Hey there..... so we are moving into part 2 of a 3 part blog series about the 12 Pillars Of Nonprofit Success. If you didn't already read part one "The Formation Phase" you can read it here.
For those of you who are ready to move forward, well here we go. We pick up today with The Building Phase. This is when you are putting the framework of your operations together. Although you are in the middle of your process, this phase trips people up as well because it is the most tedious of the three phases. But it is also the heart and soul of your organization. Getting these Pillars in place correctly from the jump, will ensure that you have much smoother sailing going into the Enhancement Phase.....trust me. So, with that said let's begin.
PILLAR 5: ACCOUNTING PRACTICE AND PROCESS
Oh, the wonders of Nonprofits accounting!I can't completely say that this is the MOST important aspect of your nonprofit organization.....but it is the MOST important aspect of your nonprofit. We know that the people we serve come first and foremost, however, if the accounting is not done properly, it will stagnate your growth and cause you bid headaches. Soooo my advice is to always seek out the correct software. There are many on the market that are available, however, all are not made equal. Those that are commercially made for business, require workarounds and processes that in the end, still may not yield you the correct reports that you need. Be cautious, be mindful and when in doubt, hire an expert. Make sure they are also vetted in the nonprofit accounting field as it is vastly unique to general business accounting. The main thing is that you want everything to be as clear as possible. There is a saying in the nonprofit world ...."Numbers don't lie...they hide". More details about setting up an accounting system are offered in our free Nonprofit Checklist here.
PILLAR 6: BRAND DEVELOPMENT "THE FRONT OFFICE"
You always remember how someone made you feel! If they made you feel suspicious, uncomfortable, happy or special, you always remember.
Having the proper Brand positioning for your nonprofit organization is what I like to call "The Front Office". Have you ever been to a luxury car dealer and the receptionist greets you, shows you to your special lounge with snacks awaiting and always wears a smile? That is a direct reflection of their brand. It says we CARE for you and we will TAKE CARE of you.
The same is true for your vision. If you don't present it as being appealing, then people will not only bypass the opportunity to donate but volunteer or speak your praises as well. I get it, everyone thinks it is expensive to brand your company, but it all depends on the way you look at it. Even if you can only afford modest print collateral, you can afford to be professional, smile, present and actually know your Vision! (If you don't know what you are doing, neither will anyone else). Take stock and pride in who you say you are, and people will support you to build a brand that feels worth a million. I guarantee it.
PILLAR 7: ONLINE MEDIA AND MARKETING
Are you a part of the online community? I know you're thinking that must be a dumb question as you are currently reading this "online". Well, seeing some information online and having an account, does not make you part of the online community. It makes you a follower of the pages of many others who are a part of the online community.
Here are some tips:
1. Start a social media presence on more than one platform-(different audiences read and relate differently so you need to meet them where they are)
2. Stay current and post regularly on the accomplishments of your organization. Not just from your personal profile but from your Nonprofit's page so people become familiar with who you are and what you do as it relates to your Philanthropic Endeavors.
3. Always, always, always let people know that they can find you on social media platforms. Building an audience that can follow you and actually see what you do (because you will continue to post amazing pictures-often) will build a strong community of support, and you never know when someone wants to reach out to you and possibly donate something valuable to your organization.
P.S. Remember yesterday be talked about your "Front Office"? Social media would be an excellent place to show it off.
PILLAR 8: HUMAN RESOURCES
The people who choose to spend their lives doing good for others are just amazing. They are the backbone of any good organization. They are the walking marketing build board for how awesome you are. They are the hands that hold the ones in need of support. They are the ones who do the work even as volunteers looking for nothing in return. They are.............your heartbeat. Building a team is very fundamental to the growth of your nonprofit. You can dream up and plan all the work, but can not do it all by yourself. Such special people require special treatment! In walks, the chronicles of Human Capital or better know to most, Human Resources! The ability to deal with the people who you will give a directive to, pay, support and at some times give disciplinary action to are all your human capital. They hold value. Here are the things you need to know in valuing them and being in compliance:
1. Know employee vs. contractor
2. Know your obligations to volunteers
3. Give them benefits (you can be creative)
4. You will need to provide insurances
5. Have human resource manuals
6. Set up tax profiles and fillings
7. Set policies and procedures
8. But most of all......don't forget to recognize them. Who will be on your team?
Next week join us for the final post of this three-part series. The Enhancement Stage where we cover the final 4 of 12 Pillars To Nonprofit Success.
Until then, Be Visionary!
TMF-The Fundable Church Advocates
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