An acronym is a much beloved tool of English teachers and PowerPoint presenters all over the world. They cancel down core ideas and are remarkably useful aids to recall advice. So here’s why reflecting on the acronym “RESULTS” is so worthwhile in our efforts to achieve nonprofit success!
Read up on the latest research
Read up on the latest research. Keep an eye on nonprofit blogs and bookmark pages that offer new perspectives.
Keep an ear out for podcasts by fellow nonprofit professionals. See if you can at least find ten minutes a day to find new programs, articles or authors. Perhaps using your commute to work, while getting ready for the day, or on that mid-morning coffee break. It will give you access to new voices while also keeping that flow of useful ideas coming your way.
Evaluate initiatives regularly
Evaluate your initiatives regularly, set up feedback boxes on your website, and create regular nonprofit focus groups. It might be even useful to locate a volunteer with a background in sales or data analysis and see if you can get them to come on board as the one person in your organization who can go through the feedback and present the results.
Do all you can to recover and recharge. Take care of your mental health and look out for the well-being of those in your care; staff or volunteers. It’s never easy to admit things are hard, especially when everyone else appears to be running their organization flawlessly but the truth is that really no one is unaffected. It is more likely that some people are better at hiding their burnout over others.
Utilize untapped resources
Utilize the skill sets of those helping your nonprofit. Learn as much about your staff and volunteers as possible. They have all sorts of potential which may go unnoticed; a hidden resource that successful nonprofits learn to access.
It may also mean allowing your social media presence to seek not just donations or volunteers but specific skills and specific opportunities. Before you pay a huge sum for a venue for a fundraising event, send out an email to your supporters to ask if they have any leads that will help keep the overheads down.
Utilizing the ideas of those you work with can have major long-term positive impacts on every level of your organization — plus it’s one of the ways to keep your workforce or supporter base feeling engaged and valued.
Listen and ask questions
It’s possible to think communication is about conveying information but I’ve learnt it’s about processing information.
Keeping your nonprofit healthy by:
- Listening to your peers.
- Listening to those your mission sets out to help.
- Listening to other organizations.
- Listening to your staff.
- Listening to your supporters.
Give your organization and yourself time. Pressure from your board to get results or pressure to better perform each quarter can be counterproductive. Communicate to those higher up and those who support you from within that time is required to achieve results. Short-termism can be detrimental to productivity. Having too much pressure due to deadlines can stifle creativity and create an atmosphere that no one wants to work in.
Software strategies: Set your course
Whether it’s marketing or volunteer drives, donor engagement, or board recruitment, they’re all strategies to consider. Seeking out the best strategies is a great way to achieve long-term success. Digital software is a modern-day force magnifier. To get ahead in a world where so much relies on digital data, digital components, digital management and digital organization, a cloud-based software like Bloomerang can keep your gears turning 24/7.
When it comes to nonprofit strategic planning, great advice is often freely accessible online through blogs like this one. Think of it like mapping a route to take. Few would set off blindly and chart as they go, but we refer to the hard work done by others to map the world before us and then we create our strategies from that sound foundation. Fundraising software is a fantastic tool to help deliver the best fundraising and donor communication strategies from the available data.
So when it comes to nonprofit success, remember R.E.S.U.L.T.S.
And good luck!