Lots of the not-for-profit organisations I have been talking to lately are feeling a bit dejected as a result of not being able to do much of their normal activity during the pandemic.
As vaccination rates rise and hopes increase that the year ahead will be better than the year past, now is the perfect time to get your organisation ready for some sort of return to normal business in the months ahead.
As a way to support organisations to do this I have put together this simple little framework to guide you through a quick review of 5 key areas within your organisation, which when completed will leave your not-for-profit in a better position to thrive in the coming 12 months.
Point One – Rules and Purpose
When was the last time you reviewed your Rules (or Constitution)? Many organisations, when I first start to work with them, haven’t even looked at this primary guiding document in years! It is important to review it every few years – legislation changes, the way your organisation does things changes, even your overall Purpose may have changed…and these things need to be reflected in your Rules.
Point Two – Strategic Planning and Financial Sustainability
Do you have a documented strategy that is driving your organisation forward to deliver on its Purpose? Many organisations will say they have a Strategic Plan, but when you scratch under the surface it isn’t really driving the organisation forward (it can’t do that if it sits on a shelf and never sees the light of day!) You need a plan that is current, that is being properly implemented, and which is being regularly monitored and reviewed, if it is going to propel your organisation into its desired future. Ensuring the Financial Sustainability of your organisation is a big part of Good Governance, so make sure you capture that in your thinking and in the development of your Strategic Plan too – your Budget should reflect the priorities in your Strategic Plan.
Point Three – Risk Management
Having an appropriate Risk Management system in place is critical to any organisation. All too often I see organisations with little or nothing in place in this area and that in itself is a huge risk! It doesn’t have to be complex, but you need to have an ongoing cycle of identifying, assessing, and controlling your organisation’s risks.
Point Four – People and Culture
Our people are our biggest asset – whether they be staff, volunteers, board members, clients, or some other group of stakeholders…without them the wheels of our organisation just would not turn! So it is critical that we look after them (as we would any other asset!) Organisational Culture has a significant impact on our people so we need to make sure that it is positive and supports a healthy work environment too.
Point Five – Succession Planning
This is an area I see many organisations overlooking…at their peril! Succession Planning for Board Members needs to start many months before your actual elections for positions. And don’t forget Succession Planning for key staff within your organisation too.
If you think about the 5 points I have highlighted above, and consider how you might be able to work on each of these within your organisation, you will be well on the way to a great start when we slowly begin to return to some sort of normality in the months ahead!
And if you want some support to get started, until the end of October, I am offering a free 45-minute Governance SOS call to help you begin to work through these 5 areas. Email me to book in your appointment.