Keys to Becoming a More Efficient Nonprofit

Nonprofits have faced a challenging situation during the Great Recession. Contributions have declined for the majority of organizations, but demand for services has skyrocketed as more people than ever are in need. The question is, how do you improve productivity while maintaining client services standards? – a concern for many nonprofits that don’t want to see clients treated in an assembly-line fashion.

1. Prune away nonessentials, so your core services and outcomes blossom when energy is channeled to them and diverted from nonessential activities.

2. Educating staff in the essential activities, this will improve the quality and effectiveness of their work and time management.

3. Set the right priorities. Not all activities are equally important, staff may be spending a lot of time on tasks that are redundant, waste time, or have outlived their usefulness.

4. Be willing to put everything on the chopping block in the interests of determining the best use of resources.

5. Remind the staff of the purpose behind their work – the impact on clients’ lives. It’s the most effective way of immediately boosting their productivity.

6. Identify, with the help of your staff, the programs and services most central to your organization, the ones most effective in numbers reached and the depth of impact.

7. Diagram the process from intake to outcome for each program, identifying each step. Ask the staff how long each step typically takes. Look for ways to eliminate duplication of effort, streamline paperwork and clear bottlenecks. Perhaps the same information is entered more than once, or a task bounces back and forth between staff members.

8. Consider better ways to screen clients so that efforts go to the ones who truly qualify, have the greatest need or are the most committed. Standardizing forms and processes can save a lot of time, reducing the need for staff to figure things out.

9. Lastly, professional development for your staff is very important. It will increase their confidence and competency.

Davis & Hodgdon has been assisting nonprofit organizations in the Burlington Vermont Metro area for more than 20 years. We are committed to helping our clients achieve their goals as they strive for financial sustainability.  Specific nonprofit services include: tax planning and compliance, accounting and auditing, internal controls, board member services, fundraising, grant compliance and much more.

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Please feel free to call 802.878.1963 or email [email protected].

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