Nonprofit Quarterly recently issued an article discussing the importance of establishing culture within your nonprofit organization. Culture within an organization is important for many reasons — internally, it is important for staff to get along and be able to work well together. Without internal cooperation, the organization can suffer externally as well. Donors are lost and the reputation of the philanthropy is at stake.
It’s fairly easy to maintain a culture within your nonprofit organization while aiding it’s reputation and maintaining donors. Here are 4 steps to building a culture within a nonprofit:
1. Start by building an organizational culture. This may include establishing an ethical standard within your organization. When everyone is on the same page within the organization, it will create a stronger organization altogether. The organization will be able to work efficiently and cooperatively while having it’s own identity.
2. Create a philanthropic culture. After your organization has established an overall identity, it’s a good idea to create philanthropic guidelines within the organization. Philanthropic development includes the organization’s attitude and purpose toward the philanthropy along with goals for fundraising. Each individual — from volunteers to donors to janitors — plays a critical role in establishing the philanthropic culture.
3. Establish board and staff responsibility. Establishing roles within the organization is essential for productivity. First and foremost, it is important that every member — staff and board — must understand the goal of the philanthropy, meaning the philanthropic culture (as I mentioned previously). Without this, the organization will be powerless. Along with this, the board and staff members have other duties to fulfill, such as establishing relationships with donors, setting fundraising goals, and more technical tasks such as writing grants and doing paperwork.
About the author: Nicole Bradley is a Journalism & Mass Communication student at the University of Iowa, and is in the process of receiving a certificate in Entrepreneurial Management.