Imagine these scenarios: a nonprofit submits a request for funding only to be turned down due to failure to meet prior grant requirements; a nonprofit cannot reapply for a contract because they did not turn in the necessary reports; a nonprofit learns they lost their tax-deductible status since they did follow IRS rules for filing.
The Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement (DANA) recommends a simple solution: create an organizational calendar. Creating such a document helps nonprofit boards and executive staff stay on top of critical milestones. This not only includes board meeting dates, or special event dates, but also key activities that the organization must follow through on to meet commitments and monitor its mission.
Here are some ideas DANA recommends including in an organizational calendar:
- Board meeting dates
- Annual meeting, including the date when the annual budget is passed and evaluation of organizational progress towards the strategic plan takes place
- Date to file and pay franchise tax
- Date to file the appropriate IRS form 990
- Date to report back to a grant maker or a contractor on program/project progress
- Date to review the Executive Director
- Special fundraising event dates
- Date for new board member orientation
- Date for board self-evaluation
- Date to review personnel policies to ensure they are compliant with state and federal laws
- Date for the annual DANA conference, or the gatherings of other professional organizations of which your nonprofit is a member.
Once completed, the calendar should be readily available for all board members and staff to review. This way, board chairs can regularly reference the calendar, and request confirmation that the scheduled initiative was indeed followed through on.