In the nonprofit world, people are the lifeblood of what we do. That’s great, except… it’s hard to keep people’s commitment and motivation high, and this is especially true for those that are volunteering their time.
So what do we do about that?
We have to get people to buy into our nonprofit mission. We have to get them excited about the work we do. We have to make sure that our staff and volunteers are happy about what they are doing and that it is making a real difference. How do we do all of that, though?
My best advice? Train your team members to live the nonprofit organization’s mission. Easier said than done, right? Well, let’s take a look at how our nonprofit consulting team practices what we preach.
Your board members should be 100% committed to the nonprofit mission. While it seems obvious that board members should know the mission inside and out, this isn’t always true! Some board members might only have a surface-level understanding of the mission or issue at hand. This is why you should take some time to share the impact of your nonprofit mission through testimonials. It’s also important that all board members have a good understanding of your sustainable nonprofit’s history.
Start turning your new board members into enthusiastic fans of the mission at orientation. Stop waiting for the mission to sell itself! You should do this, even if the “training” consists only of an informal briefing accompanied by handouts. Employees need to be “sold” on the mission too, though in different ways.
You’ll also want to take a look at your paid staff. How can you ensure that they understand the nonprofit mission and are truly committed to making a difference? Here are a few ways to do that:
Put it in writing! Make sure all staff members have access to the organization’s mission statement, vision statement, and values. Get them written down in one place (like on the company’s public website) so everyone sees it. Also, make sure your paid staff’s job descriptions include a reference to the nonprofit’s mission and vision.
When you conduct performance reviews with your team members, make sure to ask them how they are living the mission. This will give you a better understanding of what they do and don’t understand about the sustainable nonprofit’s mission and how you can better communicate it. If they don’t know, it’s your job to tell them!
Make training a part of your job responsibilities. That is, if you expect employees to be aware and engaged about the mission, make sure they know how to do it. Implement training programs for all employees. It doesn’t have to be long or expensive, just brief and focused on the mission. A presentation in your lunchroom or break room will work great!
We’ve talked about staff members and the board, but what about volunteers? How do you train them to live the mission?
Start with orientation. At orientation, provide your volunteers with an overview of the sustainable nonprofit, its mission, and send them off with a copy of the mission statement and any other important documents. Check-in with your volunteers and ask them how they’re doing at least once per month. Take these opportunities to answer any questions about the mission they might have and/or reinforce their knowledge of the mission and how their work fits into it.
As with paid staff, train your volunteers! Provide them with training opportunities and make sure they know how to live the mission.
All of these efforts will culminate in a united, enthusiastic team dedicated to making a difference and fighting the good fight!
Nonprofit Consulting and Training
Are you looking for a way to improve your organization’s board and workforce?
We know that the people who work at your nonprofit are its most valuable resource. That’s why we want to help you create the best possible board and workforce for your organization. Our nonprofit consulting agency can provide the training and tools to help ensure that everyone knows and lives the mission of your sustainable nonprofit, so they can make an even bigger impact on their communities.
We would love the opportunity to show you how KM Clark Consulting Group sets itself apart from the other nonprofit consultants out there today – our nonprofit consulting experts will provide you with all the tools and resources you need to build a great team. If you want more information about how we can help, please get in touch with us today! We look forward to hearing from you soon.