New Year, Fresh Resolve: Tips for Setting 2015 Resolutions

As 2014 comes to a close, it’s time to start thinking about goals for your nonprofit in the New Year. And not just the usual program outcomes and metrics, but the meaty stretch goals that have remained on the backburner until now—perhaps due to lack of time, insufficient resources, or inklings of fear.

This time of year can be inspiring. Just like you may brainstorm a list of resolutions for your personal life, why not take time to do the same for your professional world? After all, you most likely spend as much—if not more—time and mental energy on work. Here are some tips for setting sticky resolutions for 2015.


  1. Start with your mission. It can be overwhelming to narrow all of your professional hopes and dreams into a list of resolutions. Use your nonprofit’s mission, vision, and values statements as a launching pad. Your resolutions should align—and help to fulfill—your organization’s mission. No mission statement? Make that your number one goal for 2015! Get help from Brighter Strategies’s strategic planning services.
  2. Set an annual theme. Establish a memorable and brief theme for 2015. No more than five words at the most, your annual theme should focus your goals for the year under an umbrella “mantra” that is easy—and fun—to share with stakeholders. Check out Brighter Strategies’s visioning tools to help you get started.
  3. Be SMART. Ensure that your resolutions are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound), and keep the list brief. Create no more than five resolutions so that you can actually attain all of them. Brighter Strategies’s free Outcome Measurement resource guide provides more information on SMART goals.
  4. Think holistically. Each facet of your nonprofit should be considered when setting annual resolutions. Review Brighter Strategies’s organizational systems map—and corresponding services—to ensure you are developing your planning, process, people, and performance in 2015.
  5. Make conference attendance a priority. The only way you will grow your nonprofit is if you surround yourself with the best ideas, practices, and leaders in the nonprofit sector. And the only way you’ll finally attend a conference in 2015 is if you make it one of your annual resolutions. Our suggestion? See what Nonprofit Capacity Conference could do for you!

We at Brighter Strategies are excited about all of the possibilities that the New Year holds. We encourage you to aim high this year and hope that you will consider us if you need help to reach your resolutions in 2015.


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