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5 Simple Ways to Spring Clean Your Nonprofit

We’re approaching that time of year again where the days get longer, winter coats are returned to closets, and leaves start to reappear on trees. Spring symbolizes a period of refresh, regrowth, and rejuvenation, making it the perfect opportunity to do a little spring cleaning at your nonprofit.

We’re not talking about dusting (although, if your team has been working remotely for a while, you may have to do a little of that when you return to the office). Here are a few tips to help you tidy up your organization in little ways that can make a big difference.

1. Clean up your mailing lists

When you send out monthly newsletters, general updates, or fundraising appeals, you want to know that your emails and letters are reaching people who are engaged and interested in getting involved. But if you haven’t updated your mailing lists in a while, you might be wasting time and resources. 

Comb through your lists looking for things like duplicates and out-of-date contact information. Is the address a supporter gave when making their last donation different from the one you’ve been sending mail to? They might have moved, meaning those letters could have wound up in the new occupant’s trash. Are you receiving a lot of rebound emails when you send out a newsletter? Identify which email addresses are generating them and strike them from your list.

2. Assess your segmentation strategy

Donor segmentation allows you to craft more strategic, targeted campaigns, but the segments you create should not be static. If a donor’s status changes—for example, if they move to a different country or start making more frequent or larger donations—then the messaging that’s most effective in engaging them may change.

If you haven’t looked at your segmentation strategy lately, take some time to evaluate it. Does your team move donors to new segments when appropriate? And if one segment has a particularly high opt-out rate, do you need to go back to the data and develop a new approach for that segment? 

3. Give your website a refresh

An illustration of people working together to improve their website.

Your website may be the first place people go to find out about your organization, so you want it to make a compelling statement about who you are and what you stand for. If your website hasn’t been updated recently, there are a few quick steps you can take to refresh it, without undergoing a major overhaul.

For starters, remove any outdated information (like banners for an event that has long-since passed), ensure all current team members have been added to the roster, and update any statistics that have grown more impressive since the last refresh. If the site is slow to load, you can also try compressing or removing any particularly large images that are bogging it down. 

4. Organize your photos and videos

As a nonprofit, you may have hundreds or even thousands of pictures and videos documenting your events, fundraisers, and your work in action. If these are taking up space on hard drives, consider moving them to the cloud. This will also make it easier for employees to access them when needed, ensuring that information isn’t inaccessible if one team member is away from their computer or a device is damaged.

Of course, if your cloud storage is limited, you probably don’t want to take up too much space with images you’re unlikely to use again. Go through your pictures and videos to decide if there’s a place where they can live on your website or social media, and remove anything that’s not worth keeping. 

5. Install long-overdue software updates

When you’re busy, it’s easy to ignore those little notifications about software updates that pop up in the corner of your screen. But since these updates are designed to fix bugs and add new features, running outdated software can create problems down the line, so it’s important not to ignore them forever.

Since installing updates can result in a little downtime, designate a few hours one day for your team to check that all their tools are up to date. Communicating why this is important can help you get everyone on board, so you can get this task out of the way in no time. 

Organized, efficient, effective

You know your nonprofit best, so you may have other ideas about how to spring clean your organization to make it as organized, efficient, and effective as possible. Perhaps you need to improve the targeting of your social media campaigns to put your mission in front of more people who can help. Or maybe you need to tighten your hiring process to identify the right candidates faster. 

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