When there’s a kid in your house, ‘tis the season for starting fresh. New notebooks, new pencils, a new calculator…it’s equal parts thrilling and daunting to look at the pile of brand new things and imagine them being used. Even though I’m long out of school, for me September always brings with it a sense of excitement and nervous anticipation about what’s ahead, even more so than January 1st.
In fundraising (or really in any field that uses reports), now’s a good time to take a fresh look at how we share information with each other to be sure that we’re doing it well.
What might that mean for you?
- Are the reports you created during the last campaign still working for the between-campaign period?
- Do you have new leadership that has a lot of information needs (but you’re giving them reports their predecessor helped you create)?
- What do frontline fundraisers and leadership need to know to do their best work? Is it different than four years ago when the profile format was created?
In this pre-dawn period before the fall season really heats up with meetings and events and homecoming and all of that – now’s a great time to set aside a few hours to talk with end users of your work. Ask your clients…
- Are we giving you too much information? Too little?
- Can we create a variety of report types that meet different needs?
- How can we help you be more self-sufficient?
- What kinds of information would you like pushed to you?
Be creative! There are all kinds of cool tools out there now for you to try! Do a little fun research to find dashboards … mapping … analytics … apps … even something as simple as re-thinking report formatting can help breathe new life into the mundane. (In fact, I heard a little bit of gossip from the APRA conference: a certain university with an awesome name now formats profiles so they can be easily read on an iPad – how’s that for creative thinking!?)
What do you want to do differently this new school year?