In this column, I join seven of my fellow New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Awards selection committee members to share a few tips broken down into the eight areas of nonprofit management identified by the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee. Wishing you a very successful 2016!
Managing for results advice from Laurel Molloy, founder and chief consultant, Innovations Quantified (IQ)
Don’t let uncertainty about where to begin or worries about expense and staff time keep you from starting. And don’t track more than you can review. Instead, measure only what matters most. Then add more.
Board Governance advice from Michael Davidson, board coach
Make sure board members visit programs and volunteer when possible. Bring success stories into board meetings. Acknowledge every board member contribution.
Diversity advice from Lupita Gonzalez, executive coach, cultural competence, equity and inclusion specialist
Improve your organization’s equity, diversity and inclusion practices by establishing a committee charged with identifying and resolving structural barriers and policies that perpetuate inequities. Activities could include discussing impacts of proposed plans on different racial/ethnic groups, diversifying your board and creating an environment where people of color lead conversations about inequities.
Finance advice from Uday Ray, chief financial officer, Leake and Watts Services, Inc.
Focus on narrowing program operating deficits while enhancing operational quality, absorbing growth and maximizing revenues. Achieve this via a comprehensive business strategy that reflects adequate resources for operating and capital expenditures, debt management, and investment in program operations.
Technology advice from Norman Reiss, senior project manager, Center for Court Innovation
Store backups online and/or at a secure offsite location, and regularly restore. Reserve funding to replace a portion of computers each year. Encourage staff to update their skills through training and participating in professional associations. Create documentation and systems to ease transitions when key personnel leave.
Human resources advice from Jen Chau Fontán, senior director of talent, Harlem RBI, DREAM Charter School
If you don’t yet engage in regular talent reviews, start now. It helps managers determine next steps for developing their direct reports and helps managers see what high performance and high potential look like.
Fundraising advice from the team at Cause Effective
Invest as much in “friend raising” as you do in fundraising. Provide even more personal expressions of appreciation to those who are already supporting you. Always thank donors before asking them again.
Communications advice from Anat Gerstein of Anat Gerstein Inc.
Make your content short and punchy. Use infographics, photos and stats. Make a greater impact through personal stories. Tell your readers what you want them to do in response. Share this new content via the web, email, snail mail and social media.