Convio Unveils Study Results On How Nonprofits Structure and Staff for Online Success
Key findings of the study include:
Truism – no matter the size of the organization there are never enough resources – According to the survey, no matter the size of the organization, the most common response to what their organization’s top barrier to success was insufficient staff. In fact, 90 percent of organizations cited insufficient staff, budget constraints (64 percent), and lack of online expertise (29 percent), both of which are also resource constraints. According to the study organizations with less than $20 million in annual revenue have between one and three staff members dedicated to online programs. The largest organizations, those with more than $100 million in annual revenue, averaged seven full-time staff working on online initiatives each week.
Organizational structure matters – The structure of an organization, or how the staff and other resources are aligned, determines which department(s), are responsible for making decisions about the organization’s online strategy, website content, and online objectives and impacts success. According to the survey results, 20 percent of nonprofit organizations currently are organized in a Centralized model. Nearly double that, or 39 percent are organized in a Decentralized model, and 41 percent have a Hybrid of the two. To understand the impact structure has on organizational performance, the study looked at each structure from a planning and goal setting, internal communication, decision making, and accountability standpoint. The centralized model proved to be most successful, followed by a hybrid structure.
Planning is imperative – According to the survey, 26 percent of nonprofits do not have any sort of Internet marketing plan for their organization. Including those that do not know if they have a plan or who only review their plan once every few years, the number increases to 44 percent. Centralized groups have the best planning record with 100 percent of the respondents having a plan, and reviewing it frequently. Conversely, less than half of Decentralized groups have a plan and review it frequently. Taking the time to develop an online plan that includes goal setting and clearly defines ownership and accountability for each metric will help create success.