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End of Fiscal Year Tips for Nonprofits

Mary Novokhovsky

Summer is nearly here, and while it may seem tempting to relax and go into vacation mode- don’t forget that for many nonprofits, the end of the fiscal year is just around the corner. If you’re one of the many organizations wrapping up the fiscal year at the end of this month, here are a few tips for getting prepared.

Clean Up Your Data

Don’t start the next fiscal year with a messy database. Now’s the perfect time to get your constituents in order.

  • Get rid of inactive accounts. This part can be tricky. Before you delete every constituent who didn’t contribute to your organization last year, take some time to create parameters for who should stay and who should go. If an account has remained completely inactive for 5 years of more, and you’ve made efforts to touch base with the constituent then it might be time to say goodbye. A good practice with inactive accounts is transfer the data to an excel document or similar repository so that you can still access and obtain the data in case the individual decides to donate, volunteer, or become a member again. Don’t let records clog your system and potentially increase your database cost. Once you clean up the inactive constituent clog, your database will feel brand new.
  • Run an NCOA. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of hand stuffing envelopes for mass mailings, you know how frustrating it can be when a bunch of those get returned to you for address issues. Save your organization valuable time (and postage) by running an NCOA annually. As you get ready to wrap up the fiscal year and start planning for your year-end appeal, it’s more important than ever to make sure all of your addresses are valid and accurate.

Say Thanks, (Again)!

Hopefully, all of your donors and volunteers have already received at least one thank you for their contributions. However, It makes people feel good to be acknowledged. This is also a great way to remind them that their support is really important.

A simple thank you email or letter is nice. But steady reminders about how much their contribution means to your organization and how it’s going to help achieve your mission is even better.

As you get your data in order, flex those fingers, and type up one more thank you to top off your fiscal year.

Year-End Fundraising Plan

The sun is shining and the beach is calling, but don’t let summer fool you. In just a few months, it’s going to be time to make the biggest fundraising push of the year. There’s no better time to get planning for end of year fundraising than now.

Not convinced that year-end giving is a big deal? Nearly 1/3 of annual giving occurs in December and 12% of giving happens in the last 3 days of the years. Basically, year-end fundraising can really make or break an organization.

Want more year end giving stats?10 Year End Giving Statistic Every Nonprofit Should Know

We’ve written lots on how to approach this special time of the year. If you need some planning tips and outlines on how to make sure your year-end giving is a hit check out some of our resources:

Year-End Fundraising Ultimate Guide

End of the Year Appeals Explained

Annual Giving Definitive Guide

Get Your Finances in Order!

This is the most important step to concluding your fiscal year! When it comes to getting your finances in order, Nonprofithub has done a great job outlining the three most important forms you need to take care of:

  1. 990: while it may not be due until November 15th, don’t let yourself procrastinate on this one. If you need help filing correctly the pros at Guidestar have created an awesome 990 FAQ to help you sort things out: 990 FAQ.
  2. Grant Forms: most government grants require a report by July 30th. Now’s the perfect time to prep and outline your grant reports.
  3. Budget: it’s time to take a cold, hard looks at last year’s financials. This is one of the most important pieces to revisit during the end of fiscal year. Analyze your results to see where your organization did well and where the budget fell apart. In order to make the best possible budget for next year, it’s important to take time and let data be your guide.

Need a little extra help sorting things out for the end of the fiscal year? Well, we’ve got a great network of nonprofit consultants that are here to walk you through each step.

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