Nonprofit leaders must adapt to sudden growth for continued success

April 7, 2014

Nonprofit leaders must adapt to sudden growth for continued success

Like all businesses, nonprofits can experience growing pains when demand for services spike. Funding, while important, is not the largest obstacle either. When growth occurs, another major obstacle is an increased need to hire more employees and delegate their work.

According to The Globe and Mail, it's as important for leaders at an organization to know what they can do as it is to know what they can not.  When a nonprofit is in its early stages, leaders have an easier time overseeing multiple departments, engaging donors and managing fundraisers. However, as demand increases, nonprofit leaders can quickly find themselves spread too thin.

A key step to improving delegation is recognizing that others at the organization can do some of the tasks that the leader has traditionally completed. Start by identifying employees at the nonprofit are prepared to take on more responsibility. Also, HR managers should review resumes and sit down with staff to analyze who has existing skill sets that could be utilized throughout the organization.

Doing too much can stifle success
Managers who are not willing to delegate and change as the business grows can quickly reverse the course. Employees can also lose motivation if not properly engaged to feel like they are part of the overall success of the nonprofit. Additionally, donors will notice if the organization seems incapable of handling growth and could scale back their funding.

However, nonprofits also need to ensure they currently have the best members on staff, and if resources exist, the willingness to bring on more people. Hiring at this stage is pivotal and managers must seek out talent that will help the business continue to grow and meet new demand.

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

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