by Mark Gerber
You know the saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day?” The same philosophy applies to your nonprofit organization. As discussed in two of our recent blog posts, it takes more than a day to lay the proper foundation for your nonprofit organization to succeed.
So far we’ve reviewed the importance of selecting the correct fundraising tools and analyzing their impact on your business goals. In order to continue the momentum of building a successful fundraising program you must also establish a reliable reputation from the inside out. With the proper internal structure and resources, your organization will be steadfast in raising funds, while maintaining excellent service.
A critical component in successfully managing your organization depends on the ability to utilize your asset, which is your staff. Take the time to transfer knowledge about your tools and train them. Empower your staff to be software advocates by providing the necessary training and resources so they can operate fundraising efforts effectively. This can be achieved by identifying roles and responsibilities, so you can easily recognize what amenities are vital for each employee’s job.
Understanding that training is vital to your organization’s success. Be sure to allow time for training. This is perhaps the most obvious strategy, but it is easily ignored as deadlines and other priorities loom. Not providing time and a well-defined plan for training can result in increased costs in retraining, as well as time and resources to correct errors in data that may not have otherwise occurred.
Another simple way to prime your staff is to circulate job aides, or “cheat sheets,” so at any given time an employee can reference steps to performing a task. Some examples of these instruction documents can include:
- Step by step instructions for entering a donation
- Steps to add a new constituent record
- How to check each record’s prior existence and contributions
- The process involved for running reports/reconciling with accounting
Not only should your staff generate and share this content with one another, but you should also encourage them to actively talk and share best practices, tips and insights. An open, transparent conversation among staff can assist in better serving your donor base. Do this by setting up recurring meetings or email updates and offer incentives for your staff to contribute to discussion.
Start viewing your best asset as your staff and begin to utilize them as such. By clearly defining roles and offering proper education, you’ll be setting up your organization to quickly progress and deliver excellent service. By taking the time to address the considerations above, you will surely be setting yourself and your organization up for success.
Mark Gerber is the regional sales manager at ResultsPlus (RP) nonprofit CRM (Constituent Relationship Management). ResultsPlus software has been helping more than 3,500 nonprofit organizations and professionals reach their fundraising goals since 1985. Based in Rochester, Minn., ResultsPlus prides itself on the difference it makes allowing its users to grow alongside their fundraising success by implementing inclusive, functional software. For more information, visit www.resultsplussoftware.com.