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The timing couldn’t be better to highlight five (5) recommendations for Nonprofits to adopt as New Year’s resolutions moving into 2020. These recommendations are deriving from five (5) significant trends that are reshaping the sector and will force Nonprofit organizations to either adapt and transform or be left behind.
1. The need to increase compensation for Staff will no longer be optional. There is a shift in perspective with funding sources towards a realization that operational costs are a necessary and appropriate funding request. Considering this shift, Nonprofits need to adapt their financial budgeting and planning to include projections for compensation needs aligned with marketplace comparisons by job description and include those in funding requests under the umbrella of operational investments. Great talent will not stay in the sector in such a tight labor market unless it’s compensated appropriately.
2. Nonprofit Networking Platforms will proliferate and participating in the world of Social Media is no longer optional. The thirst for continual learning, communication and development is growing by leaps and bounds. Yet, most organizations (especially medium to small in size of budget, which still comprise more than 40% of all Nonprofits) are still relying on their own understanding to sustain and grow the organization. They will not survive in the long-term and the long-term becomes shorter every day.
3. Data Collection and Tracking is no longer optional. The most important component Nonprofit leadership requires to make timely decisions is timely and accurate data. More and more funders are requiring data in terms of articulating outcomes because they’re becoming more requiring in terms of the return on their investment in the mission of a Nonprofit. To collect and track data, the sector needs the necessary software, which is expensive and needs to be articulated under Operational Investments.
4. Private Sector interaction is no longer optional. The need to expand diverse revenue sources will not abate. The sector can ill afford a lack of aggressiveness on the part of Executive Directors and Staff, or on the unwillingness of Board Members to engage with and provide access to as many stakeholders in the community as possible.
5. Having an Adaptability Plan in place in no longer optional. An organizational plan today is strategic in terms of how the Nonprofit is going to do what in order to accomplish objectives. However, the plan must be adaptive in terms of how fast the organization can pivot in response to changes in the environment. The most recent survey data of US Nonprofits by Development Systems International and Cornell University illustrates that The days of being reactive vs proactive are over. Organizations unable to submit an Adaptability Plan on call because they have none in place will see the money dry up just that quickly.
Well, there you have it. It’s certainly not an all-inclusive set of suggested resolutions, but those I feel are the most significant.
Organizations willing to spring into 2020 with an eye to adapting accordingly will thrive. Those unwilling to do so, will continue to struggle. We’re living in a time of unlimited potential and opportunity and my wish for the new year is that we all thrive.
Happy New Year!
Maxie Carpenter Shares, “Top 5 Resolutions for Nonprofits” was written by Maxie Carpenter a consultant with Development Systems International, author and speaker, focused upon Organizational Development and Leadership Character & Behavior. Maxie was formerly with Wal-Mart for 27 years, beginning in 1973 as a stock person and eventually attaining the positions of Assistant Manager, Store Manager, District Manager, Operations Coordinator for Walmart US, Director of HR & Talent Development for Walmart US, and retiring in 2000 as Vice President of HR & Talent Development for Walmart US. He’s pursued several interests, providing an expansive experiential perspective to individuals and organizations across the country in the academic, nonprofit, corporate and small business communities. His focus has been on Organizational Structure and Function with an emphasis on Culture & Ethics and Senior Management Development in the area of Character and Behavior Assessment. Maxie’s taught as an Adjunct Professor in the Don Soderquist School of Business at John Brown University, and in the Sam Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. He was most recently Director of Operations for the Samaritan Community Center, the largest feeding nonprofit in the State, leaving this past December to focus on Nonprofit Consulting and Leadership Character & Behavior. His mentor, Sam Walton, with whom he directly and indirectly interacted over the course of his career, heavily influenced Maxie’s perspective with the core of Authentic Leadership. Maxie’s authored several publications, including Managing Difficult People in the Workplace: A Practical Guide to Confronting Difficult People and I Didn’t Ask You to Dance! I Asked You to Talk: A common sense, humorous and at times, spiritual approach to communication in a world obsessed with political Correctness! Maxie Carpenter is a self-described servant leader, who believes that people put you where they want you based upon how you treat them. Maxie Carpenter is the only professional in the state Certified as a Facilitator, Coach & Consultant to administer the Merit Profile™. This assessment measures an individual’s character attitudes, beliefs and commitments over ten primary leadership principles in order to recognize opportunities for improving personal leadership effectiveness. The Merit Profile also greatly improves the predictability of an organization’s human capital decisions regarding culture, talent acquisition, employee development and employee retention initiatives. Maxie is also a proud member of National Association of Nonprofit Organizations & Executives.
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