If you’re like most nonprofit managers, you’re always looking for ways to improve the management of your organization. But with so much to do and so little time, it can be tough to know where to start.
Fortunately, there are plenty of tips and techniques that can help you get your bearings and streamline your operations. Here are nine of the best:
1. Get rid of unnecessary expenditures
Many nonprofits don’t realize that they can save enormous amounts of money by cutting back on expenses like office supplies, phone bills, postage costs, and even web hosting fees. It’s not uncommon for nonprofit organizations to waste thousands of dollars each year because their staff members fail to take the time to review their expenditures. So start by assessing your organization’s spending and identifying ways to eliminate unnecessary costs.
Unnecessary costs can sometimes be eliminated by cutting back on overhead costs. For example, you can cut down on electricity costs by turning off lights and electronic equipment when they’re not in use. You can also reduce your heating and cooling bills by installing smart thermostats that automatically adjust the temperature based on the time of day and the number of occupants in a room.
2. Streamline your computer system
You can cut down on paper consumption, save time, and minimize human error if you install a single source for all of the information employees need to do their jobs—whether it’s an electronic schedule or a list of donors. The best way to do this is to invest in a document management system that will allow employees at every level to access the information they need when they need it. Don’t forget that you will need case management sorted out as well. A good case management software for nonprofits that works well with your document management system is a must. It will enable you to access, share and work with all of your case records from one location.
3. Integrate your data
If you can’t remember the last time your organization analyzed its financials or set goals, now is the time to start. You’ll be amazed at how much more efficient your organization will become when you establish integrated data that tracks everything from donor contributions to cost-per-unit. This will also make it easier to develop benchmarks, standards, and best practices that can be used throughout your organization. Keep in mind that data analysis is only effective if it’s used to improve your processes and meet your goals.
4. Build a team atmosphere
It doesn’t matter what type of nonprofit you have – whether it’s a school, hospital, or museum – efficient operations hinge on teamwork and collaboration between employees at all levels. Managers who offer incentives for their employees to work together improve productivity exponentially over those who try to work in a vacuum.
Team building is an awesome way to get everyone on the same page and allow them to get to know one another better. It will also make everyone feel more connected and give them a sense of ownership in the organization.
5. Conduct regular audits
In order to improve the management of your nonprofit organization, you need feedback from both employees and donors on how it’s being run – good and bad. The best way to do this is through a series of regular internal audits that provide an opportunity for your staff members to offer constructive criticism on everything from organizational objectives to donor management. Staff input can also help you improve your organization’s fundraising, education, and advocacy efforts by pinpointing ways each of these departments could be run more efficiently.
6. Seek out new donors
It doesn’t matter what you’re working on – whether it’s advocating for the poor, promoting arts and culture, or providing lifesaving medical services to those who need it most – every nonprofit organization needs donor funding in order to operate successfully. However, many nonprofits fail because they don’t have a plan for tracking down potential donors.
Fortunately, there are hundreds of ways to track down new donor prospects through social media marketing, direct mail campaigns, and even custom email solicitations that you can design yourself. The key is to find the strategy that works best for your organization and run with it until you’ve exhausted all possibilities.
7. Ensure efficient management by having a foolproof filing system
If you want to improve the management of your nonprofit organization, then you must have a foolproof filing system that’s easy to navigate and simple enough for employees at all levels to use. This is especially important when it comes to donor files since you never know when an old letter or photograph will come in handy when writing a grant proposal for a new donor.
8. Track new hires
The first step to improving the management of your nonprofit organization is building an integrated hiring and payroll system that tracks new hires from their first day on the job until they retire (or leave the company). It should provide managers at all levels with the tools they need to manage HR activities, track down benefit forms, and plan for the future by recruiting prospective employees who have a proven track record of success.
By doing this you’ll be able to establish a steady pipeline of potential new hires that gives your organization an ongoing pool of skilled explorers from which you can draw upon as needed.
9. Set goals for your organization
The last step in improving the management of your nonprofit organization is setting goals that determine how it will achieve its vision and mission statements in a given year. To do this, you should use nonprofit management software that lets you create custom reports that will show every department exactly where it stands in terms of revenue and expenditures.
If you are looking to improve the management of your nonprofit organization, there are many different ways that it can be done. Whether it’s using new technology or creating a foolproof filing system for donor information, these nine strategies should help guide you in the right direction. If you need any additional advice on how to best manage your non-profit organization you can find an abundance of articles on this topic online. With the above tips, you should be well on your way to finding new donors, setting goals for your organization, and improving the management of your nonprofit organization.