A national survey of both nonprofit Executive Directors and Development Directors, the organization’s top level fundraiser, conducted by CompassPoint found that one in four people to hold the chief fundraising position in an organization were either let go or left on their own accord because of a lack of collaboration with their colleagues. This is an alarming rate for nonprofits needing to restart their fundraising initiatives. The reason for the vanishing fundraising director position came down typically to performance, but the cause of a continual poor fundraising performance was attributed to the isolation of this individual from the rest of the team.
As you might expect, organizations that were considered highly-performing in fundraising showed more efforts towards collaborating company-wide. This collaboration is not isolated to one department in a successful organizations but carries through an entire team in all strategy and execution of the organizations’ work. It’s easy to use an old adage, and I will, two minds are better than one. Good decision making comes from thorough research to continual review. However, you probably do not want the stages to executing to be exhaustive.
Now, you probably aren’t the Borg and aren’t going to sync into one collective mind to quickly evaluate the best outcomes. But being collaborative doesn’t need to take place in long, drawn-out meetings. With simple tools and methods, you can put in place a system that isn’t time-consuming for your team.
Your Team’s Daily Digest of Accomplishments: iDoneThis
A lot of tools that can help your organization we have tried to some extent. Not only do we use iDoneThis, but we worked to partner with them so that we can showcase iDoneThis to you. Needless to say, we believe in this tool to help your team’s success. It’s appeal comes in helping you to work smartly as a team without continuously going over what items have been done in a meeting. A daily digest will be sent out to all members of your team that is collected by an email from the iDoneThis tool the prior day.
Here is how our friend Harvey the stellar Executive Director of a small nonprofit might use iDoneThis.Every Monday, Harvey has a group meeting with his entire staff. He immediately discusses a list of accomplishments that his colleagues have executed. How did he obtain this information? Did each individual team member email Harvey a list of what they accomplished? Harvey actually used iDoneThis’s team calendar digest to consolidate all of his team’s accomplishments. Therefore, not only was he able to consolidate all of the information on one platform, he was also able organize it according to time.
Now, Harvey and his staff have plenty to discuss with no time wasted. Remember, Harvey is not the Borg, and neither should he try to be.
But more importantly, Harvey does not feel lonely at the top! He feels included in the progress of the organization.
Grassroots.org started to use it to coordinate efforts on completed tasks so that our team from different timezones could follow-up on these items without the need of lengthy meetings. It’s supporters range from small organizations to large tech companies. Mozilla’s team began using it to bring together three different teams to work towards a project and has used it since to cut down on wasteful meeting time.
Real-time project management with Trello
Trello is a free browser-based collaborative project tool. You first organize your projects by a creating a board. Within that board, you place cards that fall under a list. You can invite your teammates to view, add and edit boards while leaving personal goals boards for your eyes only.
Back to our friend Harvey the stellar nonprofit Executive Director and how he might utilize a Trello board to collaborate on ongoing projects.
Harvey’s nonprofit that centers around putting together events. Next month, his organization is doing an golf charity event and then holding a mixer afterwards at the public golf clubhouse. So Harvey creates a Trello board centered around “Events” and then puts a card list for that golf charity event. He can then organize cards under this list to put in place a system for people to register golf teams, market the event through social media for the next month, plan out a newsletter and mailer to supporters, and deal with different vendors who might be helping with the event.
Harvey can also create other card lists of within that same board of Events to create a snapshot visual of all the events that his team members wants to work on together.
These are just two of the methods that you can use to be a better team and more productive. Share with us how your organization works better together.