Management in the sector can be challenging. There are day-to-day challenges and challenges that take time to resolve. How can we fix the recurring challenges in nonprofit management?
Revisit the following nonprofit management issues at the end of every quarter or six months.
Mission and Goals
When working in the sector, most staff members play multiple roles have a list of various tasks. And, yes, it is easy to misplace our organization’s mission and goals for our day-to-day obstacles.
Fundraising and development
Of course, funding can and will control everything. Nonprofits should invest it its development budget. This should include new employees, supplies, printing, postage, and event costs. Jonker and Meehan suggest that every $1 spent on development will raise $4 in funding.
Leadership and Board Members
The board members and employees can be considered both the face and backbone of the organization. The management is the glue holding it all together. Strong leadership and savvy guidance is needed for everyone to succeed day-to-day and long-term.
- Cultivate a variety of characteristics and skills, be committed to diversity
- Monitor the board’s commitment by the time and finances they invest in the organization
- Review long-term and short-term goals regularly with organization
- Establish policies for employees
- Establish policies for the board should that are set by the official bylaws
- Keep account of board members operations, trainings, and recruitment
- Perform and review evaluations on the whole organization
- Analyze your organization’s structure, don’t segregate employees and board members
Succession planning is critical. Organizations must anticipate always having the right person in each position. Resist the urge to fill a position quickly. It may take you too long to replace a misfit.
Data and Measurement
Conducting surveys and analyzing data is key. It takes time to interpret the data in a way that makes it usable for the sector. Keep a checklist for each event, fundraising campaign, etc. to help measure your outcomes against your goals.
Eric Sobota of Nonprofit Quarterly adds to evergreen challenges with Doing Business with the Government: Administrative Challenges Faced by Nonprofits.
Budget and Cost
Understand spending caps and the restrictions of what the budget allows. Be sure your staff has the tools to effectively monitor spending and set budgets. Excel and Google drive spreadsheets are helpful for tracking day-to-day spending and budgeting outside of the organizations full bookkeeping system.
Like an advertising agency that is accountable for how staff time is spend, a nonprofit is accountable to its funders for tracking operational time. This becomes a challenge when timesheets are required for grants and funding or when employees question the number of hours they work. Organizations can provide excel spreadsheet, use Google drive, or various online time tracking programs. Time tracking is important and often overlooked in the pace of just working so hard!
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About the Author: James Zackal is a writer, music enthusiast, and Netflix addict. A graduate student at California University of Pennsylvania pursuing a Master of Business Administration, he is a Writer with New Place Collaborations, LLC, in Pittsburgh and Marketing Assistant with Web Strategies in Winchester.