NewsSummer Checklist for non profits. Photo of a pen checking off boxes

Depending on which sector your nonprofit is in, the summer may be the perfect time for your nonprofit, staff, and volunteers to take a break before the fall. Or, maybe it’s the opposite, and it is a crucial period for your fundraising campaigns and you are offering more summer activities.  Holidays usually mean well-deserved relaxing and resting after a year of hard work. However, what if you tackle a list of tasks that help management of your nonprofit smooth and efficient in the fall?  CCS has put together a list of small tasks that are useful to complete during the summer holiday before the start of fall and we have the collective expertise to help you get it done:

  • Update Accounting Standards
  • Prepare Grant Applications
  • Review and Update Bylaws
  • Seek Feedback
  • Redesign Your Website

1) Update Accounting Standards

Even with the right tools to support you, it is a challenge to juggle activities during the year and keep up with accounting. The quieter summer period gives you time to update your spreadsheets and accounting records.

Do you still need to reconcile your bank statements? Have you worked on your budget for the following year? Don’t wait until the end of the calendar year to update your accounts! Otherwise, you may find yourself with too many invoices and receipts to record at the end of your accounting period. Cozy up with your accounting software, and you can run your organization smoothly without too much of a headache!

2) Prepare Grant Applications

As you probably know, grant requests require a lot of preparation and time to gather all the necessary data, images, and files. Whether you are applying for a corporate sponsorship or grant, the application requirements are sometimes exhausting. The good news is you can use the summer to get a jump start on the applications!

Some ways to prepare for your grant application include:

  • Research upcoming grant application deadlines
  • Create a timeline for when you will complete the various documents or files required
  • Gather data and statistics to report successful activities or programs presented by your organization
  • Note which documents are required, and give yourself time to gather them
  • Inform your staff of their deadlines for preparing materials they are responsible for
  • If you prepare well in advance, you may even submit grant proposals before the deadline!

3) Review and Update Bylaws

Your nonprofit’s bylaws serve as a roadmap for operations and governance. Once they are written, you may not be thinking about them, but as the nonprofit evolves, the bylaws may have to be amended or revised. For example, a nonprofit may decide to increase the size of the board as it grows.

You can check if you need to update anything in the bylaws, such as:

  • Mailing address and email address
  • Terms and conditions of membership
  • Board size and board term limits
  • Nomination of new board members
  • Meeting and voting procedures
  • Please note: Depending on the laws of your state, you might need to register any changes to bylaws. Your current bylaws might also require that major revisions need to be approved by board members. You should also make sure the changes you want to make are legal!

4) Seek Feedback

During the rest of the year, you may have been swept up in daily tasks and deadlines. It’s normal to be focused on the events unfolding, rather than looking back to review what has happened at your nonprofit.  Before embarking on another year, you can send an “end-of-year” survey to your members, volunteers, and staff.

Seeking feedback on your nonprofit’s activities, operations, and management is a sure way to keep growing as an organization. You might find really useful suggestions and comments from your survey responses!

5) Redesign Your Website

You’ve had the same website for 4, 5, or maybe even 10 years? If you haven’t changed the website layout in a while, you need to update it to reflect new design trends. You should regularly update the website because it is important to increase online visibility to potential new members and donors.

Is the website friendly for mobile screens? Are you maximizing your website utilizing SEO to ensure you are top of mind for those needing your programs or services? A significant number of website visitors come from smartphones and tablets. Google also offers a Mobile-Friendly Test to measure whether your website is compatible with smartphones and tablets.

So many people have given time and energy to your nonprofit throughout the year. It is also time to think about getting some rest so you can jump in fully recharged in the fall. It’s easy to burn out if you don’t give yourself enough time to relax. Your nonprofit’s mission is important, but it needs you at your best!

Catalyst Consulting Services is here as your partner for any of these items on your checklist and more. To learn more about how we can facilitate positive change for your organization, visit us or call us today 813.839.2282.