How to streamline process management at your non-profit organization
Non-profits are working hard to make a difference in their communities or even globally, so dealing with the mundane paperwork, administrative tasks, and process management seems like something that shouldn’t be at the top of their priority list. However, the lack of established process management can hurt their productivity, business flow, and ultimately donations, thus making it difficult to fight for their agenda and turning the world into a better place. So, if you want your non-profit to fulfil its purpose and successfully accomplish your mission, it’s of vital importance to streamline process management and get it running like clockwork.
Effective time management
Time is money, and your non-profit needs to have a steady stream of funding for the causes you support. The problem lies in the fact that time wasters sneak up on you and kill your productivity. Nowadays, with all kinds of tools and apps available, it’s much easier to track your time and identify time management mistakes you and your employees make. The point is to be efficient, that is to optimize your schedule to work less and achieve more. A time-tracking tool which will help you pinpoint time-consuming activities and allow you to redelegate or break them down can significantly boost your productivity.
Cash flow management
Although the purpose of a non-profit isn’t to line its founder’s pockets, obtaining funding and finding different revenue sources can be a make-it-or-break-it factor for its success. Cash flow management is particularly tricky, especially if we bear in mind that a shocking 82% of SMBs go under because of poor cash flow management. Accounts receivable, in particular, can significantly hinder the growth of your non-profit which is why it’s a good idea to hire a seasoned accountant who specializes in the field and who is capable of dealing with different challenges inherent to nonprofit accounting.
Modern technologies can be extremely useful for streamlining different business processes. For example, automating prospect list management can help you and your employees communicate more efficiently with your donors and volunteers. A marketing automation platform will easily streamline your email correspondence and keep your prospects posted about all the important events you organize. Just like in any other business, establishing regular prospect touchpoints is essential for engaging your donors and building trust and loyalty. Various social media channels can also help you connect with potential donors and boost the awareness and recognition of your non-profit. There are tools for scheduling social media posts in advance and automating your efforts, so make sure to start using them.
Know your priorities
Your schedule is most certainly pretty hectic, but if you want to be productive in the long term, you need to analyze your workload and identify what’s important and what’s not. This can be challenging since at first sight, everything you do seems to have the same level of importance and urgency. What complicates things additionally is the fact that you have to complete a great deal of these tasks personally as it’s not possible to delegate them. One way out of this tight spot is by organizing your tasks into four categories – important, urgent, not important, and not urgent. This will give you an insight into what has to be done immediately, and what can be postponed.
Bottlenecks can obstruct your workflow and heavily affect the success of your non-profit. They usually occur due to the lack of resources, information, and skills necessary for completing certain tasks. The first step is identifying the points in your business chain where blockages and barriers commonly appear. This will allow you to create a strategy to keep bottlenecks at bay. Make sure that your employees regularly attend training programs, conferences, and other events which will enable their professional development. Another important step is providing them with all the materials, information, and tools required to perform their job properly.
Forget about multitasking
Contrary to popular belief, multitasking is actually a myth. Research studies have shown that the human brain can process only one thing at a time. So, basically, when you’re trying to juggle your tasks and perform more than one simultaneously, you’re only making yourself tired and unproductive. It’ much better and more efficient to make a list of the tasks that you need to complete over a period of time and focus on them one by one. Psychologically speaking, ticking off a task on your to-do list will increase your motivation, as setting small goals and successfully completing them will fill you with a sense of accomplishment and encourage you to move on to bigger, and more demanding tasks. Similarly, having your to-do list is constantly full of tasks waiting to be completed can render you helpless and useless.
No matter how simple they are, these tips can tremendously improve your process management and help your non-profit grow.