Webinars Are a Great Educational Resource
How many of you enjoy learning, especially if it is free? In this day and age, you have a great deal of opportunities for free learning, including webinars. My question to you is: Do you take advantage of these opportunities?
One reason why I enjoy my association with NonProfit PRO is the fact that many talented professionals desire to promote our profession through theory, practice and presentation of information. I encourage you to engage in a webinar either as a presenter or participant soon.
I was honored to work recently with Pete Kimbis, independent nonprofit consultant from Maryland, and Nhu Te, Editor-in-Chief/Content Director for NonProfit PRO in Pennsylvania, in presenting a webinar titled, “Creating a Sustainable Future for Your Nonprofit through Your Employees.” This webinar was sponsored by GuideOne Insurance.
We spent a great deal of time doing research, creating presentations and rehearsing for the webinar. While presenting is fun, it takes a great deal of work to get the right flow. Pete and I had contrasting styles that made, what I hope, for an interesting conversation-type presentation. Real information was shared for listeners to utilize, plus potential new ideas to try out.
In this webinar, we tried to address the simple fact that many nonprofits are struggling with a high-staff turnover rate. Nonprofits fail to realize that at times their staff is their organization’s biggest asset. The group of us also realize we may not have the resources to recruit well and have retention programs in place to keep employees.
Five key takeaways from me regarding recruitment were:
- A key job opening can be painful and costly.
- Most nonprofits do not have a plan for recruitment or budget for recruitment.
- You need to make recruiting employees a full-time focus.
- Do not leave any rock unturned, as you want to obtain the best talent available and affordable.
- Start by giving in-house candidates a first chance at open positions.
Five key takeaways from Pete regarding retention were:
- Focus on vacancies and unexpected departures as opportunities to evaluate your organizational culture in an inclusive way.
- Let individuals know on a regular basis, regardless of their position, the quantifiable impact they are making toward your organization’s mission. They want to know! That’s why they are working for your organization.
- It is always essential, and even more so in this sector, to treat people as an end in themselves and not a means to an end.
- Continual, immediate, incremental organizational improvement creates space for everyone to have a voice. It helps retain and attract valuable mission-driven individuals.
- Let your colleagues know you understand that your organization is not their final destination and that you will assist them growing into their next position. This, if done properly without expectations for life service, can ease fear and create space for trust.
We asked the audience for questions regarding this topic.
Duke has extensive experience as a nonprofit practitioner, author, lecturer and consultant. He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the last 11 years. He has been a long-standing member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals where he was previously named the AFP Indiana Chapter Fundraising Executive of the Year and has held the CFRE designation for many years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in education administration, master's degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also completed post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
He is currently executive director of development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. Contact Duke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-224-1029.