Running a nonprofit startup takes a lot of work, effort, and time. Accept the reality that your weekly calendar will be packed with meetings, reminders, and to-dos. When you have a small staff, it’s easy to lose track of what needs to be done and when to do it.
Here are our suggestions for ten mission-critical dates you should add to your calendar and strategic plan.
1. Your organization’s fiscal year-end date
Most nonprofits have a fiscal year-end date of June 30, but that’s not set in stone. This is a crucial nonprofit due date because your fiscal year-end determines your nonprofit tax return due date (see #9 and #10).
2. Meetings with Your Board President
Having regularly scheduled meetings with your organization’s Board President conveys the organization’s needs for membership, grant writing, special event attendance, corporate sponsorship, and other areas.
3. Annual and Regular Board Meetings
Some nonprofits like to organize a special annual board meeting in addition to regularly scheduled meetings. Regardless of how often you meet, be sure to set the date at least one month in advance., and at best Even better, set the schedule for the full year.
4. Fundraising Events and Major Appeals
Plan out in advance when your organization’s special events will occur, and set out the major fundraising appeals you’ll be running. You do not want to overlap the two! Also, be sure to provide these dates to the Board and Board President.
5. #GivingTuesday and New Year’s Eve
These two nonprofit due dates are worth adding to your organization’s calendar because they receive so much public attention. #GivingTuesday takes place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, and December 31 is a very popular day for making donations, so you’ll want to incorporate them into your fundraising appeals.
You’ll want to schedule your organization’s newsletter to promote your events and fundraising. Sending newsletters quarterly (every three months) is a good rule-of-thumbidea.
7. Budget Creation and Approval
Budget creation is a nonprofit due date you’ll want to allocate sufficient time for! Be sure to note when the budget is due to be shared with your Board for review and approval.
8. Year-End Donor Tax Receipt
Put aside time in early January to prepare and send calendar-year tax receipts to donors. This nonprofit due date is required, and your donors may need the information for tax time.
9. Nonprofit 990 Due Date
If your nonprofit earns more than $50,000 but less than one million dollars in gross receipts, then you will need to annually file Form 990. The deadline is typically no later than the 15th day in the 5th month after your fiscal year ends.
For example, if your fiscal year ends on December 31, your nonprofit 990 due date would be May 15. If your nonprofit files its Form 990 late without requesting an extension, then the IRS will fine you $20 for every late day.
10. Nonprofit 990-N Due Date
If your nonprofit earns less than $50,000, then you will need to file Form 990-N. The deadline for the 990-N is the same as for Form 990: no later than the 15th day in the 5th month after your fiscal year ends. If your fiscal year closes on December 31, your nonprofit tax return due date will be May 15. If you are late in filing your 990-N, then you will receive a notice from the IRS.
Organizing your calendar around these ten important nonprofit due dates will help you stay focused on the tasks you need to accomplish to ensure your nonprofit survives and thrives!
Need more information? If you need more tips and strategies for successfully managing your nonprofit startup, then there are numerous online resources that can help you! Whether it’s recruiting your Board, keeping Board members engaged, project management, or creating programs, BryteBridge Nonprofit Solutions is here to help you and your nonprofit succeed.