A Guide to Governing Charities: Success in the Boardroom Starts with Asking the Right Questions

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BoardSource members have access to , , and level resources. You can find plenty of stories about boards getting things wrong. When you start to feel defeated, take a look at these 10 things that boards do right to remind yourself of some of the many reasons that your work matters. Annual Board Actions Community resource. Every board must verify that numerous activities get performed regularly or on schedule.

An action calendar can help the board ensure that its legal, financial, and other tasks get accomplished in a timely manner. Appropriate Delegation Members only resource. Auditing Your Nonprofit Members-only resource. Continual financial pressures, an increased demand for accountability, and the Sarbanes-Oxley requirements for publicly traded companies awakened many nonprofits to look at their own auditing procedures.

Board Member Job Description Community resource. As the highest leadership body of the organization and to satisfy its fiduciary duties, the board is responsible for the following. BoardSource has been answering governance-related questions posed by nonprofit leaders for more than 25 years. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about board responsibilities and structures.

Boards That Micromanage Members only resource. It is not always easy for a board to see the line between management and governance. Board members need to consider themselves overseers, not implementers. When boards overstep the line between governance and management they can easily become micromanagers.

Corporate Secretary Members only resource. Many nonprofit boards and chief executives struggle with the coordination of communication and accomplishment of various tasks as they work together. One solution may be creating the position of a corporate secretary serving as a liaison between the board and senior management — and even some outside constituents.

A chief executive employment contract provides security to both the executive and to the board, and makes absolutely clear the details of the compensation arrangement and the mutual expectations of the two parties. A federated structure — a national organization with chapters — is not appropriate for every nonprofit. To make it successful it is important to define how chapters might help a national organization fulfill its mission. It is necessary to research how to form chapters.

And finally — often a big stumbling block — it is crucial to define the mutual relationship between the parent organization and the chapter. Foundation Board Basics Community resource. A grantmaking foundation is a charitable tax-exempt organization whose primary function is to distribute funds for charitable purposes. A foundation needs a governing board or a board of trustees as foundation board members often are called because it is structured as a tax-exempt organization.

In principle, the role of the foundation board does not differ from that of other nonprofit boards, but foundation boards have specific challenges.

Governing As a Team Community resource. Creating a collaborative, team culture in your boardroom is the first step in establishing a high-performing board. This resource explains ways to build team spirit on your nonprofit board. Interim Chief Executive Members only resource. Whether a chief executive leaves suddenly or after a previously specified time period, the board has a major job in finding the next leader of the organization.

In the early s, John Carver made a concerted effort to learn more about board leadership and governance. He was not happy with what he found: A framework was missing. Carver spent the next years creating a new governance model to reflect his own concept of how the nonprofit boards should carry out their charge. Serving on a board can be a rewarding experience, but is also time-intensive and demanding. In reality, automation just means integrating your cloud apps and is an efficient way to simplify complex tasks and business processes that would otherwise require tedious human effort.

For non-profits, automation offers specific benefits in terms of transparency and efficiency. It can simplify your administrative work, allow for a degree view of your organisation, and even help you raise more money. You work at a non-profit because you want to provoke social change, but you spend most of your workday reconciling invoices in your account app. Sound familiar? Frequently, non-profits dread these tasks because it means devoting less time to work that directly relates to their missions.

Rather than focusing on tasks that keep your organisation running day-to-day, you can focus on tasks that push your organisation further towards its goals. Running a non-profit involves making strategic choices about your goals. These decisions are more difficult to make when you have inaccurate or inadequate information about your programs or campaigns. In addition to this information block, we already know that non-profits often face unrealistic expectations as written by The Stanford Social Innovation Review :.

Automation, however, makes aggregating the information non-profits need to make high-level decisions simple , by syncing it between otherwise separate apps. This gives you an instant view of your donations and leads in one place. Automation means you can make better high-level decisions about your goals because at any moment you can view a degree snapshot of the entire organisation.

This degree reporting also means that you can be more transparent with your donors and leadership. Donors expect organisations to spend as much of their funding on the mission as possible, minimising other costs. Non-profits are always looking for ways to be both leaner and more efficient — automation can help you accomplish both. Automation takes tasks that would otherwise require human labour and does them more quickly, more accurately, and more reliably. Instead of paying tens of thousands of pounds per year for a dedicated administrative staff, you can automate many repetitive tasks and allocate resources to new initiatives.

Non-profits rely heavily on online fundraising campaigns, but raising money can sometimes feel like throwing things at a wall and trying to see what sticks. With automation, you can make sure all your donor information is stored in one place. When you can access donor information more easily, you can craft targeted emails and campaigns that are more likely to result in a donation. This is key for increasing campaign efficiency, as personalised emails deliver six times higher transaction rates. With automation, this insight is immediately available in your CRM or Marketing automation tool, and you can use it to craft tailored email campaigns that target donors based on their past behaviours.

Additionally, automation enables you to interact with donors at otherwise disparate touchpoints, such as event attendance, membership renewal, and even birthdays. It allows you a degree view of your entire organisation from accounting to lead generation and frees up staff to focus more on your mission and less on administrative work. If you want to run a leaner, more efficient, more accountable organisation, automation is worth considering.

In doing so, however, we are denying ourselves a real opportunity to expand our community fundraising. This is a key question I get asked by charities over and over. But how? Well in this day in age the perfect platform is, of course, social media — no geographical barriers, no time barriers and interaction as and when supporters want it. But you need more than a platform. You need a strong content strategy to engage your potential supporters.

Roles and Responsibilities

It all starts with your cause. They have come to you because they believe in your mission, your purpose, what you are hoping to achieve as an organisation. Second, in what way do they want to support your cause? What are the attitudes and beliefs that motivate these individuals to act on behalf of and in support of your charity? In my experience, the best content engages supporters by highlighting how others are helping your cause to achieve the outcome of your organisation in the same, active form of fundraising.

For example:. Now you need to reach out and find your tribe. You should start by focusing on your warmest supporters, then add additional marketing links to your social pages, Facebook adverts etc. The following results are for the first EDM we sent to our warm past community fundraisers to grow our Facebook page. So, you have created a social media community and now you have great content. But will this, in itself, bring additional doers? For some, yes. Others, however, will need to be taken on a journey within the community. They need to feel that they too could belong to the active pool of supporters.

But they need to be convinced. All you need to understand is how to take them on this journey. Nelson is the doer; the go-getter who is rallying his troops and is actively helping your cause head towards its mission by raising vital funds. The Poet is the thinker of the tribe. In community fundraising terms, the Poet is the one who will add fun and a creative input to provide inspiration to others. The one who will comment, share and like posts, and interact with others, spreading messages that bring the content to more people. Why are these important? All three work alongside each other to spur each other on and in turn help identify and engage your next army of doers.

By understanding these community characteristics, you can start to build a real fundraising community. Start by showcasing your current doers. This is one example of what we used to do on our Facebook page:. This will inspire the thinkers about what potential fundraising ideas they could do. Meanwhile, your talkers will start to talk about the activities of your doers and share the ideas of your thinkers. And in turn, new doers will start to realise how they can support your cause and act. Not every single person will become a doer — but they may become a donor for another doer.

They could become an advocate for your cause and for these active ways of fundraising. They could be the link to another potential doer for your cause. The list of opportunities is endless. Hopefully, one that can be used not just for finding doers, but for finding and making the most of all kinds of new opportunities. Now is the time to instate best practices at your organisation and truly develop a great system for donor retention.

So much of fundraising and relationship building is about following up with donors—keeping in touch, reporting impact, keeping them apprised of new happenings and so on. This is where I see a lot of organisations struggle. Second, they wonder what the content of these communications should be. My short answer to the question regarding volume of communications to donors is that it needs to be more than you are currently doing.

For instance, one email a month to your email list is not that much and more than likely not enough to do the heavy lifting of relationship building. Start by evaluating the volume of your communications to your donor segments—offline and online donors. List out everything someone would have received if they made a gift six months ago. Ask yourself: Is this enough to successfully build a relationship with the donor? When it comes to the content of donor communications that actually retain donors, we must focus on communicating impact.

The best content to accomplish this is stories. Stories show donors their impact in action and clearly demonstrates how, through giving, a donor has helped solve a problem or meet a need. Thank you letters are often the first touch point a donor receives after making a gift. A great thank you letter should surprise and delight donors, tell them how the gift was used, and tell them a story of impact.

This does not have to be a long story. It can be a short paragraph in the letter, but that will be enough to give your donors the warm fuzzies about their philanthropy. Newsletters are such an important piece in donor communications and stewardship. But all too often they are just used to report updates and nothing more substantial. Make the whole newsletter about donors and donor impact, which includes telling a variety of stories. Need some newsletter inspiration? Check out these five non-profit newsletters. Many organisations are starting to do special follow-up reports on larger annual campaigns that they run.

These reports are impact or gratitude reports that, again, highlight donor impact through stories. They showcase stories of program participants, clients, and beneficiaries of the work. In some cases, they will also tell donor stories to help connect donors to their peers. No matter where your organisation is at with donor retention , I encourage you to evaluate and upgrade your efforts through story-based content. Over the past six decades, individual donors continue to be the largest philanthropic group. Obtaining and sustaining these individual donors is vital to your annual giving campaign.

Your annual giving campaign is comprised of strategic development opportunities, helping you meet and exceed your fundraising goals each year. Many different efforts will add to its success, with each step of the campaign requiring donor interactions and stewardship. You have two main objectives as you develop your annual giving campaign:. Planning a campaign takes preparation and detail. Focus on these action items as you begin to shape the campaign :. Your development team should focus on the annual giving campaign until they reach the annual fund goal.

Appeals are direct communication pieces to your prospects and donors via print or electronic delivery. They contain powerful content and create exposure for your organisation by educating others on your past, current and future efforts. These solicitations generate awareness of your mission, build relationships, and increase revenue. Hosting an event can be challenging; however, consider these methods to increase success and profitability. Develop different types of events appealing to many levels of donors to maximise attendance.

Every event serves the same purpose: face time with your donors while exposing your mission. Donors tend to let loose at events and become carefree while enjoying the moment. This is your pathway into their world, allowing for an easier stewardship process. Each donor is unique and no two like to be stewarded the same way. Your interaction and communication plan will need to be broad and diverse. Stewardship is the key to successful donor retention. Ensure your stewardship plan is impactful through acknowledgement, designation, notes, communication, and low-cost touches.

With careful planning, other benefits will arise throughout the year. Campaigns expose your mission and lead to greater awareness in your community and in the news. According to the Blackbaud Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Study , 5K events are struggling to recruit participants and raise funds. Are we as fundraisers failing this group of constituents? Are our runs sub-par? From a revenue perspective, participants in 5Ks are stereotypically not very good fundraisers. To combat this, below are some bold ideas, not for the faint of heart, to bolster the performance of your 5K event.

If your 5K is faltering and has been for years, it could be time to take a bold and fearless approach to your event. Could one of these options work for your event? Chances are, the event was designed to satisfy a larger amount of people. The problem with that, to oversimplify, is that runners run and walkers fundraise. If you are unable to separate the events physically, try to separate them from a marketing perspective. Offer two different website, registration, and communications experiences for each group.

It is more than just a “nominating committee”

At the very least, ask during the registration process if they plan to walk or run and plan your communications to these two groups accordingly. As we get ready to analyse P2P events, it will be fascinating to see how 5K data relates to the latest Running USA study when that is released as well. Of 60 million internet users in the UK in , 42 million of them were active users of social media. Find out how your charity can use social media in With the abundance of non-profit organisations, it can be difficult for the average would-be donor to choose one over another.

This post originally appeared on Blackbaud Pacific. It certainly seems that way right now. It seems that a charities number 1 challenge right now is rising competition. Test your ideas and measure the results to find out what really works when it comes to engaging with your supporters and building support for your mission.

With the constant changes, innovations, and breaking news impacting the sector, staying focused on the work that matters will be key for all of us. As the lines between their social and working lives become increasingly blurred and young professionals continue to become more connected than ever, it can be hard to genuinely engage this group of potential fundraisers. In a sea full of options, the seven characteristics below will help you identify a reliable partner who will help you reach your goals.

In your next search for a great partner, ensure a successful implementation by keeping these seven characteristics as benchmarks for a partnership that will be sure to please. What can I say that feels brand new to the person reading it? The experience your organisation provides online must be one that converts. And every pixel counts. Does your website provide an experience that converts interest into action? Responsive web design started its takeover of the Internet in and has since become a necessity. Our screens keep getting larger and support higher resolutions and your website should take advantage.

Click around on your site and evaluate the sizes of your images. Do you have to squint to see faces? If you want to get down to the pixels, your images should be at least x px. You may need to go smaller to display a list page full of thumbnails and teasers, but most of your images should be big and beautiful.

Also, for your large banner images, consider filling the full width of the screen. Full-width images are a nice way to break up content on your site and add a modern flair. Every site should have a main navigation component, and many sites need a section navigation component to help visitors get to each page within a section. Things start to get complicated when there is even more navigation below that. The trend these days is to have more content on each page rather than have tons of really short pages that users have to click around to find.

Executive Job Interview Tips: 3 Keys to Getting a Senior Role

Pull up a list of content and then search for each page as you go, recording the page rank as part of your inventory. I hope these questions and tips will get the conversation started at your organisation! But it belies an opportunity to allow data from every P2P campaign you run to automatically sync with your CRM, providing a near-instant degree view of donor activity. The technology sector has a huge love of jargon, acronyms and abbreviations. It originates from when the internet was drawn in manuals and graphics surrounded by a cloud shaped bubble. And a cloud based service is any programme you either log into or access over the web — think your Gmail account, Spotify or Netflix.

This is because they feel pressure to maximize their time and resources on achieving the immediate needs of program service delivery. Often this pressure is increased when funders restrict resources to specific short-term projects. But from the looks of the data and the declining retention rates for walks and 5Ks, we all need a refresher on what matters when it comes to people coming back year after year. Would they walk across hot coals?

Shave their heads? Ride a rollercoaster with hundreds of strangers… while naked? Do you ever feel that when you arrive at work, you leave a bit of you at the door that you collect on your way out at the end of the day? In our desire to be professional, successful and climb the career ladder we have a tendency to leave our authentic selves at the door. And in my experience, the majority of the organisations we work for perpetuate that overly professional culture with the expectation that we do serious work at our desks to achieve serious target-driven KPIs.

As a small charity considering investing in new software, you have conflicting priorities. Meeting all these criteria is sometimes very difficult and so many organisations find solutions that fit certain requirements like cost, but with that end up sacrificing quality and service. Virtually every social media platform was first created for and because of human connections. Facebook was started to connect friends in college and grew to connect families and friends.

Twitter began as a way to connect with influencers. However, the question remains, how does a nonprofit connect with real people on social media? Automating manual or complex processes can involve substantial organisational change. Be it the efficiency saving which allows you to save on staff costs, or the increase in effectiveness which allows your team to reach even more supports with the same effort.

Indeed these were the key themes of the opening plenary. In memory of Tony Elischer, the panel lead by Ken Burnett gave us 27 great things we could learn from Tony. This blog is the second in a three part series that will focus on the tools you need in order to build a comprehensive grants seeking program. You need to fund a project. Developing a set of project descriptions to guide your funding research can help with this process.

With this information, you can also establish an overall grant strategy which will, in turn, guide you in setting up your grants calendar for the next 18 months. If you work for a charity and are involved in supporting fundraising in any way, then you are a fundraiser and an awesome one at that. In order to know what fundraising awesomeness looks like, and when you have achieved it, you must have clear measures. All fundraisers need to know and agree what they are measured on. Are you testing your email messages subject lines, time and day of send, etc.

Email has a unique advantage over direct mail. You can immediately see what worked and adjust your message on-the-fly, if necessary. And while you may have a hunch about the best day or time to send email, testing validates or disproves your theory. It really allows you to make data-driven decisions.

As the Marketing Manager at Blackbaud, I have to keep my ear close to the ground when it comes to the latest trends and innovations in the world of marketing. Funders, supporters, volunteers, trustees, and a numerous other stakeholders are now, more than ever, interested in the impact your charity has. Not just what you do but what changes you make as an organisation.

So, how do charities demonstrate their impact and why is it important? Digital technology is increasingly playing a key role in engaging donors, and in , around 7. And in the arts and culture nonprofit space, digital fundraising saw a 8. With digital fundraising trends on the rise each year, your online presence is more important than ever.

She provides a people-focused, collaborative influence to all things Firefly. But a one-size fits all welcome series may be leaving out some powerful opportunities to engage. For most organizations, new constituents come in all shapes and sizes. They enter your database from multiple engagement pathways and have wide-ranging experiences or no experience at all with your organization.

If applied across the UK, this equates to Volunteers come from a range of backgrounds and lifestyles; they will bring different benefits to your charity and will have different needs. Volunteers are amazing people who bring new skill sets, life experience, energy and perspective to an organisation. Since they give an irreplaceable gift of time, it is only fair to plan a programme of exciting and meaningful projects for them. Last month, a fascinating study was released called the Millennial Running Study. It was a warm September day in and I was about an hour outside of Austin, TX on a bus heading to the airport.

I was leaving a conference, and during the course of the bus ride was talking to a friend about what was next. I remember telling him that I was ready to write a book on storytelling. When was the last time you were unexpectedly and unreservedly inspired? How about deeply immersed in an experience— actually present and engaged? What made that moment so special and so memorable?

Social media spreads awareness. Here are some of the exciting new technologies that we believe will make an impact throughout the rest of One of the key strategic responsibilities of a Trustee Board is to ensure their charity has sufficient resources to pursue its aims and objectives. When it comes to fundraising, Trustees and staff teams need to ensure they are assessing how much of a return they are getting on the time and resources that are invested in fundraising.

So, with this in mind, what should charity fundraisers, CEOs and Trustees be considering when assessing their fundraising performance? The corporate sector is full of opportunities for small charities to take advantage of with many companies looking to increase their support for the sector through gifts in kind, expertise and volunteers, and even funds.

However, competition is high amongst charities of all sizes for this support. It is important to remember with this form of fundraising that you will be developing a business relationship with them and will have to highlight the benefits to the company of working with you. We all know how difficult it can be to compete for precious funding, so how can your charity give itself the best possible chance of making a good impression, and make every application count?

Well, one way is to anticipate some of the questions funders may have about your organisation, project or finances, and address these directly in advance. At the FSI I have the opportunity to meet with hundreds of amazing small charities in our free Trusts and Foundations course and the following tips have been taken from some of the questions I am asked most frequently:. Over half of charities in the UK do not claim Gift Aid, as it can be a complicated process. But now, to make things easier, charities can register for Gift Aid and can now make claims online.

The service includes:. The software we use was designed in collaboration with HMRC, and along with our expert team this gives you full confidence in making your Gift Aid claims. You can read more about our Gift Aid Services by clicking here. They are one of the most effective tools for raising donor participation levels, and an invaluable way of building relationships and gathering prospect information for the future.

Telethons also have a surprisingly inexpensive cost-to-benefit ratio. It is precisely because they are not professional fundraisers, nor tele-salespersons, that they deliver formidable results. Students make the need for financial support direct, real and alive. Nearly every call should deliver a positive result, whether financial or otherwise.

Good telethon calls allow for much more flexible, personalised conversations: they can inspire non-donors to make their first ever gifts and motivate existing contributors to give more. Telethons also deliver positive non-financial results. They help engender community among alumni, parents and the student body and provide a platform for stewarding existing supporters and bringing distant alumni closer to the school. Telethons should not induce guilt — instead they succeed by making it as easy and compelling as possible for each contact to donate.

Unlike a mailing campaign, there is the opportunity for dialogue, where the caller can discuss the case for support, answer any queries, and learn if and why the contact may have concerns, before responding personally. A final result of any telethon is the key new information that can be gathered. Calls help to: improve relationships with your school; identify new prospects; update details and communication preferences; elicit career support and mentoring; identify interest in your legacy programme, and more. Above all, they empower your school with insights into the passions and interests of future major donors and highlight factors that will need to be addressed to fully harness their support.

Many schools decide to hire external consultants to assist in running their telethons.

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Asking Right Questions Guide

As a middle option, some schools elect to have just the telethon software component provided externally. Each institution is different: determine the right balance of external support and internal investment required to deliver success at your school. Telethons require meticulous data management and can create a large amount of paperwork. Crucially, the questions of both software and consultants are a matter of determining whether your school has sufficient resources, manpower and experience to manage all of the aspects of a successful telethon internally.

Whatever options you select, remember that a successful telethon will necessarily generate a substantial demand on your team. You will ultimately be responsible for the cleanliness and utility of the data you hold, and for guiding your institution to the need for a high-quality case for support. Do not hire consultants thinking that they will remove your administration altogether: instead, an excellent consultant will provide you with very useful support and software for your training and calling, share from experience what approaches most commonly work best, and help you to understand and meet the timelines and deadlines involved.

Continue reading with Lesson 2. Click here for Lesson 1. Preparing for the telethon At the outset, determine your goals for the telethon. Sensible planning will ensure that benefits are maximised and expectations are clear. You require the full backing of your school in order to succeed, so bring everyone on board very early on in the planning process. Make it as straightforward as possible for contacts to give to your school, minimising the time and resources needed for chasing pledge fulfilment and keeping down the unfulfilled pledges at campaign end. In both cases, for a minimal fee you will be able to take single gifts immediately over the phone.

These enable you to sign up customers for Direct Debit collections over the telephone, internet or face to face. This procedure can take several months but once authorised you will be able to accept regular gift instructions, removing the need to send standing order gift forms in the post to pledgers. You will also need to agree wording of your call script, advance notice confirmation letters and giving forms, and to demonstrate that your database is capable of producing the required electronic files to process Direct Debits in this manner.

Once you have a timetable for your telethon, it is imperative to prepare thoroughly. Firstly, ensure that your CRM database is in excellent condition. You require accurate contact details and the ability to effectively segment data. Data cleansing can be time-consuming for many schools, but there are external data enrichment services available which can advance this process. The next step is to select your contacts. Include a good proportion of your top prospects and previous donors to give your telethon the best chance of success. Aim to contact a relatively consistent mix of donors and non-donors between years, so that you are including some previously unengaged contacts to cultivate new relationships.

The benefit of year-on-year consistency also aids reporting post-telethon, so that accurate comparisons can be made between campaigns to determine the most successful techniques. It is similarly important to know whom to exclude from calling. Ideally, pre-determine ask amounts for each contact. One of the strengths of a telephone call is the ability to negotiate and, to do this, the initial ask amount should be ambitious. Unless a contact is in a profession with irregular income, the initial ask should nearly always be for a regular gift. The ask should reflect both determinants: age, career and residence, but also previous giving history, attachment to specific appeals, previous responses, whether they have made many visits back to the school, and any other relevant factors.

Since your callers will be at the heart of your success, it is important to select the right people. After all, no two contacts are the same and different people prefer different types of conversation. The final task is preparing the two types of post or email communications each with variations that contacts should typically receive as part of a telethon. The first is the notification sent shortly before the telethon to inform contacts that they can expect to receive a call from the school, both to share news and to invite their support.

This pre-telethon notification can be a letter, email, postcard etc. The second set of communications are those to be sent to each contact immediately after their telephone call takes place, to follow up what was agreed. Segment these according to the response — e. It is well worth accompanying any letter directly from the school with a tailored thank you card from the individual caller.

Unless they have already made their gift and just need to be thanked, it is usually preferable to enclose a donation form with every follow-up package. Training will be the most important days in the process. There is a great deal of ground to cover and it will require an attentive group of callers, and informed and well-versed trainers who can create excitement about the campaign.

Perhaps the first task in the training is to address the taboo — to shake out any misconception that this is unwanted cold-calling or telesales and to inspire belief and confidence in the callers. Explain why calling works. If the callers believe they can be successful and have an enjoyable time in the process, then they probably will. Callers need to be fully aware from the start of the wider picture and they should fully understand exactly why there is a need to fundraise for the school. Emphasising the importance of pledges should help to minimise the occurrence of callers missing out on impactful gifts by conceding too readily.

Next, the training should move to the stages of a good call. Take callers carefully through each stage:. The greeting and the reasons for the call 2.

Asking Right Questions Guide - AbeBooks

Rapport and intelligent listening: Identify possible conversation topics and discuss useful open questions. Negotiation and tackling common objections 5. Thank you and closure: Emphasise the need to repeat everything clearly so that neither person is in any doubt as to what has been agreed. This includes confirming the amount and the details of their donation, whether Gift Aid can be applied, whether they are happy for their name to be listed as a donor, and any payment details. The training should bring out the importance of listening to and understanding why a contact might be saying no and then addressing their concerns thoughtfully and confidently.

Each contact should ideally be asked three times — typically at decreasing levels, without ever being rude or forceful. They should not, unless prompted by the contact, ask more than three times within a call. Finally, conclude training by getting in as much practice as possible. The primary purpose of these practice conversations should be to inspire confidence and fluency in the pupils, so it is important to give encouragement to them as well as to highlight areas to improve.

The more practice calls a caller makes, the better prepared they will be for the real thing. Click here for Lesson 3. Click here for Lesson 1 Click here for Lesson 2.


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If the preparation and training have been rigorous, then the calling period itself, whilst busy, should be very enjoyable. But it was also clear that India needed a private, independent relief agency that could assist the government in times of emergency. Unfortunately, because the discussion took so long, there was no time left to define the goals any further or to establish measurable performance standards within these categories.

In situations like that, the solution is to agree on what you can agree on. The program had three major goals:. Improving the long-term nutritional condition of the children. Nothing wrong with that. A few surveys could easily have determined the extent to which this goal was being met. Providing more food to presumably hungry kids.

Easy to measure. The only remaining questions were whether there were even needier kids not in school there were, but there was no good mechanism for reaching them and whether the children were actually getting the food they were. Keeping kids in school longer nutritious lunches drew students and keeping them more alert during classes. Surprisingly, many CARE officials agreed that this might be the most important long-term result of the school feeding project. In all three cases—nutritional status, relief feeding, school attendance—CARE could quantify the goals, measure the results, and make cost-to-result calculations.

In fact, CARE has now adopted such practices in many of its programs. The process of defining and clarifying such goals and assessing their value in light of their costs is a healthy one. Does it cost too much? Goals must not be defined so broadly that they cannot be quantified. It is difficult to quantify the output of social programs, but if managers define their goals well, it can be done. Another example of quantified goals combined with effective measurement yardsticks comes from the international population field. Social marketing of contraceptives combines the social motives of reducing population growth and unwanted pregnancies with the efficiencies of free market distribution.

That is, donor organizations like the U. Agency for International Development AID heavily subsidize the cost of contraceptive sales, but after the products arrive in bulk they are packaged attractively, marketed through regular commercial distribution networks, and supported by consumer advertising. When it was established in , the organization set two long-range goals: 1 improving family health and preventing infant deaths by enabling parents to space the births of their children and 2 lowering birth rates in countries with otherwise exploding populations.

The founders decided that PSI could achieve both goals by providing sustained birth control services to a target market of couples who were fertile, sexually active, and motivated to plan their pregnancies. Since a woman must use 13 cycles of contraceptive pills per year to avoid a pregnancy, for example, 13 cycles would equal one couple-year of protection.

Use of condoms needed a more subjective evaluation. The Indian government soon began using 72 condoms as its standard CYP. AID eventually settled on an estimate of condoms, a figure that most family planning leaders have adopted as the standard for programs that sell contraceptives. Those who think that shifting from 65 to 72 to defies scientific measurement are missing the point. Even if the number changes again, it will still provide an excellent measurement tool as long as it is consistently applied.

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The same measure, however, shows that programs focusing on sterilization are even more efficient than social marketing. Almost any nonprofit organization can establish benchmarks to measure program achievement. Admittedly, it may be more difficult for some. It is easier for organizations that derive income from some consumer services. A bottom line of sorts exists to police performance. Gauging performance is more difficult for organizations with intangible objectives. The primary mission of a church, for instance, is spiritual—which is nearly impossible to measure.

But as the PSI example shows, managers can construct a meaningful measurement of performance for the great majority of nonprofit organizations. Making the decision to define and quantify goals is half the battle. But getting the job done, of course, can also pose problems. Here are some issues to keep in mind:. A recent example in the United States is Farm Aid, the fund-raising concerts designed to help distressed American farmers. The process was wonderful; hundreds of dedicated, well-intentioned people volunteered their time and talent for those in need.