6 Questions to tell if your agency is on the right track.

Leaders of just about every type of organization–church, nonprofit, or business–say they are client-centered and offer services tailored to their clients’ needs. And, most of the time, they do. But, have you taken a close look at your clients lately? Are you making the biggest impact possible?

We live in a very different world and economy than we did just a few years ago. The “new normal” is scary, challenging, and unlike anything most of us have ever lived through. Hope and optimism are in short supply. And, along with these changes, your client’s needs may have changed.

It might be time to ask yourself — or better yet — your leadership team, these 6 questions:

  • Are we sure we are offering what our clients need today, right now?
  • When was the last time we evaluated our client service offerings?
  • Are they the same ones we’ve always offered?
  • Does our client still need–or value–those services?
  • What challenges do our clients face today, and how are we equipping them to conquer them?

And one difficult, but last critical question…

  • If you were starting up your organization today, brand new, what would it look like, how would it be organized, and what 2-3 offerings would your clients value most? Would it be the same? What would change? What would you do, to better serve your clients?

Our team recently completed the 2016 Nonprofit Trends Report, providing insight into the current state of the nonprofit industry. The results were surprising to say the least. Nonprofits are growing at a staggering rate, and fundraising and communication needs are shifting. The landscape has changed in so many ways, and nonprofit agencies are facing headwinds not previously experienced. Not only may your client services need updating but the way you serve your clients as well.

A few years ago a board where I served wanted to know if our service offerings were still on the mark. At an all day board/staff retreat our nonprofit heard from two local experts on the plight of those we serve–families and individuals in need of basic services.

One expert was knowledgeable in the evolving demographics of our area and gave us her projections on what our service community could look like in 5 years. The other expert focused on the profile of the clients we serve. Who they are; what their critical needs to become self-sufficient are; and what major challenges they face.

With this hard data, we broke into several small groups to paint a high-level picture of our future environment. We then came together as a group to identify whatever common themes surfaced from each group. A few weeks after the retreat we met again to develop specific strategies to pursue to better assist our clients, in light of all we had learned.

Providing clients with tools and services we think they need isn’t the best use of time, and may even inhibit client progress. If your agency is not keeping an eye on the changing landscape, and how it might affect your organization, you could be unprepared for the changes coming. 

If you want to make the biggest impact possible with your nonprofit, it’s critical to stay relevant, and provide the services your clients need most, in the best way possible.

To help stay on top of the changing trends, download your free copy of the 2016 Nonprofit Trends Report online.