Can you believe it is 2023? After the last few years we’ve had, collectively the years seem to somewhat fade together. However, your organization can stand out this year and 2023 can be a year with promise and possibilities! As you begin, take a look back and also get excited for what is ahead!  Below we are going to look at some key ways to focus on nonprofit team building in the new year!

Celebration, Reflection & Growth

Research from Science Daily, states that “..people feel supported socially after a celebration, they’re more ‘pro-social,’ and more willing to volunteer their time or donate to a cause…” With this said, knowing your donors and staff are on a high from all the celebrating helps with those new year resolutions and goals. Take advantage of this time, don’t lose the momentum of energy and enthusiasm. It can lead your nonprofit into the new year with an exciting drive for connection and change for the better. 

We hope you have taken time to thank your donors for their end-of-year giving as this is a key element in your donor retention rate. If not, check out some ways to show your appreciation here. Once these thank you’s are done, remember to also show appreciation for your staff and team. 

Nonprofit Team Building for Impact

Going back to work after a busy season or a break can be difficult even if you are on a high from all the celebrating. However, with the right welcome, your team will be energized to again be part of the work your organization is doing in your community. With this in mind, here are 5 steps you can take to focus on nonprofit team building this year:

1. Reconnect as A Team!

Instead of getting straight behind the desk and diving in, it is equally important to reconnect with your team. For instance, have a morning meeting, or better yet through a lunch outing. Share about your holidays over coffee and donuts or at your favorite lunch spot. Carve out some time to just be together with your team, and appreciate your coworkers and staff. This builds camaraderie, communication, and connection. 

2. Acknowledge the Good Achieved!

Remember the achievements! This is your opportunity to acknowledge your nonprofit’s accomplishments from 2022. If you haven’t done so at this point, it is a great time to use the reporting tools from Mightycause. Creating a 2022 Report breaking down key statistics from last year is an incredibly helpful tool when goal setting for 2023.

Utilizing Mightycause donation & retention reports can help get a clear idea of areas that need improvement. As well as, areas where your nonprofit excelled in 2022. Make it a key point to also get statistics directly related to what your organization does. For example, if your organization is an animal rescue, how many dogs, and /or cats found new homes? How many were spayed and neutered last year? Getting specific results geared toward the mission of your nonprofit can help empower your team and highlight a donor’s investment.

Reflect on the highlights of those statistics found. As a result, give shoutouts to individuals who stood out along the way. Certainly get creative with this, you may be adults, but we still all like to feel young at heart. Make awards, shoot confetti, but make it fun and memorable! Remember the study previously mentioned from Science Daily on celebrationLooking back allows us to look forward to the big picture.

3. Remember the Big Picture!

Reminding your team of the BIG PICTURE is key to nonprofit team building, the why behind your nonprofit organization’s existence, and the why behind their hard work. Its purpose. Remembering helps ignite the memories of why they joined your team in the first place! An article in Positive Psychology explains that “motivation is crucial because it allows us to change behavior, develop competencies, be creative, set goals, grow interests, make plans, develop talents, and boost engagement.” This is not only true for your staff and team but your donors as well. Seeing the Big Picture motivates. 

Does your staff know your mission statement? Do your donors and volunteers? Is the mission statement still reflective of the work being done? If not, how can you recenter this mission statement? What action steps in the new year can focus on your foundations, aligning your goals with that mission statement again?

Based on this, what goals related to your organization’s work do you want to make happen this year?  In what ways can you bring the mission statement and purpose back to the forefront of your donors’ minds as the new year begins? Click here for some ideas to get thinking about donor engagement. 

4. Reflect & Brainstorm!

After all that, reflect.  This is a key part of moving forward. Take time to review where you could have done better based on the statistical reports of 2022. What areas need growth? Is it your nonprofit’s marketing? Is it the technology platform you are using? Perhaps it’s your website, or donor retention? Or maybe it’s your community engagement and volunteers, or your social media presence? Find where you can improve in 2023 and outline together ways to increase your skills in those areas. 

5. Goal Setting!

Finally, after you have reconnected as a team, acknowledged your achievements, remembered the big picture, reflected, and brainstormed you must not leave out the action step of goal setting. Put your pen to paper and write down those ideas. For the purpose of setting realistic goals with achievable deadlines. Positive Psychology states, “In the end, you can’t manage what you don’t measure and you can’t improve upon something that you don’t properly manage. Setting goals can help you do all of that and more.” While it can vary between nonprofits, most effective nonprofits have these goals outlined:

  • Long-term goals
  • Short-term goals
  • Programmatic goals
  • Financial goals

For more ideas and information on goal setting with your nonprofit team check out these other support articles:

Spring Fundraiser Planning

5 Essential Elements to a Successful Giving Day Campaign

7 Habits of Highly Effective Nonprofits 

In Short…

You cannot achieve your mission without your team, show them appreciation and start the year out right with a focus on nonprofit team building. When employees feel appreciated they work harder, and are more effective and creative in their day-to-day tasks. This will have a ripple effect on your donor experience and retention rates. In today’s world, people like to know they are supporting organizations and companies that look out for their people, not just those that the nonprofit is serving. Take steps to start the year right with a team approach. Brainstorm. Set realistic and attainable goals. Welcome 2023 with excitement and vigor!


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