The Nonprofit Sector’s Most Pressing Issues: The C-Level Exec’s Point of View, Part 2
- Consistent education — how you make decisions, document them, fix them.
- Keep testing and analyzing — it’s the only way you learn and improve.
- Send what you learn to everyone to explain why you do what you do.
Another audience member chimed in: “When you put it all in the same sandbox, the house divides among itself — one donor does four different things, and people argue over that donor and who spurred that gift. How do we deal with it?”
“It’s really a management issue,” McGregor said. “If the staff thinks that is the environment, then that happens. The environment has to change. Evaluate the whole program, not X amount of dollars a fundraiser brings in. Don’t hold hard on those numbers for evaluating each person’s value.”
Harrison said it’s the classic silo management mentality. “Things change. Monitor all things and react,” he said. “Don’t protect the budget; protect the organization. You have to have a team willing to do that.”
“Look at donor values; don’t look at one wheel only,” Tandon added. “Take a product view, a donor view, and then combine that with a hierarchy view.”
“How do we invest in the future, in research and development if you will, the way corporate America has R&D departments?” an audience member asked.
Tandon said that he goes to the board and tells it he needs venture capital money to put aside for new ventures in the best of times and the worst of times … and emphasizes that the board doesn’t hold him accountable for that money in the budget. It is strictly to invest in the future and to try new things so the organization can survive down the road.
“Hold me accountable on all the rest of the budget, but treat this separately,” he said. “Set up separate teams to work on future goals and new ventures. Let the mainstream team do what they do day in and day out, and let this future ventures team focus on research and development. Mange it differently.”