3 tips for planning performance management review

No matter how successful a nonprofit has been in the past, it's important to sit down and devise new strategies or tactics for fundraising. New ideas not only keep an organization relevant in a rapid-paced world, but constant evaluation prevents minor mistakes and inefficiencies going unnoticed and turning into huge problems.

A popular blog from iATS Payments detailed how nonprofit organizations can break performance management into five steps. Today we're going to take a close look at the first stage: planning. When it comes time to set a new course or begin a project, there are three best practices that should help any organization:

1. Speak to all relevant stakeholders
From the first stages of complete performance management, nonprofit leaders must be involved. Executive staff leaders and senior staff members should lead planning sessions to show how important new strategies are to ongoing operations. However, Demand Media suggested all people involved with the daily activities of a nonprofit and those that could be affected by choices should have a say in plan making.

Volunteers, donors and organization partners should all have representatives during planning sessions. Individuals who actually know what its like to raise funds and perform other tasks can communicate firsthand experiences with current obstacles and where improvements need to be made.

2. Be specific with plans
HubSpot shared the results of a Atlassian survey that found 47 percent of individuals find meetings to be a waste of time. Even when planning sessions begin with specific agendas, its not uncommon for these meetings to run around in circles. NonProfit PRO said meetings are often inefficient when the participants ignore the specifics of the plan.

It's a best practice to write everything down. People leading the meeting should do their best to visualize suggestions so all participants can see exactly what's missing. By the end, participants should know what the goal of a plan is, how new strategies will achieve results and who will carry out actions.

3. Create measurable - and realistic - goals
It's not unwise to begin at the the end. The Fundraising Authority advised organizations to start planning meetings with an attainable goal created by input from all stakeholders. The goal should directly relate to a nonprofit's overall mission.

During the planning session, the participants should also agree on a method to detect when a goal has been met. If the organization wants to raise a certain sum, payment processing technology should collect data in real-time and make results visible in a central information system. Planning sessions are an effective time to decide if such measuring tools are in place.

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