What is Culture within a Not for Profit Organisation.

Recently I attended the Annual conference for Triathalon WA. One of the Presenters was Ian Crawford from Candor Training and Consultancy. Amongst quite a few topics that he spoke about Success and Culture of an organisation was amongst them. I went away with a lot to think about. The responses from others as to how they saw their organisations success were varied and interesting, I think most of us did see that Membership numbers were very important, and they are, but why? Is it because we have created a great Culture within our organisation or do we drive a good Membership campaign? Is it the monetry gain for our Organisation?

The first step in moving forward is to create a culture within an Organisation. There are many ways to do this, Larger Membership is one of these ways, however to encourage people to join us we first must create the Culture or Enviroment that will encourage people to want to join us. We don’t do that merely by once a year having a day where we put our Organisation on display.You know the type, a fun day, maybe a sausage sizzle as well. We need first to create the correct atmosphere. Our current members and visitors will then talk about this and so the conversations begin. “Have you heard” or ‘I hear” such and such an organisation is great, there for each other and they run some fantastic events, wouldn’t mind looking at joining them.

However, the biggest, toughest and most important step is to ensure that the committee is a strong one, not in bulldozer type of strength, but in being able to nurture ideas, put building blocks in place, so that they encourage others to also be happy to be on the committee and not have a committee made up of those members who “just do it to keep the group going.”

This then encouraged me to put on my big girls hat and be brave, honest with myself and I looked at the Group I am a member of and President. We formed our little organisation 12 months ago, so from the ground up. Put a Steering Committee in place to do all the awkward jobs, Name, Constitution, Incorporate the organisation, insurance, of course this all takes money.What tools were we going to use?

Our ladies all put faith in us and paid their first years membership so we were now financial and able to do all of the above. The tools we chose to use was one tool, TidyHQ, which provided us with all the tools we needed and in one place. Away we went, now I have not mentioned yet that in my organisation, if you are under 60yrs of age you are considered a young un. Everyone on that committee learnt new skills, computor skills. They also all embraced the job ahead and ensured that while the hard slog was needing to be done, it was done in the background, our members were still going to enjoy what they signed up for and our committee were too.

Functions such as workshops and demonstrations were organised, we had our first display in August of this year, we invited the public to come and enjoy an afternoon with us and take part in what we were doing that day with a display of our work as well for them to look at. We increased our membership by 6 from that small exercise. Why? Without consciously thinking about it we had already begun creating our culture. One of enjoyment to be participating and enjoying what each of has to bring to the table, the sharing of our skills and knowledge.

Within the culture of any group we also need to ensure that the body that runs it and oils the wheels are the Committee, so we must show that being on a committee is not as onerous as has been perceived in the past. Part of the culture that we should be creating is the culture of Committee. This can only be achieved by the tools we use and our own attitude. Our small group of ladies have also started Succession Planning. A very important function for any committee, this has been able to be acheived because we chose the tools we were going to use, very carefully, Common Sense, Sharing, Acceptance, Vision, Friendship and the final tool was what we use to record everything. TidyHQ.com. We have oiled our wheels very well so that we do keep moving forward and our end goal is that we never actually reach that end goal, because, with vision there is always a new goal.

Did I also mention we are a Textile Art Group? This is who we are, Textile Art and Mixed Media Inc. Why not have a look at us, please, click on the link.

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