What The Nonprofits Are Teaching Business

Non profit organizations

Whether it’s the SPCA, the Salvation Army or your local church or mosque, nonprofit organizations are becoming leaders in both management and business. They practice what most North American companies only preach by both motivating and increasing the productivity of their workers. They engage in practices that businesses will eventually have to learn tomorrow.

Many people are unaware that the nonprofit sector is by far North America’s largest employer. Running the math, statistics show that every other adult works as a volunteer, giving on average nearly five hours each week to one or several nonprofit organizations. Once you add up the hours, this results in almost 10 million full-timejobs.

If volunteers were paid, their wages, even at the minimum rate wold amount to $150 billion.

So what is it that makes nonprofits so effective at bringing in and keeping their largely unpaid workforce?

1. A Definitive Mission Statement

The best nonprofits devote a great deal of thought and time to define their organizations mission. They avoid overarching statements that are full of good intentions, focus and rhetoric and instead pour their efforts on defining objectives that have clear-cut implications for the work expected of their members.

The Girl Scouts help children become confident and capable young women who respect themselves and other people. This is something that is easy to understand and something that their members will stand by.

2. Effective Use Of The Board

Many nonprofits have what is still an exception in business – a functioning board. They also have something even more rare: a CEO who is clearly accountable to the board and whose performance is reviewed annually. Finally, the most rare thing of all: a board whose performance is reviewed annually against present performance objectives. Effective use of the board is yet another area where businesses can learn from the nonprofit sector.

3. The Offer Of Meaningful Achievement

Nonprofits used to say, “we don’t pay volunteers so we don’t really have the right to make huge demands from them”. In today’s age, they are far more likely to say “the fact that we don’t pay our volunteers is exactly what gives their work so much meaning to them”. Ultimately, the name of the game is meaningful achievement. The people working for you need to

-Babar Mirza

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