Blog Insights
Tackling Your End-of-Year Challenges and Priorities

For most organizations in the nonprofit and foundation space, the last quarter of the year is typically the busiest. Between juggling priorities and workloads amidst crunch time, planning time, and holiday time, it more often than not feels like there is so much to do, and so little time.  In a recent Forum One webinar on finishing 2019 strong and setting yourself up for success in 2020, we explored the most common challenges that organizations face when it comes to wrapping up the last quarter of the year and planning for the next one. These challenges generally fall into the following three buckets:
  1. Time. As this year’s strategic plans heads towards the finish line, you’ve got a ton to do. With team members, experts and stakeholders taking vacations over the fall holidays, it’s generally hard to imagine having enough time to get it all done.
  2. Resources. Either in terms of people or budgeting resources, both are difficult to manage. People are stretched, and as budgets tighten up or run low, you may have potentially less to work with than you’d originally planned.
  3. Priorities. Within digital communications alone, it feels like everything is a priority; however, other departments and leadership have their own end-of-year priorities that are also coming your way. You’re struggling to manage what is going to have the greatest impact while supporting others’ priorities as well. 

Keyword: prioritization

The four major priorities to focus on for your digital communications in the last quarter of the year are: content strategy, outreach strategy, reporting strategy, and 2020 planning. 
  • Content strategy: Where do you need to focus your editorial efforts? Communicate internally with your team, set realistic goals, and to get help where you can.
  • Outreach strategy: How are you reaching out to your target audiences? Strike the right balance and don’t be afraid to take a few creative risks.
  • Reporting strategy: How can you package your data in the most impactful way? Have your KPIs guide you and communicate clearly what your leadership needs to know.
  • 2020 planning: How can your end-of-year push support your 2020 planning? To effectively juggle tasks, loop next year’s planning into your 2019 tasks as you set a base framework around your mission and goals.
It’s important to look at all four areas and see where you need to focus the bulk of your time, and where you can hit two birds with one stone, as is the case with incorporating 2020 planning into your fall strategies and tactics. As digital communicators, we want to do it all — but doing it all versus doing what is going to create real impact are not necessarily one in the same. What do you absolutely need to achieve in the next three months? What can be deprioritized in order to cut down on the distractions? Over the coming weeks, we will be digging into each of these four areas in more detail to provide you with some guidance and ideas on how you can be more efficient and effective this fall. The webinar recording is a great place to start (see form below), and then stay tuned as we dive even deeper into some tactical tips to help you along the way.

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