Organizational values can cloud best practices at nonprofit organizations

February 21, 2014

Organizational values can cloud best practices at nonprofit organizations

A lack of communication, control and procedures can be the downfall of any organization, according to Nonprofit Quarterly. When discussing the demise of one nonprofit in Alaska, NPQ cited the biggest takeaway for other nonprofits is to make sure organizational values do not eclipse good business practice.

Nonprofits face many issues regarding leadership, employee roles
From the board all the way down to volunteers, there is no shortage of challenges for nonprofit organizations. In some cases, board members are concerned about getting involved at numerous levels and asking too many questions of the employees. On the other hand, employees may find themselves overwhelmed and treading in unfamiliar territory, but afraid to speak up.

Nonprofits understandably want to operate organizations that run off of trust and a group consensus regarding goals and best practices. However, leadership is key and if board members recognize a problem within the organization that appears to require further analysis, they begin asking questions. A leader is most important when organizations find themselves in crisis, so sitting on the sidelines and watching is not where board members should find themselves

Calling in experts for help early
Early in a crisis, or preferably before one occurs, organizations should turn to professional consulting groups for help with the complex issues surrounding nonprofits. Nonprofit financial consulting services provide a number of options to prevent crippling debt and a lack of financial control:

  • A review to determine the effectiveness of a nonprofit's current financial reports and advice on how to improve them for better budget development in the future
  • Supervise or fully assume the roles of the nonprofits accounting department
  • Conduct fraud prevention audits because nonprofits are often considered easy targets for financial scams
  • Work with management to ensure controls are in place to reduce errors within the organization
  • Training, governance and succession development programs for an organization's board members

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