For many nonprofits, the end of the fiscal year is fast approaching. If your financial calendar resets on July 1, you will no doubt already be working hard to ensure that budgets are met, reports are submitted, and you're ready for the next fiscal year.
Even though it can feel like a busy and stressful time of year, there are some great ways to make the most of this period of time. Here are some ways to prepare for the end of the fiscal year, use any remaining budget wisely, build and grow your relationships with staff and donors, and boost your last-minute fundraising.
Build Your Budget
At the end of each fiscal year, you should make sure you have reviewed your spending for the previous year and planned your budget for the next one. It's often hard for nonprofits to know exactly what income they'll have, but use the previous year and any known grants you have as a guide. Plan strategically and make sure you cover your basic expenditures using the budget you know you will have.
If you have leftover budget from the previous fiscal year, consider how you can put it to use. You might choose to roll it over to next year in order to cover a larger project or other expense you see coming up. Alternatively, you could invest in some technology to help further your mission in the coming year. Consider the areas you could have used some extra tech support in the past 12 months and take a look at the TechSoup catalog to see if any of those needs can be met by a donated or discounted product.
There are also several products that renew at the end of the fiscal year, meaning that your organization's allowance for those products will reset. Those offers in particular are worth paying attention to, since you can take advantage of this year's allowance in the last few weeks before it resets.
Review and Report
If you are finishing up your fiscal year, it's a great opportunity to gather statistics, stories, and achievements from the 12 months and combine them into an annual report to share with donors, board members, and your wider audience. You should include financial information and numerical measures of the impact your organization has had, but it's also great to gather individual stories. These can help to humanize your organization and give color and context to the work you do.
End-of-year reviews are also good practice from an internal perspective. Not only do they give you a chance to reflect on what has gone well in the past year, the impact of your organization, and what could be improved in the coming year, but you can also take the opportunity to acknowledge staff and volunteers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Pointing out and rewarding the people who have worked particularly hard can build morale and motivation in your team, as well as making those hard workers feel valued and appreciated.
Of course, you'll also need to report back on any grants you received this past year and ensure that your books are closed out and all incoming and outgoing funds are accounted for.
Run a Fiscal Year-End Fundraising Campaign
The end of the fiscal year can be a good time to reach out to the people who have donated to your organization in the past year, as well as those who have donated in the past but not this year, and nurture or rekindle those relationships. Send a thank-you email to everyone who gave you money this year and remind them that your fiscal year is wrapping up. At a minimum, you'll make your donors feel valued and ensure that you remain on their mind. At best, some of those donors might decide to give again. You might want to tailor your messaging for those who gave large gifts in particular.
You can also take advantage of the middle of the calendar year. In December, people become far more saturated with end-of-year giving campaigns, their own holiday plans, and the many marketing emails coming into their inbox. Make the most of the fact that people might have a little extra time and headspace, while also giving yourself a little extra budget for the coming year.
Get FYE Ready
If your fiscal year resets on July 1, this is likely to be one of the busiest times in your calendar. Even if you're feeling snowed under by forms and spreadsheets, take a moment to consider how you can make the most of this time. Ensure that you acknowledge staff who have excelled in the past year and share your highs and lows with supporters. This is also an important time to budget, taking into account your expenditure in the previous year and considering how best to invest any spare money. Finally, take this opportunity to let donors know you're wrapping up your fiscal year, thank them for their contributions, and encourage them to give an end-of-year gift if they are able.
- Explore more ideas for Engaging Communities Online from TechSoup Courses.
- Take advantage of TechSoup offers suitable for larger and smaller organizations.
- See a webinar on Fiscal Year-End Reminders to Help Your Nonprofit Succeed.
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