The following is post by Lauren Walinsky, GuideStar’s membership director. You can email Lauren directly at email@example.com.
The end of the year is a great time for reflection. I tend to use this time to review, assess, and plan. I reflect on what has gone well and not so well in the prior eleven months – what successes am I proud of and what roadblocks did I meet along the way? I assess which memories and moments bubble to the top as “most important” – was it time spent with family, the birth of a friend’s baby, or a volunteer event that was particularly meaningful? This usually brings me to the question: What’s most important in the year ahead? What do I care about most and where should I invest my time, money, and energy?
This personal process inevitably bleeds over into work, and we find ourselves running through that cycle here at GuideStar too. We hold retrospective meetings on our programs and services, asking our members, clients, and users what worked and didn’t work for them. We assess our internal resources – this year, for example, we brought on a new CEO. That’s guaranteed to shake up the status quo and incite some changes. And my favorite part – we plan. We create budgets and projections and make wish lists of software, training, and personnel that will grow GuideStar and allow us to work smarter and more efficiently.
This is especially important as we move toward 2013. Every day nonprofits are working hard to better our lives – through schools, hospitals, parks, shelters, museums, music, etc. Government funding for these services is decreasing and the burden on private donations is increasing. But where to give? How do you know your money is making an impact and directly contributing to the programs you care about? This is where GuideStar comes in. Researching nonprofits on our website and through the many outside information platforms we feed allows you to make your giving decisions carefully and confidently. We don’t just support one program or one cause – we support them all.
And we need your help to do this. We are a nonprofit ourselves. To fund our free public service we rely on product sales, foundation support, membership dues, and individual contributions. This last piece is so important – we want to assemble a community of people invested in helping nonprofits succeed. We want to engage partners and large funders, of course – but it’s the people who power those companies that make the difference. At the end of the day, it’s individual people that make up the collective good we’re striving to build.
We have high aspirations – and we need you to take us to the next level. Please consider making a gift to GuideStar today. And what a day to help make an impact
Don’t forget: #GivingTuesday launches today! If you donate to GuideStar, or any other nonprofit, don’t forget to share the news and spread the word to your networks to give more, give better and give smarter this year: http://givingtuesday.org/.