The year is coming to an end. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Christmas is close enough that you can smell it. If your nonprofit’s fiscal year is January through December, then your accounting year is almost over as well. Are you preparing to end the year and winterize your nonprofit?
Here’s some questions to ponder as you prepare for years-end…
- Do you have this past year’s operating documents (board meeting minutes, resolutions, loan agreements, etc.) in one place for easy storage and availability? If not, make sure you get that stuff organized. You need to be able to put your hands on critical paperwork at a moment’s notice. If you find yourself in a state or IRS inquiry, or just trying to open a checking account at a new bank, you don’t want to be digging through boxes and file folders looking for what you need. Check out our new Vital Document Archive™ if you need a secure, storage and retrieval system.
- Have you had budget planning meetings for next year? Don’t wait until next year is here! Get your board together and start making plans! So many organizations do not put the proper emphasis on planning. Without a rudder, the boat drifts.
- Are you prepared to fill out your organization’s IRS annual reporting requirement (IRS Form 990)? Sure, it’s not due until May 15, but no time like the present to make sure your financials are in good shape. And, if your nonprofit is like so many that rely on volunteers, your checkbook probably hasn’t been balanced since May!
- Are your volunteers organized for next year? This goes along with budget planning. If you know that the new year brings with it the need for volunteers, start your recruiting efforts now. People are already starting to think about the things they will commit to next year…and, most people are already over-committed. Get them committed to your organization now or you may miss them completely!
- Are you planning a year-end solicitation push to get last minute donations? If not, you should be! The end of the year, especially December, is the perfect time for a last minute donation appeal. Many givers are looking to round-out their annual giving with a donation to get it in for this year’s taxes. Make it a Christmas appeal…or, literally give potential donors the 2008 tax deduction appeal (“Get it in while you can!”).
- Do you have your “thank you” letters/receipts ready for this year’s donors? Obviously, you can’t do this until the year is over, but start thinking about it now.
Taking care of these items will go a long way toward making sure that your nonprofit is properly winterized and prepared to prosper with the start of the new year.