Make improvements to a non-profit?

Non-Profit improvement actions will always happen with the right attitudes. The key will be to be action-orientated, agile, and adjust to the prevailing circumstances. Smaller Non-Profit organisations have a significant advantage in that they can more easily adapt and take advantage of new ideas and opportunities.

In today’s global economy, things are never static. Things that work for you today can be useless tomorrow. What works in one organisation can be wrong in another. Whatever is perfect for one person might deliver a negative impact on another.

Revisit and update your Business Model.

How does it work, and how does it generate a surplus while delivering the outcomes you want and need? Perhaps parts of the Business Model are not working correctly, and other components could do with some fine-tuning.

Revisit your Business Plan and Budget.

These are two essential tools to guide the organisation. If poorly done or inaccurate, then you can’t expect everything to work efficiently and effectively. Everyone needs to know what they have to do. Business plans in the head or on a postage stamp are generally ineffective in achieving outcomes. 

Develop a more mobile environment.

No one should feel trapped in a dull, cramped office with a daily commute. Instead, you can create more flexibility in your working environment and inspire everyone to improve productivity.

Create a friendly working environment for employees and volunteers.

While you might attract candidates with a strong personal belief in the organisation’s vision, they won’t last long in a shabby or hostile working environment.

Overtake the funding issues.

Limited funds mean lower salaries and impact the whole organisation’s ability to achieve its objectives. So if you are struggling with funding issues, it is a sure sign you need some help.

Motivate your stakeholders.

Do you want to have an enterprise that delivers on the aspirations of all the stakeholders? Then ensure all the parts of the organisation are working well, all day, every day and are focused on the primary objectives. Keep in mind the fruit tree. If you don’t prune it, you don’t get good fruit.

Choose your vision statement carefully.

It may seem pointless to someone who has been ‘running fine’ without one. But a vision statement can help you channel your core objectives and share your vision with the whole team.

Develop awesome marketing strategies.

Many feel the frustration of having a vision but can’t quite get there. Why is this so, and how can you achieve some of your primary goals this year? First, people must know what your organisation stands for and how to find you. Second, look at improving the content with all your touchpoints. Finally, get your message out with content marketing.

Give your team more ownership.

Offer opportunities for staff to advance and progress. It helps retain staff who want to develop themselves while freeing you up to focus on other things. Teach people on the job and allow them to grow.

Identify your strengths.

Understand your strengths. Surround yourself with people who have different strengths and let them teach you. You don’t have to know and do everything. Do what you do well; outsource the rest.

Be transparent with your stakeholders.

It’s essential to be transparent, particularly with funders and supporters. Many fear an adverse reaction. Instead, presenting your information more clearly will foster trusting relationships. The last thing you want to do is to neglect your volunteers.

Sort out any structural problems.

Growing from a startup to small to medium-size can be a significant change. It becomes apparent when adding a more vertical management structure. However, don’t kill innovation by creating unnecessary chains of command.

Work with the Board of Directors.

Disagreements between management and boards are common in Non-Profit organisations. It is particularly so where you and others have been making decisions for a long time. A Board of Directors can often make changes that are not always appreciated or understood.

Time management.

Effective time management is a most highly valued skill. While there is no one right way, it’s crucial to find a system that works for you and your organisation and stick to it. Being ‘Investor Ready’ will help.

The wisdom of the crowd can be a powerful thing.

Look to your community: the businesses and other community organisations. You can often be found the necessary practical knowledge and expertise you need to solve your problems and frustrations in their practical experience, so use it. Working together achieves better outcomes than working in isolation. Consider new crowdfunding options.

Improve the image of the organisation.

If you or your stakeholders are not proud to be associated with the organisation, you have a real problem. Conduct an audit of all your marketing activities and put ‘customer service’ first. If your clients do not have good experiences, your organisation will soon fail. Good images build advocates and evangelists and attract the best volunteers. 

Share resources with other organisations and businesses.

By sharing resources, you can cut your capital costs as well as operating expenses. Do some joint tendering and also make some savings. Become more financially savvy about Not-For-Profit organisations. 

Non-Profit improvements can involve the outsourcing of non-core activities.

Outsourcing everything that is not your core business is a good strategy. You can also look at outsourcing things you don’t like or are not good at doing. It will save money and improve efficiency and outcomes.

Harness the best people you can.

Perceptions can influence your beliefs when competing with larger organisations for the best talent. When competing, think about how people perceive you and your organisation. Understand the ‘why’ people will want to work for your organisation. The best people will not tolerate bad management from the Board of Directors down. 

Ask your staff.

Take people away from the office and ask them how they think the organisation should be progressing. This approach can be much more successful than doing everything on your own and gives staff genuine involvement.

Take some time out to think through your Non-Profit improvement program.

Taking a short break to relax, think, reflect and plan can be revolutionary. It can change your entire outlook. Explore weekend courses and workshops aimed at managers, and consider mentoring schemes. People today make purchases and learn in a whole new way compared to just a few short years ago, so you need to adapt or risk failure from which you may not recover.

Develop a more robust culture.

Do you have more than one office or branch or staff who work remotely? It can cause you to struggle with maintaining a solid culture. Although you might try developing online training and communications systems, there have been vast improvements in flexible work environments. 

Attend business events; after all, you are a business.

Attend business events outside of your industry as often as you can pick up helpful, practical and valuable tips. You never know who you might meet and how they could help you with your issues.

Love it or leave it.

If you’re not passionate about your Non-Profit improvements or the industry, you’re making it hard for yourself and everyone else. When you’re not excited about where the organisation is heading, why should others be? Perhaps you have been there too long and have become stale. If you only stay involved for the prestige, people will know, so get out.

Quotable Quotes.

“Improve the health and well-being messaging, and the non-profit organisation will meet the wants and needs of the community even better”. Peter Sergeant

“Non-Profits thrive when people think entrepreneurially”. Peter Sergeant

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