared "I had one client who spent an entire year thanking instead of asking and they raised more money that year than in the 10 previous."
It's so easy in fundraising, especially in small nonprofits, to focus on what's "urgent" - getting money in the door, as quickly as possible. But often that happens at the expense of what's "important" - the activities that are most likely to help you achieve your big scary goals. So, taking a step back, we're going to work on the important things. I hope you'll join us.
Comment below - what's the best service experience you've had as a customer or donor? What do you do that you're super proud of that we should all be doing?