Most nonprofit organizations run pretty well. I say pretty well meaning they are in the range of 5-6, with 10 being high. While they can always do some things better they are effectively serving their clients and working toward their vision.
The ones I see that have problems, however, share a couple of similarities. I want to mention one-the lack of Board Policy Manual or, BPM. Unless everyone is on the same page and understands how everything works together…how things align in accomplishing the mission…an agency runs the risk of conflict, inefficiency, and losing good board members and staff.
A BPM is about the best way to assure your agency runs smoothly with everybody and every resource all focused in the same direction. Leaders usually have no problem gaining buy-in from staff and board members to the mission and vision. Instead, it’s the how of an agency that causes conflict and confusion. A BPM lays out the agency’s ground rules, basic protocols, and understandings so everyone understands how things get done.
A BPM does not have to be an exhaustive tome either. Just start with the 1-2 areas causing the most friction in your agency and start developing a simple but clear document outlining how things should be done in those areas. Next, share this with appropriate parties and work to gain their acceptance, even thru negotiations, of a standard way to get things done. Remember, a BPM can and should be reviewed annually so that may make it easier for someone to “give in” and try another way.
For more on this check out my recent blog Make Director a Verb. Or, give me a call and let’s talk…