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November 16, 2020
Ushering in a new year means reassessing strategic priorities and refining or setting new goals. This exercise is crucial to relief fund performance as it can alter whether program management and execution are deemed successful at year-end. To properly position a fund to meet the fund’s and team members needs, consider incorporating the following three steps into your annual goal-setting process.
- Start by celebrating wins from the previous year. Identify any milestones the program has reached and specify which are approaching in the near future.
- Then, pinpoint the overall team member participation rate (donations and applications) and year-over-year program trends. The wins can be used in upcoming giving campaigns as pride points encouraging team members to engage, whereas the participation rate and trends will provide insight into whether a strategic shift versus minor tweaks to annual goals is needed.
- Next, seek feedback from key stakeholders. Ask specific questions to gauge what worked well in the previous year and what did not. Include team members who participated in donating to the fund to see what sparked their interest. Also, include team members who did not participate to see why they refrained. The feedback may help narrow down areas of improvement and generate potential solutions to challenges the program is facing. Plus, it will calibrate the initial assessment from celebrating wins uncovering any disconnect between team member sentiment and program data.
After obtaining a holistic understanding of strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities, consider establishing a reward and incentive program to drive team members to take the desired actions needed to reach new targets. Including this consideration in the goal-setting process is crucial because launching a new reward program or even refining an existing one may require increased resources, whether labor or finances. The ability to secure the needed resources will impact the ability to successfully achieve new goals.
Beginning the year with clear goals and objectives is imperative for continuous improvement of fund administration and donor participation. Use the new year as a prime time to celebrate the fund’s wins and create buy-in with stakeholders by allowing them to provide feedback on how to improve the program. Also, find ways to drive measurable action to reach new targets, but ensure there are appropriate resources to do so. Make sure you are measuring against disaster and hardship relief fund industry benchmarks. Incorporating these steps into the goal-setting process will aid in establishing measurable and strategic annual goals that result in overall enhanced relief fund performance.