Clarity a key in nonprofit management

Clarity and transparency are key factors for effective nonprofit management.
Date Published
12/18/2013

Nonprofit management requires skillful leadership and a clear understanding of vision and goals of the organization. At the same time, software for nonprofits can help all members of a philanthropic enterprise more easily coordinate marketing, fundraising, accounting and communications functions for smoother overall operations.

The trouble many organizations face is when information is not shared across all departments, which can lead to poor campaigning and ineffective project development. Regardless of what sector an organization occupies, the role of clarity in management is always of the utmost importance. This can be reflected in employees understanding their roles as indicated by managerial personnel, as well as staff having clear knowledge of a nonprofit’s mission.

How are well are organizations performing?
A recent study conducted by the human resources software provider TINYpulse highlighted many shortcomings in organizational management, with specific attention paid to clarity. Among the 40,000 responses to the “2013 TINYpulse Employee Engagement Survey,” the vast majority identified transparency as the No. 1 factor contributing to employee happiness. Because nonprofit organizations must meet stringent guidelines for maintaining financial transparency with governmental bodies, this idea should already exist in a charity or nonprofit group’s structure.

However, ensuring staff members are engaged requires an effort on the part of management to reach out to every employee to make sure they’re aware of and, more importantly, understand any changes to organizational structures or operations. Forbes went on to explain that creating transparency between different levels and departments within an enterprise is not an expensive task. Accordingly, nonprofit managers should ensure decisions made at the top are communicated throughout the organization, or risk alienating staff members.

Where are the shortcomings?
In the same vein, it’s important for nonprofit groups to clearly outline their missions both internally and externally. The study indicated just 42 percent of employees could identify “their organization’s vision, mission or values.” As much as donors need to understand this information, employees must also be cognizant of these crucial details. If not, they’ll likely be disenfranchised in their working environment or not be able to perform their duties. Beyond simply writing down the mission statement online, managers should clearly explain to employees this information so they are more engaged.

Meanwhile, 82 percent of employees indicated their managers accurately explained their roles and duties, which is a positive sign. Any nonprofit group should have the personnel in place to effectively delineate the expectations of every employee. While workers should also take the initiative to understand what’s expected of them, there are bound to be areas of confusion or developing attributes to a job role that managers need to explain.

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