4 Ways To Make Your Nonprofit Lean

Image courtesy of Good+. Image courtesy of Good+.

LeanImpact is all about #socialgood and #socent in for-profit business, however nonprofits can also benefit from lean business practices, including the following:

  1. Set monthly goals

    For individual employees at nonprofits, it is hard to set long-term goals and stick to them, since many staffers wear many hats within the organization and find their priorities changing as the year goes on. Setting monthly goals allows employees to be more productive and focused on measurable results. Create a database of projects with employees goals and weekly updates to truly measure your nonprofit's success with this method.

  2. Create accountability mechanisms

    Assign value to key goal steps that the employee creates for him/herself, and promote the score as a way of measuring the overall performance of your nonprofit's "team" for a month. Do not make it about rewards and punishments, simply a way of tracking improvement and goal completion.

  3. Implement just-in-time support systems

    Document processes, donor dialogs, best practices, and other tidbits of information on a database, specifically for employees to use and contribute to. Also, keep lines of communication open and develop trust between leadership and lower-level staff members--open-door policies are a good way to keep communication open, welcoming questions that will lead to better performance.

  4. Collect semi-annual "retrospectives"

    No, do not refer to them as "reviews" or "performance appraisals," that wording and be discouraging to employees who might not have been able to reach their goals. Did you know around 30% of all performance reviews result in a subsequent decrease in performance? Allow employees to identify their shortcomings and success, while analyzing how they might be able to improve. This is great for your nonprofit as well, because you just might discover that a lack of resources and up-to-date technology is interfering with workflow.

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