The difference between goals and targetsIf you’re like most nonprofit professionals, you’re beginning to think about setting goals for 2011. And hopefully this time around you’re including goals for using social media.

Writing down your goals

You want to write down your goals for three reasons:

  1. Writing down your goals increases the likelihood of success.
  2. Having them written down makes them (and you, really) more actionable.
  3. If you use a pencil it will help you keep your goals concrete, but flexible.

Don’t confuse goals with targets

If one of your goals is to double the amount of donations from Facebook, hit pause.

While doubling donations from Facebook is certainly a worthy target, it isn’t a goal. It might have all the qualities of a goal (measurable, timely, specific…), but it’s not attainable.

Targets are attainable, goals are actionable

The difference between a target and a goal is your influence.

Can you directly influence the amount of donations from Facebook? No.

But you can directly influence how well you connect fans with each other, how interesting your content is, and how responsive you are to your fans.

So when you set goals, keep in mind what you do and don’t control.

  • Fan Growth – can’t control
  • Fan engagement – can control
  • Showing up on page one in a Google search – can’t control
  • Tweaking permalink structures and keyword prevalence on your site  - can control
  • The number of online donations you receive – can’t control
  • The sincerity and number of thank you notes you send out to donors – can control

Foosball takes practice

Everyone wants to get the ball in the opposing team’s goal. You can cheat, or you can focus on becoming a better player by practicing more, practicing smarter, and doing your homework on the other team.

Share one of your goals in the comments section

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Comments

  1. Hi John.

    You always have a great perspective on things. This was no different.

    Working on 2011 MAP (Massive Action Plan) so catching up some cool tips on my way to make sure it become more then just a fancy paper..

    Cheers.. Are