Nonprofit organizations are managed very much like regular businesses; however, since nonprofits do not have shareholders or owners, additional practices need to be implemented for them to be successful. Here are some tips for making that happen:
Have a Clear and Concise Vision and Mission Statement
Concise and meaningful vision and mission statements are something every organization should have. Both statements clarify and communicate the purpose of your nonprofit to the outside world. Communicating the vision and mission statements well is a matter of survival of the fittest; only the strongest will survive.
A strong vision statement communicates the community’s desired hopes for the future. It expresses the beliefs and governing principles of your nonprofit. Even if your organization changes its strategy, the vision statement should remain the same.
A strong mission statement defines your nonprofit’s primary purpose and goals. It communicates what your organization does and why it does that in a simple manner. A powerful mission statement will encourage people to get involved with your organization.
One of the biggest stressors facing any nonprofit is establishing a strong, reliable board of directors to oversee the organization. The board of directors is the most valuable asset to your nonprofit; they are the governing body of the organization. Your board should provide guidance and direction for your nonprofit, as well as financial and legal assistance. All board members should manage and help establish a healthy, strong environment for all involved in the organization.
Keep Record of Important Documents
Since nonprofits often rely on money given by others to support their mission, it’s extremely important for organizations to keep records on file to hold them accountable. Filling out financial paperwork such as the IRS Form 990 ensures that your nonprofit will maintain its tax-exempt status. Keeping important documents on file and up-to-date will help protect your personal liability and the legal status of your organization.
Develop a Fundraising Strategy
Asking for money can be challenging, but without the proper funds your nonprofit ceases to exist. Developing and maintaining a fundraising strategy is crucial for the survival and success of your nonprofit. Your organization’s fundraising plan should be evaluated and revised throughout the year to ensure that goals are being met. Establishing a strong fundraising plan can help determine the future success of your nonprofit organization.
Publicity, Publicity, Publicity
Public relations is about building relationships with the public. For many nonprofit organizations, public relations is put on the back-burner because resources and time are scarce. For these reasons, nonprofits, more than any other organization, need to be able to communicate with community members and stakeholders to establish positive press and encourage support and involvement. It is also important to communicate your nonprofit through branding, marketing and being present online. Utilizing public relations is a valuable resource for the success of your nonprofit. With a communications plan in action, your organization will be able to attract key audiences in a reputable manner that will inspire them to act.