The Productive Nonprofits Savior: A Deadline Calendar

How much detail to include depends entirely on what’s most helpful for your organization. Too much detail and it starts to look like a rocket schematic. Not enough detail and it’s about as helpful as Ikea instructions.

 

It’s no secret, I’m a fan of planning. Imagine that, an attorney with a (probably unhealthy) love for planning. Blasphemy!

But I’m a fan because I know how easy dates can slip by when you’re juggling several different things at a time. Enter the deadline calendar.

You see this conceptually used a million different ways. Event planners work backwards using deadline calendars. Writers plan articles using deadline calendars. And many nonprofits use deadline calendars to stay on top of reporting, like tax reports, annual reports, fundraising reports, lah dee dah….you get it.

How much detail to include depends entirely on what’s most helpful for your organization. Too much detail and it starts to look like a rocket schematic. Not enough detail and it’s about as helpful as Ikea instructions. So I would start with the really urgent things and add slowly until you find your zen. The neat thing is you can get the calendar templates for free in any standard word processing app like Word or Pages.

I love these calendars because they give the board a peripheral of what’s going on without getting too involved. It’s also a great check and balance since, let’s face it, ED’s get busy. Also fantastic for succession planning and allow staff to delegate a little easier.

Of course, this is something the group should update annually, which is a great way to make sure the org stays on top of changes to reporting. The beginning of the fiscal year is a great time for this. And to get you started, I loved these posts on deadlines to make note of. Happy calendaring!

Upcoming Filing Deadleine and Annual Review for Exempt Organizations: Part 4

Return Due Dates: Other Returns and Reports Filed by Exempt Organizations

IRS Tax Calendar for Businesses and Self-Employed

 

 

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