Year-End Inventory in 5 Steps

management Apr 08, 2022
Capacity Experts: Year-End Inventory in 5 Steps

As we get closer to the New Year, it is a great opportunity to take a year-end inventory. It’s important to objectively review what has worked well and what needs to be changed in order to be better prepared to advance the mission of the organization.

Irrespective of whether you are currently implementing a strategic plan or need to develop one, a year-end inventory is always useful. The following 5 steps will help you and your organization be better prepared for 2022.

Year-End Inventory Process 

1. Examine your accomplishments for the year.

A year-end inventory includes reviewing the milestones and achievements that have taken place throughout the year. This should be an organization-wide endeavor where you celebrate how you have grown individually and as an organization. This will help everybody remember why the work of your organization is important and why every person’s contribution matters. Also, think about any unfinished business or work that is imperative, but you have not been able to carry out either because of capacity or funding issues. This discussion will help staff and board members regroup and recenter around the organizational mission and objectives.

2. Examine the relationships your organization has cultivated throughout the year in the community.

Think about new partnerships you have started with other organizations in order to better advance the mission of the organization. Have the staff and board members of the organization review how new and existing relationships have increased the impact and reach of your programs and services. In addition, look at how both your staff and your board members have been showing up for the population its serving. This includes surveying the degree and quality of engagement and representation that you have from the population you serve. 

3. Assess whether your organization is an ETHOS-centered organization.

Examine the different ways your organization has integrated ETHOS-centered practices into its operations and organizational culture. ETHOS stands for Ethics, Transparency, Harmony, Organizational infrastructure, and Sustainability. This will help your staff and board members reconnect with your organizational mission. If throughout the examination process areas with deficiencies are identified, this can serve as a culture-building exercise to realign the organizational practices with its mission.

4. Recommit to the mission of your organization.

In this time of great economic and social uncertainty, it is important to assess how and why the organizational mission is important. The work that nonprofits engage in is extremely challenging for those who work in the field. Thus, showing staff and board members how both they and the organization are contributing to the advancement of the mission is vital. It also is essential that as staff and board members reconnect with their work, discussions are held around how to build capacity in areas where the organization has not made as much progress as is needed.

5. Thank your staff for the work they do. 

Nonprofit employees are consistently overlooked for the amazing work that they do. This can be very demoralizing, particularly since staff members are frequently overstretched and go above and beyond what is required of them. Thus, it is important to acknowledge their contributions and to thank them for both their expertise and dedication. This not only helps to recognize how important their work is, but it also reminds board members and funders that the nonprofit workforce should not be taken for granted.

Use Your Year-End Inventory to Inspire

Taking an end-of-the-year inventory of your organizational progression should not be a process that is deficiency focused. The takeaway should be that your work matters, and even though it’s challenging, you can as an organization come together to develop and strategize around solutions that will better support your mission in the future. This should be an exercise of celebration and should inspire hope in both staff and board members through concrete problem-solving strategies.

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Need Help Working with ETHOS?

Here at Capacity Building and Policy Experts, LLC, we promote a nonprofit management system that we have patented that we call “Working ETHOS“, which stands for Ethics, Transparency, Harmony, Organizational infrastructure, and Sustainability. Do not hesitate to reach out to me for a free half-hour consultation. I am always happy to help and support you!


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