3 Hard Questions to Ask to Improve Nonprofit Management

Abila MIP Fund Accounting Makes Data Available for Decisions

managementManagers have finite resources and an almost limitless task list they must accomplish in a given day, week, month or quarter. They have to handle people and budgets with equal finesse, and in a nonprofit organization, also managing public perception. More importantly, they have to be willing to ask the hard questions, and to listen and learn from the answer they get as they explore ways in which to enhance and build their organization.

Having the right software in place, such as Abila MIP, can make it easier to make decisions. When data is transparent, it’s easier to use it to answer the tough questions.

Asking the Hard Questions

The difficult questions are the ones in which the answer may yield an unpleasant reality for the asker. In other words, you may not like what you hear! When it comes to nonprofit organizations, these three questions are at the top of the list of the hard or difficult questions that must be asked in order to organizations to ensure they’re doing the best they can to fulfill their mission.

  1. Are we doing our jobs? And are we doing our jobs well?

Your “job” at a nonprofit is more than the list of things you are responsible for. It’s also your job to help the organization maintain and achieve its mission, to build public perception and awareness, and to help keep a positive perception in the public’s eye. It’s not an easy task. Your responsibilities in this mix may be weighted more heavily towards one area or another depending on your role in an organization. But you still need to ask if you are doing your job…all of your job.

Reviewing organization-wide goals and plans, and assessing how well you are achieving key performance indicators, can help you answer this question. This is where having a robust software system in place to monitor, maintain and measure data can help. With the data at your fingertips, it’s easier to say whether or not you’ve achieved your mission.

  1. Are we adapting to changing circumstances?

The only thing that remains constant in life is change. Situations, personnel, and other facts of nonprofit life can change over time. Organizations that can grow, adapt and change are ones that thrive.

Look around your organization. How well have you adapted to changing circumstances? If your nonprofit began with one specific task in mind, have you been able to adapt to meet new challenges?

Examine systems, technology, personnel, geography and other factors too. Each area influences how well your nonprofit can do its job. Those that change with the times are those that can continue to grow, prospect, and help others.

  1. How well are we using our existing resources?

The push within most nonprofits is to find ever-increasing sources of donations and funding to fuel growth. Looking at how well you are using your current resources isn’t easy. It can be troubling to realize that you’ve overspent on a marketing campaign or haven’t invested other resources wisely. Yet it’s only by asking these questions, and facing the truth, that you can find better ways to use existing resources.

Resources aren’t limited to funds, either. They can also refer to personnel. It’s a good idea to take a look at your team and make sure that you are allowing individuals to work to their strengths. Place them in positions where their unique talents can help the organization thrive. Make sure that you are using people as well as financial resources in the best possible way.

Asking and Answering the Difficult Questions

One way in which obtaining the answers to difficult questions is easier is with the right software in place. Abila MIP Fund Accounting lets you report and track information that’s most important to you, your directors, and your board. It’s a way to peer into the depths of your resources and assess whether or not you’re making the most of them. When it comes time to answer the hard questions, Abila MIP Fund Accounting can help.

RBP Methods offers nonprofit organizations expert insights from a nonprofit perspective. We help you find the right software solutions for your organization, providing you with choices so that you can make your own decisions. We’d love to talk to you about your online fundraising or other needs. Contact us today or call 503-648-9051.