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Espresso, Calendars, and Sticky Notes: These are a number of of my favourite issues!

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“Espresso, Calendars, and Sticky Notes: These are a number of of my favourite issues!”

by Amy Lazoff, Director of Philanthropy & Group Relations, Fort Wayne Kids’s Zoo

There’s one factor I like about this time of yr that not everybody fairly understands – and that’s the sheer pleasure I expertise when selecting out a planner for subsequent yr. Sure, regardless that my every day schedule is digital, I nonetheless LOVE a great paper planner!

After I open the quilt of my new planner annually and see the empty pages, my mind fills with concepts of all I’d like to perform. I like the thought of planning the work and dealing the plan. Because the chief of a small however mighty workforce of fundraising professionals, who find yourself carrying a variety of hats all year long, my paper planner can be used as a management instrument.

All people will get to select a brand new planner

One of many duties I give to my total workforce is to select a planner that works for them. Some like month-to-month solely, some need month-to-month/weekly or every day, and I simply need them to make use of no matter would be the most useful to how they work. Then we decide a day close to the top of the yr to fill them out. We name it our “Calendar Planning Day” and the primary yr I took my workforce by way of the train it was a bit overwhelming. Now, they sit up for it and are available ready with all their notes! At the present time is full of a variety of espresso, our calendars, and sticky notes of each shade.

Mapping out the yr

As soon as we’re completed, we’ve mapped out our total yr. It helps my total workforce know what is going on with who and when. It helps spot any conflicts early on and ensure nothing huge is lacking. That is invaluable data to have when typically your job, as a pacesetter, is to maneuver on to plan b or pivot when sudden occasions threaten to derail your plans. It is usually a helpful instrument to have as a co-worker, to know when somebody has a giant deadline arising so you may lend a serving to hand. It additionally prevents us from trying to do too many huge or new issues all on the identical time. In any case, there are solely so many hours in a day!

For my workforce it’s also a approach to take our annual fundraising and stewardship plans and lay them out otherwise, specializing in the duties that should be completed to realize our objectives. We additionally layer in board conferences, conferences, deliberate holidays, main grant deadlines, deliberate donor engagement actions, junk mail, particular occasions, and so forth. in addition to all the larger duties related to preserving these issues on observe. These duties vary from donor stories, to enchantment drafts, to print deadlines, linen and meals orders, volunteer coaching nights, when letters want up to date, and extra. It isn’t each job we do – removed from it, nevertheless it lays out the construction for our yr. Our planners assist us simply discuss our upcoming initiatives, wants, and recap of the hits and misses as a workforce every week, and it additionally helps me put together for one-on-one conferences with every of my workforce members.

This tactic might not work for each workforce, however when you’re searching for a greater approach to plan your work, and work your plan (or coordinate the chaos), give it a attempt – what do it’s important to lose?


Amy Lazoff is Director of Philanthropy & Group Relations at Fort Wayne Kids’s Zoo and a licensed Quadrant 3 Management Coach. She leads a Nonprofit Academy coaching on planning referred to as “Plan the Work; Work the Plan.”

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