Every non-profit organization begins with a mission statement. Over the years of serving clients, some nonprofits drift from their mission, while others are able to grip firmly to the mission that originally opened their doors. For those who are able to stick to their original mission, collaborations with other local organizations can play a key part in their success.
Ever changing client needs, a change in board members and key leaders in the organization, all of these can lead a nonprofit to drift from their original mission. By collaborating with other local organizations, client needs can be met without a radical change to your mission. Building relationships and open communication with other organizations is a key piece to any collaboration.
While most of us working in the non-profit world have been trained with the line of thinking that we need to be as frugal as possible in all areas of our organization, keeping overhead to 23% or less, there is another school of thought, which borrowing from the corporate world, says non-profits should spend more to make more.
In his book, Uncharitable, Dan Pallotta discusses the restraints of public expectations on non-profits and their spending. These often unrealistic expectations affect all aspects of non-profit organizations from trying to find ways to advertise with little or no marketing budget, to offering below average wages to organization employees. Even with limited spending, public expectation for professional collateral is equal to that of large corporations. So, how do non-profits keep up?
April 21 – 27, 2013 is National Volunteer Week. Most nonprofits will spend at least a day of that week recognizing and thanking volunteers. It is likely that your board members may join the staff in thanking the volunteers during the festivities. One problem…who is thanking the board?
Board members give of their time out of love for the mission, just like volunteers. They offer their professional expertise and guide the nonprofit to success. Too often, they are overlooked when it comes time for a thank you.
How important is choosing the committee chair for your next fundraising event? Just as each volunteer in a nonprofit organization is important and brings with them a circle of influence, a committee chair should be chosen with leadership qualities and management style in mind, as well as their position in the community you are targeting.
A committee chair should have a proven record of leadership, whether in the nonprofit or corporate world, and should come to the table prepared to share his contacts and influence in the community. While a committee chair is not directly responsible for running the event, he should be willing to lend his name in such a way to influence the community to contribute to the event and to the cause. He should also be willing to make a significant contribution to the event, either in direct financial support or with in-kind support.