Structuring Staff for Online Success
Nonprofit organizations are resource constrained, as we all well know. According to a 15-question survey Convio conducted between September 2008 and October 2008 of 60 nonprofits, the most common response regarding their organization's top barrier to success was insufficient staff.
In the Convio webinar "Why Structure Matters: Organizing Your Staff for Online Success" in late June, Brian Hauf, vice president of client success services for Convio, and Mondy Lamb, marketing director for SPCA of Wake County, discussed the need for organizational structure within an organization, the downsides of not having a plan and the impact of structure on performance.
Other barriers to online success noted by those surveyed were lack of coordination, lack of education of online marketing, database issues, integration of different Web tools/technologies and intradepartmental issues. The survey also found that nearly 70 percent of the organizations questioned have three or fewer employees dedicated to online-related programs.
Structure is important to online success, as it influences:
- which department is responsible for making decisions about your organization's online strategy, Web site content and online objectives;
- whether you have an online plan, and how often you revisit it;
- how effective your organization is at handling the challenges it will face communicating, planning and making decisions;
- how well your organization sets goals for its online initiatives, and whether you hold your staff accountable for reaching them;
- how you hire, train, share knowledge with and provide career paths for your interactive team; and
- your speed and agility.
Hauf gave an overview of the three most common organizational structures:
- centralized, where everyone who works on online programs is consolidated into a single department;
- decentralized, where everyone who works on online programs is spread across different departments; and
- hybrid, where those who work on online programs are mostly consolidated into a single department, but there are also others outside the department.
Not having a plan is planning to fail, Hauf said.