At the start of each new year, we all vow to be more productive and accomplish the goals leftover from last year. Let’s make this the year we actually do those things!


There are many ways to increase the productivity at your nonprofit, so get ready to benchmark new achievements to share with your donors and supporters. Alex Neuhoff and Robert Searle, who appear in the Stanford Innovation Review, offer some helpful tips to put you on the right track to a successful 2015.


Here are 4 Top Productivity Tips:


  • Standardize Best Practices – Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, perfect what you already know works and produces results.


  • Invest in Critical Activities and Staff – Determine which activities are most important and critical to the success of your organization and invest more time, energy and manpower in those specific tasks.


  • Manage Costs Effectively – Monitor administrative and personnel costs more closely, and remember to include major costs like salaries or stipends. Continuously look for ways to keep your costs low or even cut expenses that may no longer serve your mission.


  • Measure Your Progress – Create a system that allows you to track your progress and the results of your work. If you do this, you will be most effective at implementing best practices.


Also consider:

The beginning of a new year is also a great time to fine-tune and revisit tasks that may need a little more attention. Jane D. Callahan, who has more than 25 years of experience as a tax attorney and represents a wide range of charities and other tax-exempt organizations, suggests making sure your records are up to date, reviewing all governing documents, and meeting with your board members to renew their commitment to your organization’s mission.


Keep in mind that your success will (still) be highly dependent on the dedication of your staff and volunteers, so be sure to keep them engaged and excited about the good work your organization does in the community. Remember to keep an open line of communication and ask for feedback on how to make their work more enjoyable and meaningful. A happy employee, after all, is the most productive and is more likely to stay on board longer.


And on every list of New Year’s Resolutions should be the goal of attracting new donors and supporters. Start by finding creative ways to thank the ones you already have, reviewing your network, and brainstorming to increase your donor roster to make this year even better than last!


For more on this topic:

How to Make Your Fundraising Plans for Next Year Better… and More Effective

5 New Year’s Resolutions About Nonprofit Measurement

New Year’s Resolutions: Nonprofit Organizations

10 New Year’s Resolutions for Nonprofit Professionals