Management issues for all nonprofits to keep in mind

December 17, 2014

Management issues for all nonprofits to keep in mind

Although they serve vastly different purposes, there are some areas where nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses share operational similarities. Concerns such as payroll, finances, human resources and facility management are all shared between these otherwise different operations. Management is one area where there is some crossover, but effective nonprofit management involves many unique considerations. Considering the volume of advice available for publicly and privately traded companies, sometimes nonprofit managers can feel left out when it comes to finding effective guidance.

Here are a few unique considerations that managers and leaders at nonprofits have to keep in mind for continued success:

  • Employee responsibilities and tasks: While it has become more common in recent years for companies to spread out responsibilities and value versatility, the ability to take on multiple roles has long been an advantage in the nonprofit realm. Because many staff members are expected to take on tasks outside their comfort zones or areas of expertise, it's important for managers to assess the workloads of their employees on a regular basis. Discussions about duty fulfillment related to current roles of staff can help leaders find the best fits for certain jobs – and keep employee engagement at a high level.
  • Board member planning: Board members exist at for-profit companies but serve a significantly different purpose than a nonprofit board. At nonprofits, a good board can serve as the public face of the organization as well as a source of experience and even support, at times. The fundraising abilities of a nonprofit board also can't be ignored, especially when it comes to dealing with high-level donors and other important parties who are interested in a charitable group. Third Sector Today pointed out that nonprofit management needs to be the glue that holds a board together to make sure it's efforts are as targeted and effective as possible.
  • Avoiding fads: The Chronicle of Philanthropy pointed to management fads as one area in which managers need to create keen awareness. The temptation to try out a new fundraising approach or method of outreach can be strong for many organizations, especially if they see success come from a novel effort. Managers have to remember that tried and true methods do sometimes need to be updated, but they have to make such moves purposefully and with care.

Content presented by First Nonprofit Group, the leading provider of state unemployment insurance solutions for 501(c)(3) nonprofit employers.

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