Resolutions GraphicAs we begin each new year, we all have great intentions. We tell ourselves, this year will be different. We’ll do better. We make “Resolutions” that inspire us — and we pledge to keep them.

Yet here’s a sobering fact: 92% of people break their New Year’s Resolutions.

Breaking a personal resolution might be okay, but when you work for a nonprofit — committed to addressing urgent issues — breaking a professional resolution can have serious implications. Therefore, this year, we can offer a solution to ensure your professional resolutions get done. Let’s start by identifying two simple resolutions every NPO should consider right now.

Two Key Resolutions to Start 2016

1. Conduct a Masterfile Audit

I like to say, “Opinions are interesting, but data decides.” This data-centric approach is critical for every NPO committed to maximizing its fundraising results and organizational impact. From a fundraising perspective, your data analysis starts with an annual Masterfile Audit. The insights from your audit about retention, attrition, upgrades, revenue by channel and segments, etc., all contrasted to industry averages — can make-or-break your year. And as we indicated in an earlier blog post, this annual check-up won’t hurt a bit.

During a data audit, your digital fundraising trends are particularly important. The growth of online giving is well documented — particularly in social fundraising — yet for many organizations the path to grow their share of digital fundraising dollars is not well specified. Furthermore, since direct mail continues to be so critical for many NPOs, there is often a conflict about how to fund their digital evolution and how much time and energy to put against digital fundraising activities. This digital migration discussion and a well-articulated action plan is critical as you commence your 2016 activities. By the way, if this “digital evolution” is an issue for you, you might want to leverage these “evolutionary” ideas.

2. Conduct a Communications Critique

At Innovairre, we do Communications Critiques daily; yours should be done annually. Working with 500+ nonprofits around the world, we see well-defined trends in everything from crowdfunding communications, to email subject lines, to direct mail premiums. I suggest you have a robust discussion with your agency (if you have one) or a colleague with enough aggregated creative insights to be able to help you adjust your communications in light of what’s working now — or take a look at these 5 critical communications planning steps.

Innovairre Can Help You Keep Your Resolutions

Obviously, doing a Masterfile Audit or Creative Critique can be a huge help for your organization in 2016, but getting them done — and following through on all their implications — could lead to another broken resolution. But maybe we can help.

In the next couple of months, Innovairre will do a select number of Masterfile Audits and Creative Critiques for qualified NPOs who act early.

If you’re interested in making this resolution that we can keep for you, please let us know. It’s our way of making 2016 a Happy New Year for you!

Don McKenzie is President & Chief Growth Officer of Innovairre Communications, which supports more than 500 nonprofit organizations around the world. Contact us at, subscribe to our newsletter here, and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.