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  • 3 - Hiring, Managing, and Retaining Staff - Leading a Nonprofit Organization
    to crafting an effective job description Overview Provide a brief history You might want to include when the organization was founded the organizational mission and a list of your programs Responsibilities Describe all of the duties associated with the position Provide plenty of detail in this section The applicant will rely on this information to determine his or her suitability for the job and the organization will use the details here to define the new hire s role and create a performance management tool Qualifications List all requirements for applicants to be considered for the position as well as any preferred skills knowledge or experience Be sure to distinguish between what is essential to the performance of the job requirements and what would be considered beneficial but is not essential preferences Application Instructions Provide an e mail address or fax number for submitting applications You should also specify what materials must be included for consideration e g cover letter resume writing samples Other information you may want to provide in a job description includes salary and benefits a description of the work environment travel requirements if any the title of the person s to whom the employee will report the terms of employment e g short term contract or full time and the job hours or work schedule Keeping employees well informed dedicated and adaptable can lead to greater organizational results Whether directly or indirectly supervising employees the executive director establishes the overall tone for staff management across the organization And while every manager has his or her own style of leadership there are several key tactics for ensuring that your staff stays well informed dedicated and adaptable Staff Orientation A formal walk through of the organization s operational structure and practices empowers new employees and makes them feel like part of the team from the very start It also helps establish clear lines of communication and promotes an open environment that encourages questions and feedback Well defined Roles and Responsibilities The more employees understand what is expected and required of them the better they can work toward achieving those goals And a clear understanding of how one fits into and supports the organization allows for a healthy degree of self and peer management Regular Management Check ins Both managers and their employees benefit from periodic reviews and consultations This ensures that all parties remain on the same page and presents a forum for self reflection reevaluation and open communication Meshing of Styles Each member of your organization has his or her own way of approaching a task and interacting with managers and fellow employees It is critical to establish an environment in which varying work styles can coexist and flourish Try these staff alignment and trust building activities to strengthen the relationships within your team Download this helpful Staff Alignment Guide to help you build trust among employees and create a healthy work environment You need Adobe Flash Player to view some content on this site Personal conflicts are

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  • 4 - Working with a Board of Directors - Leading a Nonprofit Organization
    offer strategies to maintain a positive relationship with your board members by focusing on organizing your meeting agendas and clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of the board Managing your board of directors is critical to the success of your nonprofit The proper balance can only be achieved when both the board and the executive director have clearly defined their roles and responsibilities and when meetings are structured in an efficient and logical fashion Some initial degree of tension or disconnect between the executive director and board of directors is natural but taking steps to address any challenges or concerns will instill mutual trust and strengthen the organization s operational capacity An organized meeting agenda can maximize board meeting productivity Download the customizable Board Meeting Agenda Template to get an idea of how to structure your meetings with the board of directors You need Adobe Flash Player to view some content on this site The line between who is responsible for what is often unclear to both executive directors and board members Some directors or board members may not have prior experience in their role while others may have held similar positions but must learn how to adapt to the

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  • 5 - Financial Management and Fundraising - Leading a Nonprofit Organization
    Balance Sheet Also known as a statement of financial position the balance sheet reports on the organization s assets and liabilities for a given moment in time Assets include cash accounts receivable equipment ownership of a building and any intangible resources that have value such as a curriculum or copyright Liabilities are any cash owed including payroll rent transportation and supplies Statement of Activities This statement of profit and loss compares funding sources against program s expenses administrative costs and other operating commitments As opposed to the balance sheet s financial snapshot the statement of activities reports on a specific timeframe e g monthly and indicates whether the organization is financially solvent in the black or owes money in the red for that period The executive director is also responsible for working with the board accountant chief financial officer and other stakeholders in creating the organization s annual budget The executive director is typically tasked with creating and implementing a fundraising plan In tandem with a development director board members or other support staff the executive director is typically tasked with creating and implementing a plan for successfully raising the funds needed per the annual budget When creating a fundraising plan it is important to examine the organization s history to identify previous funding sources This is the single greatest indicator of future fundraising success The fundraising plan should outline steps for raising funds from each potential source Using foundations as a sample revenue source here are some suggested steps for creating your fundraising plan Review all previous foundation funding and determine whether the organization is eligible for financial support from each foundation again Research additional foundations for compatibility with the organization in terms of mission geographic focus and organizational life cycle Complete profiles that include foundation priorities contact information

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  • 6 - Leading Teams - Leading a Nonprofit Organization
    in the form of heading a project or mentoring a coworker In this chapter you will learn the characteristics of the various leadership styles and how you can effectively vary your style based on the situation It takes more to effectively lead than simply being the one in charge The critical question for any person placed in a leadership position to ask is whether or not people are willing to follow your direction An important first step in answering this question is to consider your approach to leading Let s explore a few of the most common leadership styles Authoritarian This style of leadership is one that involves being a leader with having all of the decision making responsibility Although authoritarians are often criticized for adhering to conventional notions of leadership there are times when this style is most appropriate such as when the leader is clearly the most knowledgeable and qualified to decide or when there isn t sufficient time to consider team input Participative In contrast to the authoritarian the participative leader consults with team members when decisions need to be made When used effectively this style of leadership can help motivate the team and keep people engaged Participative leadership tends to make team members feel more valued but it is a style best employed only when there is ample time for group discussion and evaluation Delegative The effective use of delegative leadership requires that the leader provide sufficient coaching and support for the team to feel comfortable making decisions A delegative leader must also pay close attention to the skills and talents of the team to help ensure that appropriate levels of responsibility and decision making authority are assigned Delegative leadership does not mean that you relinquish responsibility and can blame others if things go wrong Determine

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  • 7 - Team Management and Performance Tools - Leading a Nonprofit Organization
    the diagram the beginning and end teams will often feel a greater sense of freedom the orientation and renewal stages provide opportunities for limitless potential and possibility As a team moves into stages toward the bottom of the diagram the middle stages there are more constraints Goals are set and some things end up being included while others do not Teams don t always move through the Drexler Sibbet model in a linear fashion so don t be discouraged if you are unable to complete one stage before moving onto another The model is designed to enhance workflow and team performance rather than restrict the team to a fixed set of rules Let s look more closely at each of the seven stages and the questions and issues raised during them Orientation The primary question asked during this first stage of the model is Why are we here The team must work together to identify a task that each individual finds personally beneficial useful or important to the organization When team members are unable to envision a role for themselves they often feel anxious and distance themselves from the group Alternatively when members feel more connected they are more likely to participate in achieving the group s goals Trust Building According to the model creators this is the stage during which people want to know who they will work with their expectations agendas and competencies Trust can only be established once team members become clear on their individual roles and responsibilities and establish a better understanding of each other s work styles and experience Goal Clarification Here is where the team works to identify a shared vision by discussing possibilities variations and the reasons these goals may or may not be the best options Some disagreement can happen during this stage so it is important to make sure that everyone is on the same page before proceeding This is also a good time to address any conflict between individual and organizational goals Commitment This stage comprises the most constraining work the team will face during the entire process If your work here remains unresolved some team members may disown individual responsibility for the success of the team by going along with the preferences of others while others may attack proposed courses of action without offering any feasible alternatives Such behavior could indicate a lack of priorities roles or a clear definition of how work should proceed Implementation The implementation stage is dominated by timing and scheduling You may cycle back through earlier stages of the process as your team encounters unforeseen obstacles and works to find its groove The key here is to impose some shared processes for completing the team s work This can be achieved with online project management tools flowcharts or work plans High Performance While the design of this model might suggest that high performance is a destination that all teams reach research indicates that many never do But you don t have to reach this

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  • Summary - Leading a Nonprofit Organization
    tools to help you grow as an effective leader You should now be able to recall your leadership style and apply your knowledge to successfully lead your nonprofit Remember whether you are directing a board chairing a committee managing a team or coordinating a project the goal is always the same to lead effectively Thank you for taking the time to complete this e learning lesson on Leading a Nonprofit Organization Leading a nonprofit requires knowledge of the operational responsibilities as well as leadership skills Leading a nonprofit organization can be a complex task In addition to establishing and supporting the vision of the organization executive directors juggle many responsibilities including recruiting and supervising office staff maintaining a productive relationship with the board of directors creating a fundraising plan that will ensure sustainability and managing organizational finances Successfully orchestrating these tasks requires an executive director to focus on his or her leadership skills Please use these additional resources to assist you with your management needs Management Craft Management Craft is a blog written by Lisa Haneberg vice president and organization development consulting practice leader at Management Performance International The material is centered around business effectiveness and alignment and offers great

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  • Managing Crisis
    that many nonprofits make use of which can actually weaken their overall fiscal health including Excessive borrowing Organizations that borrow at attractively low rates against their endowments or based on high revenue estimates can be left holding the bag when the economy slows Owning space Many organizations try to take advantage of real estate booms by overbuilding gambling that the market value of property will continue to increase or that excess space can be leased to produce more revenue When real estate markets collapse these organizations may have difficulty securing tenants and be faced with high fixed costs Building an endowment This is often considered the holy grail of nonprofit finance but endowments can be very unreliable sources of revenue particularly when they would most be needed i e in times of wide scale economic distress Unnecessary spending In good times organizations might expand operations assuming that the organizations itself can take on all the risk of carrying the organization Developing partnerships forming relationships with potential champions and advocates and ensuring that the work of the organization is work that is most necessary puts organizations in a better position to whether a downturn In addition to these practices nonprofits are handicapped by a lack of flexibility when it comes to their workforce Where for profit businesses can often downsize during hard times to cut costs this isn t always an option for nonprofits A hospital for example can rarely afford to cut nurses nor can an orchestra trim back on violin players When responding to a recession it is important to maintain your nonprofit s mission When the downturn hits even with the best preperations the organization will need to take additional steps to respond The good news is that recessions provide a great opportunity to re focus and realign to ensure that the activities of the organization are strongly connected to its mission These times are ripe for an analysis of the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization s operational structure Ideally the response to an economic downturn happens as early as possible picking up on early warning signs At this time the crisis management team should assemble and examine the overall financial health of the nonprofit To do this first examine each of the organization s revenue sources and evaluate whether any of them are likely to be cut off or reduced because of the crisis This examination should include government grants or contracts foundation and corporate giving individual donations and attendance at special events Revenue projections for all these sources should be carefully reevaluated to see if expenses will need to be cut The team should also take into account that in times of recession payments will most likely be later than normal and bills will be demanded more quickly Plans for expansion or large investments such as the construction of a new facility should also be carefully reconsidered To prepare for the possibility of cuts the team should take a careful look at programming Which programs are most critical to the organization s mission Which programs are least mission critical Which programs are most expensive to operate Could these operate more efficiently Which programs are likely to see a greater demand during a recession What programs are the organization s donors most likely to continue to support Asking these questions should it become necessary will help make these tough decisions clearer CHAPTER 3 Loss of a Major Funding Source No matter how much effort a nonprofit makes to diversify revenue sources a single funding source is often disproportionately important If that revenue source is lost the impact on the organization could be catastrophic This chapter presents possible responses to this type of crisis Weather the loss of a funding source The steps to prevent being unprepared when a major funding source vanishes are similar to those of surviving an economic downturn Organizations should diversify revenue sources and establish a cash reserve to cushion the blow Leaders should also make every effort to stay informed about the stability of their primary funding source and proactively take measures to retain the source Specific elements of the crisis management plan for weathering the loss of a funding source include Have an emergency budget The budget should set out the minimum amount of money that would need to be earned each month in order to maintain a basic level of services This will need to be regularly updated Train the crisis management team The crisis management plan for the loss of a key revenue stream should begin with designating a recovery team The team should be trained in fundraising skills This is generally a relatively easy process though the act of fundraising itself is obviously quite hard work A training session can often be completed within a single day or even an afternoon The crisis recovery team should dedicate time to identifying potential revenue sources If the unpleasant reality of losing a primary funding source occurs the organization should activate this recovery team to significantly increase the level of effort going toward fundraising and revenue development Members of the team should be prepared to spend seven to ten hours per month strategizing and fundraising in addition to their usual responsibilities The team should begin by assembling a list of potential revenue sources The list should be made as diverse as possible and it should combine larger sources that may take a longer amount of time to pay off with smaller sources that can be realized more immediately A few ideas for potential sources are Hold a membership drive Charge for subscriptions to a newsletter Canvass Run a gifts campaign Charge fees for services using a sliding scale Sell products such as T shirts and stationery Speak at professional organizations and service clubs Apply for grants from local corporations service clubs churches or unions Apply for a line of credit from the bank Hold special events such as concerts or parties Sell booklets or manuals with useful information Approach corporations for sponsorship After identifying potential revenue sources conduct a cost benefit analysis Once the recovery team has assembled a list of potential revenue sources it should evaluate each using the following criteria Estimated potential revenue Appropriateness of the activity in relation to your mission Research required Time needed to implement is this a short or long term approach Number of staff and volunteers required Cost Risks Liklihood of success Appropriateness of revenue source With this information identify activities that will yield the most revenue with the amount of time and resources the organization can afford to deveote When making cuts leaders of nonprofits can think creatively and take care of people as much as possible First and foremost organizations are made of people and in the case of nonprofits these people are typically very dedicated and usually not very highly compensated When cost cutting is necessary it is important to reassure staff of their security where possible and to maintain transparency when this is not possible Some strategies include Hold regular meetings to update the team on additional revenue generating activities and the status of these activities Reward and recognize staff members and volunteers putting in additional hours to support revenue development on top of their normal activities Be straight with people about difficult measures that may need to be taken with as much notice as possible Maintain an open door policy for employees who may be very concerned about their own livelihoods If the organization is renting its office space it may be possible to negotiate with the landlord for a free month or discounted rent which he or she may agree to when faced with the alternative of a vacant property It may also be possible to share space with another nonprofit e g with one group using the offices during regular daytime hours and the other using them in the evenings To avoid layoffs consider temporarily reducing staff hours and pay This is a hard pill to swallow for employees but clear communication about the reasons and the alternatives letting people go help make this less painful For any of these ideas consider hiring a consultant with experience in making these changes The fee for consultants ranges from 300 to 1 500 per day though some may choose to donate time if asked Be sure to thoroughly check the references of a potential consultant before they are hired and interview them to make sure that they are not only skilled but enthusiastic and capable of responding to your nonprofit s particular situation CHAPTER 4 Loss of or Damage to Physical Assets An organization is vulnerable to more than just loss of revenue Office space can be damaged due to a storm or fire Equipment can be stolen Key program spaces can become foreclosed or prohibitively expensive Even if these assets are amply insured making claims can lead to increased premiums and may take considerable time to settle Protecting physical assets and determining how services can be continued or quickly resumed if they are lost or damaged is therefore a vital part of any crisis management plan There are several elements of the crisis management plan related to protecting physical assets As an organization you must try to prevent the loss of key physical assets and to work to recover from the loss of these assets To do this the crisis management team should take the following steps Make a list of items that the organization would have a difficult time operating without This could include office space office equipment computers contact directories account numbers and important documents Digitize and duplicate documents titles licenses and directories Physical copies should also be made and stored in an off site location in case a natural disaster makes Internet access unavailable This should absolutely include an up to date directory of contact information for all staff members board members and key volunteers as well as for accountants insurance agents banks and creditors Maintain an up to date list of all equipment including serial numbers and cost This should also be duplicated and backed up as it will prove very useful if it becomes necessary to make an insurance claim While data and documents can be copied and backed up it is harder to replace office space The crisis plan should include a list of potential recovery locations should office or program space become unavailable These could include a staff member s home or locations that can be temporarily rented such as hotels or conference space Consider forming mutual support agreements with other nonprofits in the area These agreements can allow for space sharing which will enable both groups to continue at least limited operations until a permanent solution can be found Think about this before you need to minimize disruption in the event of a severe crisis The loss or damage of a physical asset requires immediate response It is far more likely that your organization will face fraud or theft than a natural disaster so it s perhaps more critical to take steps to minimize the risk of fraud and theft Consider the following steps Limit access to valuable resources Only necessary staff members should have access to supplies and merchandise Limit authority to sign the organization s checks or access bank accounts Protect confidential donor information such as credit card numbers The theft of this information can have devastating consequences as donor confidence will be greatly undermined and the organization s reputation may be irreparably damaged Sensitive information like this should always be stored on a secure server and be password protected No matter how well you have prepared for the possibility coping with the loss or damage of a major physical asset such as office space or computer systems will require quick focused swift action to minimize impact Be prepared to do the following Contact the police Inform your insurance agent let him her know as soon as you have discovered the loss Make sure you know what information needs to be provided before making a claim Communicate clearly and repeatedly to staff volunteers donors and stakeholders about how the loss will affect them If the theft was of data rather than equipment any clients donors or staff whose information may have been compromised must be informed immediately If your office space is unavailable consult your list of recovery sites In a situation where an organization s office or program space becomes unavailable the organization should consult its list of potential recovery sites and establish which one is the most appropriate In the case of a large scale disaster not all sites will be available The crisis team should examine factors such as accessibility to clients available space cost and time involved in making arrangements to use the location Consider whether you will be able to return to your previous office or program space and how long it might take to do so Which of your recovery locations would be available for that much time After a recovery location has been selected Relocate undamaged equipment Replace damaged equipment that is necessary to resuming operations Consider leasing or borrowing equipment if possible The team should develop and implement a communications plan to inform staff volunteers clients and vendors about the new location If services will not be immediately resumed make sure that this information is disseminated through the media a phone tree and or a website Arrange for call forwarding to the new site Be sure to maintain payroll If the relocation is required because of damage to office space or equipment be sure to contact your insurer and inform them of the situation Recover critical documents digital files and contact information and make sure to bring them with you to the recovery location When the loss of office space is due to a large scale natural disaster a few additional steps will need to be taken Reassess the level of need for your services Times of disaster can radically shift the priority needs of clients Consider a temporary shift in activities or a break from operating Determine if any key suppliers are still operational If not find alternate suppliers for necessary materials Determine if staff requires transportation to your location Determine if staff needs emergency housing CHAPTER 5 Loss of Human Assets In the nonprofit world the most valuable assets any organization has are often its people The loss of a key employee particularly one in a position of leadership such as a manager or executive director can be just as devastating as a flooded office or a canceled grant Even under the best circumstances losing an important leader throws an organization into a period of instability that may make it difficult to function normally Focus on retaining employees by paying careful attention to organizational culture Minimizing the impact of losing key human resources starts with taking steps to ensure that they are not lost Consider the following strategies Hire employees with a strong personal commitment to the mission of your organization The first step here is making sure the mission is clearly and powerfully stated on any hiring materials Provide ample training Don t send new employees up a creek without teaching them how to properly paddle Provide fair competitive compensation Reward employees for working extra hours by providing overtime compensation or time in lieu to reduce burn out Check with employees regularly to monitor their job satisfaction Create pathways for promotions and new opportunities Keep workloads manageable allocate tasks carefully Allow for flex during less busy times to build good will to extra time and effort during surge periods Align what staff are good at and what they enjoy with what they do as much as possible Build on people s strengths rather than focusing on their weaknesses Create a culture of collaboration and relationship building people are less apt to leave organizations where they have developed close personal ties Recognize and reward individual contributions Set up policies that take care of people For example implement flexible core hours so people can tend to important responsibilities outside of work create a strategy to be able to offer paid maternity leave develop job share roles to accommodate talented staff who need to reduce working hours for personal reasons Create an inclusive environment Pay attention to the make up of your board and management are they all from a similar cultural background Are all employees aware of what the organization will do to accommodate disabilities Are training and promotions seen as fair May employees take off their own religious holildays and work on Christmas in return Retaining executive directors and other high level leaders presents a different set of challenges The average tenure of nonprofit executive directors is surprisingly short Inspiring leaders are often core to the ability of the organization to fundraise and attract top talent and organizations that have had this kind of leader can face crisis when this type of leader leaves In retaining high level directors and managers consider the following Has the organization gone through a high stress or crisis period Executive directors often leave after surviving a crisis to prevent burn out and get a fresh start The board should take measures to take care of the executive director during and after these times of crisis Are the leaders getting bored Look for signs of passion waning and stay in tune with the current passions of talented leaders Is there anyway to re inspire and re engage talented leaders Speak openly about this and explore ways to shift responsibilities or incorporate some of the leader s new ideas into the work Good leaders aren t easy to replace Keeping open conversations about the aspirations of leaders of the organization will ensure that you are not surprised when that leader decides it is time to move on Abrupt terminations due to inappropriate or illegal activities happen The impact of sudden departures can be minimized through careful planning Minimize the effects of a lost employee

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  • Interactivites
    chapter title on the tabs above for additional instruction Overview None Preparing for Crisis In the event of a crisis having a crisis management plan can ease the rigors In the event of a crisis having a crisis management plan can ease the rigors Click here to download a sample crisis communication plan provided by the Colorado Nonprofit Association Text version of audio here Economic Downturn Conducting an emergency fundraising campaign can help you to withstand an economic downturn Conducting an emergency fundraising campaign can help you to withstand an economic downturn Text version of audio here Loss of a Major Funding Source Prepare your organization for the loss of a major donor by testing your knowledge Prepare your organization for the loss of a major donor by testing your knowledge Text version of audio here Loss of or Damage to Physical Assets Electronic data plays a vital role in crisis management Electronic data plays a vital role in crisis management Text version of audio here The U S Small Business Association provides disaster assistance for all types of organizations The U S Small Business Association provides disaster assistance for all types of organizations Click here to visit the U

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