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The sun is shining, the weather is warm, and you likely have gone (or plan to go) on vacation. Summer is the perfect time for renewal of one’s spirit, energy and focus. It is also the perfect time to relax. I know that a lot of my clients are planning vacations, so there has been a bit of downtime.

Wait, before you get too comfortable, let’s examine how you can capitalize on this relaxation period without comprising your personal needs….

  1. Plan for your organization’s or client’s future – Can you update budgets? Narrative language? Grant attachments? Do this now before you are swamped with deadlines.
  1. Operations improvement – Do you need to order more supplies or update that grants tracker that you haven’t done in two months? Now is the time!
  1. Learn a new skill – Sign up for an online or in-person training on a particular topic that will enhance your day to day work.
  1. Teach others a new skill – Create a training presentation or outline of a topic that you feel would benefit others – can this be shared with others in your community or industry/sector?
  1. Database management – Update that fundraising database and glean reports that might provide useful insights for future planning.
  1. Look into nonprofit resources – There are many print and online publications out there – seek out resources from refutable sources (The Nonprofit Times, Foundation Center, Chronicle of Philanthropy, etc.) that you can review.
  1. Technology updates – Do you need to update any technology or even purchase a new tool that will help transform operations and data gathering? For those who are small business owners, I just learned about 17hats and plan on trying it out.
  1. Learn about your programs – Maybe it’s time you meet with programmatic staff to see if there are any updates, issues, accomplishments and success stories you can use in a grant application. It also helps for the program folks to see your face too.
  1. Business development and networking meetings – Sign up for a happy hour, lunch or other event where you can mingle with others. Anyone in particular that would be helpful to meet?
  1. Strategic planning time – Map out that logic model, brush off the strategic plan. Maybe it’s time for a board retreat or planning session. How can you improve upon next year and what are the goals you hope to achieve?
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