There are many ways to increase productivity at your nonprofit, so get ready to benchmark new achievements to share with your donors and supporters. Alex Neuhoff and Robert Searles, who appear in the Stanford Innovation Review, offer some helpful tips to put you on the right track.
- Standardize Best Practices—Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, perfect what you already know works and produce results.
- Invest in Critical Activities and Staff—Determine which activities are most important and critical to the success of your organization. Invest more time, energy and manpower in those specific tasks.
- Manage Costs Effectively—Monitor administrative and personnel costs more closely, and remember to include major costs like salaries or stipends. Continuously look for ways to keep your costs low or even cut expenses that may no longer serve your mission.
- Measure Your Progress—Create a system that allows you to track your progress and the results of your work. If you do this, you will be most effective at implementing best practices.
This is also a great time to fine-tune and revisit tasks that may need a little more attention. Jane D. Callahan, who has more than 25 years of experience as a tax attorney and represents a wide range of charities and other tax-exempt organizations, suggests making sure your records are up-to-date, reviewing all governing documents, and meeting with your board members to renew their commitment to your organization’s mission.
Keep in mind that your success will (still) be highly dependent on the dedication of your staff and volunteers, so be sure to keep them engaged and excited about the good work your organization does in the community. Remember to keep an open line of communication and ask for feedback on how to make their work more enjoyable and meaningful. A happy employee, after all, is the most productive and is more likely to stay on board longer.
Note: It’s that time of year when many 990s are due. Check out It’s That Time of Year. How’s Your 990 Coming Along?
Courtesy of Third Sector Today, author Aloma Arter