It's that time of year again! Well, not for all nonprofits. Or the federal government. But for a lot of organizations we are reaching the end of another fiscal year. No matter how you're feeling about the last fiscal year, the start of anew is another opportunity to get back out there and continuing saving the world. I like to use this time to look back on the year and set new goals and reminders for the upcoming one.
You may be thinking, "Dana, we already did that."
Absolutely. When your organization was planning the next budget, you've sat down, crunched the numbers and set your goals. As your friendly, neighborhood grant writer I want to make sure that you also remember to do one, little thing to get your next fiscal year off to a great start.
If you contract a grant writer, did you send them your new budget, finalized balance sheets and P&Ls, your annual report, etc.?
If there is one thing that I could add to every nonprofit's end of fiscal year to-do list, it would be this. Far too often, a new fiscal year comes and goes, and suddenly it's October, five minutes before the deadline, I don't have last year's balance sheet, your accountant is on vacation, and we're on the phone in a panic while you try to login to their computer at 11:55pm. *Cue the Mission Impossible theme song*
I cannot tell you the number of times I have been in that exact situation. I totally understand. You have babies to feed and life-saving health care to provide. Sometimes we forget to forward an email. But as many of us are starting a new fiscal year, I encourage you to remember this one, small detail that could save a headache (and a potential heartbreak).
The biggest disappointments in my career have been ones that were completely avoidable. It breaks my heart every single time a small oversight (like not realizing the budget we submitted at the last moment said "DRAFT" in big, red letter across the top) is the difference between ringing the bell and losing funds we were confident about.
We are only human. Right now, we are humans trying to survive a pandemic. I always advocate for every one of us to be gentle with ourselves as stress and anxiety have been at record-breaking levels. I write this post today because if making a reminder to send along your end of year reports and new budgets could save you future stress, I want to help.