My previous new years wish was about being distinctive. This year it's all about innovation and action.
My specialty is individual giving, and to be honest I don't see a lot of innovation. It's all more or less the same. And I don't mean you need to start with brand new stuff all the time. Innovation to me is not doing something you've never done before. Innovation is every change compared to the status quo. Every incremental change is innovation. And this is just as important as the game-changing innovation that everyone is going for.
The game-changing innovations are mostly the high-risk and high-income projects. Most of the time they don't work, and that's OK. If you have deep pockets, you should go for this. Reserve an innovation budget, because you should keep trying new things. If your pockets are not so deep be more careful. High-risk can leave you with nothing. If you don't have the reserves somewhere, you might want to be more cautious.
And on top of that, what I also see is that these high-risk projects are often focused on short term income. A repeating pattern would be nice, right?
Incremental change is low-risk, but not necessarily low-income. And most of the time has more impact on the long term. A small improvement in year one means a cumulative profit in the following years.
The easiest improvements I'm thinking about are changes in your welcome program. Especially the changes you're making in the beginning of the relationship with your donors will result in exponentially more income. Do the math.
Nobody expects you to implement a full blown donor loyalty program at once. You need to start somewhere. But always keep telling yourself you're not done yet, so you keep improving.
That's my wish for you in 2018. Keep innovating within your own abilities. Just do it.
And obviously I wish you a happy and healthy 2018.