In any team, constant assessment and improvements are keys to success. In nonprofit organizations, this is especially true given that everyone on board should be oriented towards supporting the advocacy. One of the points raised in the GrantSpace blog post, “Steps to Improving Your Team’s Performance,” was to train, review, and evaluate past performance. This is but one strategy for bettering your team.
See below for more tips for growing and strengthening your team.
Encourage lifelong learning
Everyone on your team should be aware that there’s always an opportunity to gain more knowledge and therefore be thirsty to learn. Being a lifelong learner is an important trait to have when working for a nonprofit. David Griffith, the Executive Director and Head Coach at Episcopal Community Services Philadelphia told Inc. about the value of having a sufficient educational background. He has mentioned the usefulness of having a Masters in Social Work, but if this is unattainable, there are other short courses or webinars you and your team can learn from. Check out GrantSpace for trainings, which includes free webinars and on-demand offerings, that teams can do together this April to see them through the months ahead. You should also supply your team members with other resources, e-learning platforms, and even webinars to encourage them to expand their horizons.
Network any way you can
Since fundraising is an essential aspect of nonprofits, it’s important for your team to network, and Coworking spaces were designed to do just that. Aside from offering your team a productive space to work and meet with one another, coworking spaces are also a great place to meet new people as they are often situated in city centers. For example, the Industrious Kansas City venue, which is in a prime location in the Country Club Plaza with lots of common areas where members can interact with people from all kinds of industries. They also offer a nationwide network for members to stay connected and engaged if they do make any business contacts. This is definitely something you should look into for your own team, as you never know which investors or potential hires you can meet along the way in a coworking community.
Make team bonding a priority
Anthony Shriver, who is the CEO and Founder of the renowned nonprofit, Best Buddies International, based in Miami revealed that one of his leadership secrets is having team building activities. His nonprofit schedules an annual organization-wide retreat. It’s filled with activities, inspirational guest speakers, and seminars to educate their employees. However, a once a year activity is definitely not enough. As much as you can, set up team lunches and monthly activities like fitness or art classes. It’s also important that you celebrate your victories as a team with a year-end activity. Your team members should feel valued and rewarded for the work that they do. These events give everyone an opportunity to regroup, recollect themselves, and get to know each other outside of work. It could even lead to better teamwork and communication. If you are now mostly working remotely, check in with your team as much as you can, and set up virtual video conferences for people to stay connected and reminded of the human aspect behind the work.
Your team is responsible for driving your cause forward. Cultivating and caring for your own people is one of the best things you can possibly do to give your organization a strong backbone and foundation.
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