Phelps A-Z: Model 2
Every non-profit needs basic operational protocols in place to ensure it can run efficiently and effectively
Human resources, implementing good governance practices and practicing good financial health are at the forefront of these efforts and outlined in our Operational model.
How to streamline operations for your community non-profit
Running a successful community non-profit takes more than a great cause and programming to share it. You can have the best of intentions, but without key organizational and administrative measures in place, your vision is unlikely to materialize.
Every non-profit needs some basic operational protocols in place to ensure it can run efficiently and effectively. At the forefront of these are proper human resources, governance and financial health.
Nuture human resources
Sourcing experienced personnel is a perennial challenge for community non-profits—especially for those operating in rural areas. You’re often in competition with for-profit organizations offering higher wages and more benefits. Of course, finding like-minded individuals passionate about your organization’s cause isn’t completely impossible. However, there are some steps non-profits can take to increase the attractiveness of their employment opportunities.
Phelps Helps, for example, addresses human resources obstacles by offering staff autonomy, flexibility and opportunities for professional development. The organization also encourages adaptability amongst team members by encouraging them to increase their familiarity with different roles and functions as a means of building bench strength.
Implement good governance practices
A proper administrative structure, chain of command and governance model transforms community initiatives into organized, lasting movements. Examples of activities that exemplify good governance strategies include electing a Board of Directors and maintaining an experienced Executive Director (ED) on staff.
Good governance is especially important for transparency and accountability. A non-profit’s Board of Directors typically reviews the organization’s financial statements on a regular basis and signs off on major financial decisions. A Board can also form sub-committees to further serve the organization according to their unique strengths and experience.
Practice good financial health
Commonly reliant on fundraising and donations for revenue generation, non-profit organizations understandably need to be strategic with their spending and resource allocation. A proper, well-planned budget is potentially one of the greatest assets for keeping your non-profit’s operations streamlined.
Phelps Helps’ ED is responsible for drafting the organization’s budget and presenting it to the Board of Directors on an annual basis, including relevant forecasting for expenses or growth projections. Alongside the ED, the Board helps monitor the budget throughout the fiscal year, keeping an eye out for savings opportunities as well as areas of need. Furthermore, Phelps also liaises with a third-party accountant experienced in non-profit finance to ensure the efficacy and accuracy of the organization’s financial records.
Learn more ways to improve your community non-profit
Further to streamlined operations, all community non-profits could benefit from taking the time to strengthen their organization from within. Download our Phelps A to Z Handbook for more useful best practices for volunteer recruitment and retention, communications, fundraising and more.