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Leading a Nonprofit: 7 Essential Duties

December 23, 2016

How does your nonprofit’s management team measure up? Good management structure often depends more on attitude than skill—read on to find out more.

Good nonprofit management depends on good nonprofit leaders—pretty simple, right? Well, some parts of successful nonprofit management are often overlooked or under-prioritized. Look over these key areas to ensure that your organization is following the “good manager’s guide”.

  1. Staff Orientation - A formal understanding of the organization’s operations and practices from the start will give a new team member the necessary foundation and make them feel like part of the team from day one. The orientation should also establish clear lines of communication and encourage an environment that promotes questions and feedback. When an employee understands the goals of the organization and their part in achieving the mission, they feel more connected and inspired to contribute to the common goals.
  2. Well-defined Roles and Responsibilities - Setting clear expectations and understanding responsibilities through well-defined roles is key to managing employee performance. If an expectation is not met or there are mistakes or other types of “failures,” these should be viewed as coaching opportunities. Coaching an employee on the best methods to correct errors or resolve issues is more effective method for preventing future errors.
  3. Meshing of Styles - Every employee has a different style or approach to meeting expectations or tackling their responsibilities. It is important that managers create an environment to allow these different styles to collaborate and flourish.
  4. Help Individuals Grow - The role of a leader is not only to manage the operations but to be a mentor. In order to be an effective mentor, you need to understand the goals and aspirations of your team and help them to achieve their goals (when appropriate). Caring for your employees and individual success will engender loyalty and respect and ultimately create a stronger organization.
  5. Challenge Your Employees - Most people want to make a difference in their organization. Continuously remind your team that their hard work and eagerness is essential to the success of the organization and achieving its mission. Always challenge and engage your team by giving them new responsibilities or training on new skills.
  6. Regular Management Check-ins - Scheduling regular and periodic meetings with employees to revisit goals and performance is a great way to encourage open communication and maintain strong relationships with your team.
  7. Express Appreciation and Gratitude - The biggest asset of any nonprofit organization is its team. Recognize your team’s efforts whether it is in a team meeting or by throwing a party at the end of a successful implementation project. Showing your gratitude for their commitment and hard work will increase your employees’ confidence and dedication to the organization.

A large part of nonprofit management depends on keeping employees engaged, prepared and inspired. In an industry dedicated to improving lives and creating social impact, it is no secret that offering guidance and support to employees is vital to the success of any nonprofit organization.

Contact any member of our Not-for-profit services team for more information.

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