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.
These questions included the following:
- Many interviewees do not show up for interviews—thoughts on improving responses?
- What type of non-monetary incentives should you offer employees to keep them?
- Is being mission-focused the most important prerequisite when talking to a candidate?
- Any thoughts on executive transition?
- Would you recommend periodic “stay” interviews to keep a temperature of employee feelings?
All of us should realize, with an unemployment rate of 3.6 percent, to value every employee in your organization. Sadly, many directors’ tenures are three years or less. That means, if possible, keep a list of potential replacement candidates in your files should openings occur, which will happen. Think about the importance of recruiting and retention in your shop.
Finally, take complete advantage of educational and timely webinars sponsored by NonProfit PRO. These are free and relevant to your job. If you take away one new idea from each webinar, your time was well spent. Have you taken advantage of free NonProfit PRO webinars? If not, plan to sign up for the next one!
Even as a presenter in our recent webinar, I learned something new. I will continue to share both theory and practice with you through my weekly NonProfit PRO blog posts. I hope you enjoy them.
Duke Haddad, Ed.D., CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis. He also serves as president of Duke Haddad and Associates LLC and is a freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO since 2008.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration plus a dissertation on donor characteristics. He received a master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis on public administration plus a thesis on annual fund analysis. He secured a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) with an emphasis on marketing/management. He has done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
Duke has received the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indiana Chapter. He also was given the Outstanding West Virginian Award, Kentucky Colonel Award and Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the governors of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, respectively, for his many career contributions in the field of philanthropy. He has maintained a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation for three decades.