Every year New Year’s resolutions are made and broken within the first few days of the year. Here are five strategic resolutions marketing professionals in Christian nonprofit organizations should consider. They can change your entire year.
1. Lose weight. Purge dead weight from your donor list to save money and improve performance. Start with an intensive address correction initiative.
After you have all good addresses, establish a regular schedule of continuing address corrections, so your list stays lean and mean. At the same time, go after duplications. A couple receiving two identical communications at the same address will not feel doubly cared for. More likely, they will become frustrated and even angry at you. That applies to email addresses as well. Resolve to develop a slim, trim donor list that you can segment strategically. The result will be better performance that projects a healthier image. You’ll add years to your committed donors’ lives with your organization.
2. Eat better. Strength and stamina come from a healthy, adequate diet. Good resource and engaging offers are the nutrients well-fed marketing programs require to grow and develop into strong, effective drivers for ministry. Don’t settle for fast food or junk calories just to fill up your schedule so you can move on to something else. Good stories and offers take longer to prepare. These ingredients often cost more time and energy. But the ultimate result is greater donor engagement and more money for ministry. Don’t be afraid to return your plate if it doesn’t contain the colorful, natural, well-prepared entrée that will delight all the donors’ senses and move them to respond.
3. Exercise regularly. A little goes a long way when done with consistency. Take every opportunity to test, test, test. Give your list segments, strategies, offers and creative concepts the workout they need to prove themselves. Unless you’re testing the endurance of every project and learning something new, your muscle will turn to flab and your results will get softer and softer. Vary your routine. Challenge every comfortable assumption. Spend more time looking forward, to where you want to be, rather than looking backward at where you’ve been. This is a vigorous, demanding business. If you’re not sweating, you’re not at peak performance. Get going.
4. Forgive yourself for 2011’s mistakes. Hey, you’re human. Forgive and forget. Perfectionism can be a destructive disease. Give yourself a break. Besides, your blunders make your colleagues feel better about their own shortcomings. It’s called teamwork, when we cover each other’s fumbles, or learn from letting a win slip between our fingers. And don’t forget, because God uses our weaknesses for His glory, a goof-up every now and then is a good thing. Get over the idea that the future of the world as we know it depends on your performance. Last time I checked, neither of us was CEO of planet earth. Learn to breathe deeply and exhale all that need to be right. You’ll feel lighter and sleep better.
5. Pay closer attention to your leader. Thank God He doesn’t send emails or leave text messages. They’d be buried in the barrage of spam, trivia and misinformation that distracts us at every turn. His guidance often comes at unscheduled moments through unexpected sources. That aggravating interruption, that chance meeting, that foggy daydream you feel guilty admitting could be His voice speaking to you. Stop, look and listen. And don’t forget to schedule regular one-on-ones with your leader. Read His book and other good stuff, allowing time to ponder what applies to your life at the moment. Hang out with His people, both colleagues and those struggling folks who only He could love. Remember, God sees all your warts and wobbles and loves you anyway. Unconditionally. Who wouldn’t want to follow that kind of leader?
Hang on. 2012 can be the ride of your life!