Planning: Strategy & Workforce

This year, give the gift of capacity to not-for-profit organizations.

I’m suggesting that we start asking for a different kind of support. Let’s ask our donors for the gift of capacity. What exactly is capacity? It is impact. It is resilience. It is sustainability. It is taking the time to invest in professional development for the people in our organizations.

 

When I was hired as the Executive Director for CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association) Vancouver-Burnaby, I was charged with accomplishing a few key priorities, including working better with other local CMHA branches.

Formal collaboration had been discussed but was mostly stuck in the research and contemplation phase. An opportunity to bring the three local branches together presented itself through a growing fundraising event called Ride Don’t Hide. I used the event as a way to demonstrate that the local Branches could work together more closely. The Executive Directors had to meet...

Strategic planning is an important for your not-for-profit organization. Get the tips and tools to make your process a success!

Taking the time to update or develop your organization’s strategic plan can often feel daunting. There are, however, numerous benefits to having a current and clear strategic plan for your organization. Whether you do a quick refresh session or undertake a comprehensive review – here are some of the benefits we hear from organization’s that take the time to develop or renew their plan.

Not-for-profit organizations provide essential services in very complex environments and therefore require high performing staff and boards to achieve meaningful and measurable results. We need a range of core competencies to improve organizational performance – strong leaders with a strategic outlook; boards that govern wisely; and staff that are motivated and encouraged to make a career in the sector.

Recruiting fundraising champions to help your not-for-profit organization find funding and build relationships with funders.

In fundraising, as in life, I have learned that different paths may often lead to unexpected and rewarding results. I once met a couple who got lost and ended up on a remote road leading to the college campus where I worked. This began a journey that lead to a multi-year major gift from their family foundation. I was very glad they took that path!

Sitting at the breakfast table with my four year old, and she starts asking me about where we're going that day.

It's a Saturday, and my wife and I have a slate of fun outings planned with both of our kids; a trip to the playground, a stopover at the library while one of us shops, and then dinner with the grandparents (whom she loves to visit). However, at the moment, I'm preoccupied frantically trying to chop up some cheese slices for our 1 year old before she throws a tantrum. So I answer my four year old with a curt: "we're going out today."{C}

Well, that's not good enough. She gets...

 

For the last couple of years we’ve really pushed hard to keep our mission at the fore. It’s our lighthouse, our beacon. It keeps our entire team (both paid-with-money & paid-in-other-ways) on course and shining a bright light on the road ahead.  Our visitors hear our mission statement often, and see it as soon as they walk in our doors: we inspire and build leadership in the voluntary sector. 

All paid staff, board members, most of our knowledge philanthropists and many of our customers can recite it verbatim. Some of our customers tell us they can do so even when they can’t recite the...

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