Within nonprofits there is always someone who is known as the “sane one” and another known as the “insane one.”
It is often the CEO who is seen as the source of “organizational insanity.” These leaders are constantly keeping multiple balls in the air, juggling as fast as they can. Their charge is to keep the organization alive, relevant, connected, financially solvent, and the list goes on and on!!!
That is a lot to manage!!! And it can be crazy making, both for the leader and all members of the organization. But it doesn’t have to be. Here’s our suggestion: make sure your nonprofit has an administrator to run the shop. This person can become the “sanity” in the organization. He or she is the balance to the CEO, and helps the CEO do what he or she needs to do.
This person goes by many names: chief operating officer, chief of staff, business manager, administrative manager. It doesn’t matter the person’s title: it matters what he or she is responsible for.
While the CEO is out in the field working his or her magic, there has to be someone back at the office whose job it is to make sure that the organization stays centered and focused. And many times that the CEO stays centered and organized! Listed below are some of the things that this person should be charged with. Yes, some may appear similar to others in the list, but each is distinctly different if you read closely.
- Understanding the organization’s budget and ensuring the organization stays within it
- Ensuring all personnel stay focused and understand their roles and responsibilities
- Helping staff, board members and volunteers to stay with the agreed-upon game plan
- Keeping people focused, on task, and not taking on new projects or outside offers until they are agreed upon and evaluated against all other activities
- Focusing the organization on its strategic plan and ensuring activities fall within the plan
- Keeping the organization transparent and accountable to those being served and those who provide funding
- Working with staff to ensure record keeping and reporting is up to par, meeting both internal and external standards
- Working with all members of the organization to ensure that what has been promised is delivered
- Creating a culture that encourages all parties involved to stay true to the organization’s mission, vision, goals and fundraising priorities
- Building and sustaining buy-in for the organization and its work, both internally and externally
- Helping the organization develop capacity and infrastructure so it can grow or right size
- Ensuring staff and volunteers record their time against projects for tracking of expenses
- Being confident and comfortable enough to “speak truth to power.” Someone has to say those things that everyone knows but no one will admit.
Who is that person in your organization who can do this, and do it well? You need this person – you know it!
Copyright 2019 – Mel and Pearl Shaw
When you are ready to build a fund development program, grow your fundraising, or increase board engagement we are here to help. (901) 522-8727. www.saadandshaw.com.