Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘nonprofit’

Serving as a volunteer treasurer is both demanding, and gratifying. This roundup of prior posts, offers tips on how to know if you are cut out for the position. It also offers advice on how to acquire the skills that you need to perform your duties well, along with strategies on how to keep calm and save time while fulfilling your responsibilities.

Do You Have What It Takes to Serve?

There are several myths about the skills and background that volunteer treasurers must have before they take on the position. Learn more about what it takes to perform the job well in the post, What Makes a Great Volunteer Treasurer.

Once you’ve assumed the role, you are likely to have a lot of questions about how to get started managing your nonprofit’s finances and performing your other fiduciary duties. The post, How to be the Best Treasurer You Can Be will let you know what steps you should take as you begin so that you can put your best foot forward.

Tips to Reduce Stress and Improve Effectiveness and Performance

The volunteer treasurer is often a time consuming, and stressful role. Much of the work is time-sensitive meaning that there are numerous deadlines that you must make in order to keep your nonprofit on track and in compliance with numerous guidelines and regulations.

The article, Work Life Balance, for Busy Treasurers, contains several tips to help you destress and reclaim your peace as well as your ability to concentrate and perform.

The post, How to Convince My Committee to Upgrade My Software contains advice on how to demonstrate to your board the benefits of updating, and how it will increase the security and reliability of your systems and processes. Not to mention that upgrading your software to an automated system such as Admin Bandit will also help you to decrease the time, hassle and expense involved in managing your NFP finances!

Take Care of Your Volunteer Treasurer offers advice for directors, board and others on how they can make it easier for their new treasurers to perform their duties well and reduce their stress levels in the process. Of all the tips that it offers, it explains the connection between training and effectiveness, and how investing in your people and helping them develop the skills that they need to perform their tasks well will reduce the workload and pressure on everyone.

Strategies to Keep Your Motivation and Morale High

Burnout is a genuine risk for volunteer treasurers, especially if they serve in the position for several years. While some automatically assume that establishing a well-known routine decreases the stress associated with the role, it actually works in the reverse for many volunteer treasurers. Overly familiar policies and procedures become tedious and difficult to maintain day after day and year after year.

How to Stay Motivated in Your Job is a prior post that can help those that serve in the same position for a long span of time to find new meaning in honing their craft and perfecting their performance.

The article How Taking on the Role of Volunteer Treasurer Can Boost Your Career reminds us of all of the numerous benefits volunteer treasurers receive when they choose to serve their communities in this capacity.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

The famous words, “there is no such thing as bad publicity,” is a saying that’s accredited to circus owner and showman P.T. Barnum. Today, it’s widely quoted by public relations professionals to calm their anxious clients. While it’s a well-meaning adage, it’s also a complete myth.

The reputations of both for-profits and NFPs can suffer irreparable damage as the result of a scandal or other crisis. To lower the risk of harm, nonprofits need to be proactive and have a crisis management plan in place, before unexpected events occur, to help protect their standing in the community.

The following tips can help your nonprofit prepare to better weather the next storm.

Plan Ahead

Create a research committee to help your organisation think about what types of crisis can happen, and what steps can be taken ahead of time, to get things back on track and reduce the harm that occurs. When drafting a crisis management plan, it’s important that your NFP realises that disasters can come in many forms.

Examples of such events include an accident that removes a key member of your NFP from your team, weather events that damage your facilities or hidden fraud that suddenly comes to light. Internal and external events like these can put your mission in jeopardy unless you are proactive and plan ahead.

The goal of your plan is to make your organisation more aware of potential pitfalls that can occur, make changes in policies and procedures to reduce the risk of such events happening, and, to have steps in place to help your organisation deal with the aftermath should such an event befall you.

Create a Contact List

Ideally, you plan will include logistics and communications. Designate who your people should contact, both internally and externally, when various types of events occur. Assign point people that can lead others during these events. Decide on who will speak for your organisation, internally and externally.

For example, if something happens that affects the physical safety of others, pre-designate which members of your team will contact the fire department or police for help. Assign leaders that will oversee an evacuation of your facilities should the need arise.

Training and Drills

Does everyone know what they should do if a fire occurs, or, if an armed assailant were to break in? Do your people know how to respond if they are contacted by a member of the press and asked for comments about the work your organisation does or how they feel about a specific event? Train and drill your team on how to respond to potential threats as well as questions from the media.

Talk to the Press, but Do So on Your Own Terms

As part of your strategy, create a process that will increase transparency, while helping your NFP to get your side of the story out to media. Assign someone to gather information and facts about the event. Pre-designate a team that will handle the press and media inquiries. Have someone in place to monitor your social media accounts and to respond appropriately when questions and comments come in about the news. Train your management team so that each is prepared to be a good spokesperson for your organisation. Once you have a handle on what has occurred, and what steps your organisation is taking to remedy the situation, talk to the press, and tell your story on your website, and across your social media accounts. Be proactive and provide regular updates to show that your NFP is actively working on a solution to the crisis and what others can do to help support your NFP and its cause during this time.

Read Full Post »

While your nonprofit should be showing gratitude to your supporters throughout the year, holidays like Christmas are a special time. Get into the spirit of the season by putting some extra thought and effort into the ways you thank others for their donations.

The following tips add a festive touch to the ways you acknowledge others for their contributions to your organisation.

Celebrate Recurring Donors

Reward your donors’ loyalty to your organisation by sending a personalised thank you note that recognises the anniversary of their support. For example, if a supporter has sent you a contribution every year for the past ten years, be sure to thank them for supporting your NFP over the last decade. Talk about the impact that has been made due to their support, and recount some of the progress that your organisation has made during that time.

Remember Their Name, and Use It

Nonprofits collect a lot of demographic information about their supporters. Use this information to make your donors feel appreciated. Always personalise your notes of gratitude by using your donor’s name.

Include handwritten notes inside your Christmas cards and other communications. Continue reaching out through the entire year. For example, if you collect donors’ date of birth, reach out on their birthday with a note or phone call congratulating them and wishing them all the best!

Customised Stocking Stuffers

A number of novelty gift shops and speciality printers make it easy, and budget-friendly, to give customised items like mugs, calendars and more at a reasonable cost. While you could personalise these items with your NFP’s logo and tagline, consider going the extra mile for your VIPs and include your donor’s name on the gift item as well!

Give Sweets and Other Treats

If you have some skilled bakers on your team, recruit them to make smaller versions of holiday cakes and breads that you will wrap and send to supporters. Include a handwritten card or note thanking them for their contributions. If no one has time for cooking, you could also send out some attractive chocolate bars, or other prepackaged, but delicious, holiday candies or cookies. Wrap them up in a festive bow or package them in a holiday-themed tin.

Videos and Highlight Reels

Because of the hard work of your volunteers, staff and donors, your organisation has accomplished a lot this year. Make a video to send to your donors and other supporters that thanks them for their efforts and visually shows the impact created by their work.

Ideally, this video should include several candid snapshots along with short snippets of footage you’ve shot during many of your NFP’s service projects and events. Include parts of testimonials from some of your beneficiaries, board, staff, volunteers and, your donors. Gather together some of the folks connected with your organisation and ask them to hold up signs or letters that spell out the words thank you in the closing moments of your video.

Read Full Post »

If you want to build authentic relationships that lead to increased loyalty and participation, then you need to be present in the same place as your supporters, and, be a part of their conversations. Blogging is an easy way to accomplish this task.

According to statistics provided by blogging.org, there were nearly seven million blogs in 2016. Blogger, one of the most popular blog creation sites, has over 47 million unique visitors to its blogs each month. It’s also been shown that organisations that blog generate 67% more leads, and views, than those who do not have a blog and fail to post regularly.  

This data perfect illustrates exactly why blogging is the perfect platform for nonprofits to engage with others. It’s the one online location where many of your potential supporters already happen to be!

Nonprofits that blog regularly benefit from the following advantages.

Build Trust in Your NFP’s Brand

When you share your knowledge with others through your blog posts, you quickly become a reliable source of information for those that share your values and are interested in the issues your cause is trying to address.

Establishing trust is essential, because, when others view you as trustworthy, they are more likely to become supporters and take action to help. This is true whether that action is jumping on board as a volunteer or advocate, or making a financial contribution that enables you to continue our work.

Once someone makes the conversion from being just another visitor to the site to becoming an actual supporter, they are also more likely to share your posts with others and help spread the message about the issues and the change that you are trying to create.

Keep Your Supporters Updated

What’s the best way to get the word out about important information that supports your nonprofit and its supporters? The answer really does depend on what you are trying to say.

For example, Twitter tweets are a great way to send out a reminder, or a quick alert about an upcoming event. Instagram is an ideal way to illustrate your nonprofit’s impact visually, and Facebook is awesome to share posts that ultimately increase traffic to your site and generate discussions about your latest happenings.

Blogs, by design, are really the best place to post your lengthy content. Create posts that give the details about the progress you are making, or that offers an insider’s view of the work performed by your volunteers and other supporters. It can even be a superb way to increase transparency when you discuss the actions your NFP is taking to create solutions or your success in obtaining funding for specific projects.

Raise Awareness

Blogging will also generate interest in your cause because it’s an organic way to find new supporters. Not only will your website rank higher in search engine results, but, when your blog has been created directly within your NFP’s website, every time someone shares one of your blog posts, they are sending their friends to a direct gateway to your NFP. Once they arrive at your site, it’s then easier to direct them to even more content where they can learn more about your cause and what they need to do to help!

With the exception of time, blogging requires very few resources. However, it can offer great rewards to those who put in the effort to create interesting content that is relevant to your visitors and encourages them to directly interact with your nonprofit!

Read Full Post »

An increasing number of nonprofits have started placing their donation button above the fold on their websites. What this means is that the donate now button is prominently displayed at the top of every page. Items above the fold also remain at the top of the page, no matter how far down you happen to scroll, making it easy for visitors to click to give at any time.

With the growing popularity of this practice, it might seem redundant to include a separate donation page in your site’s navigation. While it might look like a bit of overkill if you have a donate button above the fold, including a donation page on your site is still an important part of fulfilling your visitor’s expectations. It also gives you another opportunity to explain the impact of one-time and reoccurring contributions.

The following are a few best practices to help you design a donation page that encourages visitors to get involved and make a difference.

Keep Your Donation Page Clear and Concise

Avoid the temptation to bombard donors with too much information on your donation form, as this can lead to frustration and make them tempted to click away. Avoid using Flash, or overly large images, that can slow down page loading. Use responsive design to optimise your site for mobile visitors.

Simplify your donation form so that it has only a few fields, and is quick and easy to fill out.

Make your call to action clear. Include descriptions of the impact of giving at different levels. Make certain that it is easy for donors to choose to make a one-time gift, or a regularly reoccurring contribution. Use tools that make it easy for potential donors to contribute at levels that qualify for matching funds.

Emphasise Security to Reassure Potential Donors

Some potential contributors are reluctant to donate online. Reassure them that your site is safe by using PCI compliant processors for all of your payments. Be certain to include their security logos on your donation page.

Use Your Thank You Page to Simplify Your Donation Page

Since you want to make donating as simple and straightforward as possible, some of the information that you might be tempted to include on the donation page is best moved to the thank you page.

Once the donation is complete, your site should take your donor directly to the thank you page, where it’s a good idea to include information on other ways that donors can help your cause, such as volunteering and advocacy.

The thank you page is also a good time to remind donors to stay connected with your nonprofit and keep up-to-date on the latest developments. Include buttons that make it easy for them to sign up for your newsletter and alerts about upcoming events.

Read Full Post »

Lacking in fundraising ideas, especially when you have a lot on your plate is particularly common. But continued stress and anxiety can lead to burnout which makes coming up with fresh ideas on a regular basis problematic.

So, how can you tell you are at risk of burnout?

The smallest things can annoy you

Do you notice you have a short fuse? Is your nonprofit team rubbing you up the wrong way? Then you might well be on the way to suffering from burnout. There are annoyances, and there are annoyances, but if even the smallest of issues is causing a lot of frustration, it is time to take a step back. If not rectified, a serious argument over literally nothing will ensue. Go for a walk, take a nap or even schedule some leave before this little problem generates into a huge one.

You are tired all day every day

If you are feeling tired, all day, every day then you could be facings signs of burnout. Exhaustion is a symptom which can often accompany anxiety, and it can all add up to the fact that you need complete rest and a break from work. Take care of yourself, sleep well, eat healthily and exercise regularly. Caring for yourself or even asking for help will go a long way to aiding your recovery. If exhaustion continues, you may find that one day you can barely get out of bed at all.

Failure to concentrate on the task at hand

When you are overworked and overly emotional, it can negatively affect your concentration in the office. You may find you are more forgetful than usual or you just are unable to focus on the task in front of you. Make sure you take your lunch breaks and stand up and stretch every hour. Movement can help you clear your mind, especially when you have been sitting down for an extended period. Even a 20-minute walk can improve your ability to concentrate.

You are consistently putting in long hours

There are times when you may find that longer hours are necessary and that’s okay. But if you find you are continuously putting in the long hours, then you will soon find yourself overworked and very tired. While you may use up some of your time on the weekend to plan strategies or research donors, doing it often and on a regular basis can take a toll on your overall well-being. Take a break when you can and learn to say no more often. Working overtime will just make you feel more tired and have a negative effect on your productivity in the long-term.

Read Full Post »

If you are not already aware you should have a look at a great service being provided by Google that specifically is focussed on not for profit organisations. This program is Google for nonprofits  and the purpose is to provide a range of resources and products that are either free or at a significantly reduced cost to eligible not for profit organisations.

This applies to a range of Google Apps, free Adwords advertising, storing documents in the cloud, YouTube and Google Analytics; these are just some of the services and products made available.  With YouTube, you can customise your channel and include “Donate Now” buttons or add Call to Action overlays on your videos.  Access to Google Earth Outreach allows you to create maps of your projects or to highlight where your work takes place which can be ideal when promoting your organisation and where it undertakes its activities.

The Google for nonprofits site also has Get Started Guides as well as Video Tutorials so even if you are not too sure what to do or you are a small organisation with limited resources, these should get you going.

Another feature worth looking at are the Case Studies as these highlight how other not for profit organisations have utilised these services to their benefit.  These are great examples of what can be done but they also can give you some fantastic ideas about how you can maximise the range of resources and products on offer.

This is a site worth spending some time going through and you may find that you are already using some of these services and resources but paying for them when you could be able to access them for free or at a reduced price.

Read Full Post »