This checklist can help nonprofits become clearer about what organizational issues need attention. Issues to review on a regular basis include:
Planning – Is the organization working from a strategic plan and tracking progress?
Programs and Services – An organization needs to be able to show that programs and services have been offered based on community need and consumer feedback. Programs need to demonstrate effective outcomes, and use of effective practices.
Board – Is the board focused on governance: policy, fiscal oversight and fund raising. The board should not be involved with day-to-day management, and should be very strongly engaged in fund raising with donors and special events.
Staff – Having a staff considered to be experts in their fields makes a huge difference in organizational effectiveness. Low staff turnover and high staff engagement in planning and feedback are important.
Volunteers – Many agencies can recruit student interns, Americorps/Vista volunteers, and community volunteers.
Finance – Organizations need to do financial planning that is responsive to the current economic challenges. Budgets should reflect anticipated cuts from contracts and grants. Directors and the Finance Committee should review income and expenses on a regular basis and recommend changes as needed. The organization should develop a system for decrease in donor contributions and decrease grant funding.
Fund Raising – The organization should analyze where there might be new opportunities for institutional giving (foundation grants, government contracts, civic or faith community gifts). However, the place where many organizations will find the greatest potential will be with increasing donor income, especially income from major donors. Donors provide about 85% of all giving in the U.S., according to Giving USA, which means, they are an important source. Moreover, many donors will probably find that their finances are improving during 2011, and will engage in more charitable giving.
Use this checklist with board and staff. Develop a plan to build strength in each of these areas and track progress.
Karmen A. Booker is an Attorney, Business Consultant and Owner of Compu-Perfect Professional Services, a business consulting firm specializing in Business Entity Formation (Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, and Nonprofit Corporations), Completing 501(c)(3) Federal Tax Exemption Applications, Grant Research and Writing services, and more.
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She is also the author of the “Nonprofit Handbook”, that provides strategies and tips for your Nonprofit 501(c)(3) Organization. This Handbook is a valuable resource for all Nonprofit Organizations who desire to use effective tools that will undoubtedly yield quality services for their target markets. GET YOUR COPY TODAY by clicking on the Nonprofit Handbook Cover on the right sidebar of her blogsite – www.howtostartanonprofitorganization.wordpress.com