Can You Avoid Nonprofit Burnout?

Sometimes there’s a story we tell collectively. When nonprofit colleagues were asked for their candid suggestions on how to avoid burnout, they got right to the core. Having worked in the trenches in some way with each of these pros reconfirmed for me that there’s nothing like the camaraderie and resourcefulness of those who work in this sector. We can’t do it alone, but we can certainly get through the demands and unexpected challenges of this work with dignity, recognition, and zeal. 10 Tricks to Avoid Burnout: Stay on mission. Remind yourself of the organization’s purpose and keep your eye on the prize. A long-time development colleague shares that her team shares “mission moments” at each monthly staff meetings. “With all the complaints, hustle and bustle of the day-to-day work,” she says, “it brings us back around to ‘why we do what we do’. You remember the reason you are here and picked this job.” Protect your private time. It’s inherent–you will work seven days a week sometimes. “You have to be realistic about what kind of work load you can handle, and actually make sure you take time off, away from the job, to focus on friends and family,”...
Read More

Top Hiring Strategies in a Competitive Market

Gayle Brandel
Today’s hiring market is more competitive than ever. Unemployment rates are the lowest they’ve been in 17 years – great for the economy but a challenge for associations that need to hire staff to help recruit and retain members. A recent survey of more than 1,500 associations by PNP Staffing Group shows that most associations plan on growing staff this year. Gayle A. Brandel, founder and CEO of PNP Staffing Group, says the findings show a demand for skilled people in such critical areas as membership development, program administration, marketing and communication clearly exceeds the supply. She adds that as baby boomers retire, an increasingly competitive market will make hiring replacements a challenge. In fact, 50% of those surveyed said they lost a desired candidate in 2018 because the salary offer was too low. But Brandel says there are things an association can (and also should not) do to stay competitive: Good Hiring Practices Offer a competitive salary and benefits compensation package. Learn how to tell your employer brand story and why your company is a good environment in which to work. Fill vacancies quickly; don’t let the hiring process drag on. Hire to complement your team, not just the...
Read More

6 Steps to Build a Strong Team

Gayle Brandel
Using words like “power” or “success” to describe a company can sometimes make it easy to imagine a cutthroat environment. However, a competitive workplace shouldn’t run on employees’ fear or feel like a real-life Hunger Games. A powerful and successful company operates best and with the most longevity when employees work with a team mentality, each filling a needed role and fulfilling long-term goals. Here’s what you can do to make sure your team is as strong as it can possibly be for your company. 1. Focus on roles. A thorough selection process for picking your team members has greater long-term benefits, even if this means you spend more time recruiting than you’d like to. Hiring someone just to have bodies in the room can harm your team. Companies that do this wind up becoming a revolving door, whether it’s because prospective employees see the role as a temporary landing pad and are less interested in learning, or because you decide later on that they aren’t the right fit. This winds up costing you more money in the long run. Investing your time and money in people who truly specialize in the role your company needs will have immense payoffs later....
Read More

When You Need an Interim CFO vs. a Part-time CFO

Gayle Brandel
If you run a startup or a small- to mid-size company, you probably can’t justify hiring a full-time chief financial officer.  But, you do need some level of financial help from an expert, someone who can cast a trained eye on your cash flow, margins, key performance indicators, and overall profit picture while you concentrate on your team and your strategies for growth. If you run a midsize business, you probably have a CFO. But what happens when you have to navigate a period of financial disruption and that CFO isn’t the right person to see you through it? Or your CFO leaves abruptly in the middle of a critical time? In both cases, you need a CFO, just not a full-time one, so the question is, when should you hire an interim (temporary) CFO, or a fractional (part-time) one? First, let’s be clear on the difference. Interim CFO vs. Part-time CFO: What’s the difference? Interim CFOs are finance experts who come in, usually on a full-time basis, typically for one to three months, to help steer a company through a financial crisis, an operations change, preparation for a sale, or the gap between one CFO’s departure and the hiring...
Read More

How to Grow Your Development Team the Right Way

Gayle Brandel
Development teams come in all shapes and sizes. From the one-man shop to large-scale operations, you all share one common goal: to raise as much funding as possible so that you can expand the reach of your organization. In order to do that, many organizations get to the point where they have to grow their development teams. In an industry that places a heavy emphasis on lean staffing and efficiency, however, the decision to expand the team is not an easy one to make. Here are four basic steps that can help you determine when to expand and how to prepare for new development team members. Step 1: Assess the State of Your Workload When you feel frustrated and overwhelmed by your to-do list it’s easy to picture how a new team member would be helpful. However, bringing on new people isn’t always the best solution. Elizabeth Eyre and the Mind Tools Team stress it’s just as vital to understand when not to hire as when to hire. Here are some of the things they say you should consider when you assess the hiring needs of your organization: Does your extra workload have anything to do with seasonality, one-time projects, or the temporary absence of a...
Read More