How Work Culture can improve your Fundraising Campaign
Work culture encompasses quite a few factors ranging from the physical office environment to the fun perks communicated through your colleagues and managers. In a nonprofit organization, change will always be an ever-growing presence. Because of this, many NGOs, even private firms, are beginning to find that success is not simply dictated by the overall talent, but by keeping the talent at the workplace. In the grand scheme of things, work culture is one of the most prevalent factors for success. It helps dictate the not just the growth of an organization, but also the direction it is heading to. While some companies may incentivize the cutthroat corporate style to help push results, you as a philanthropy must take a few steps back and understand the importance that work culture can do for your organization and overall fundraising campaign.
Work culture, by definition, is the personality and character of an overall organization. It represents how an office operates both internally and externally and the results you should be expecting from the ground up. One thing that many people will agree is that in comparison to the private sector, NGOs are better known for being more sympathetic to their workers. While this may be true in comparison to big banking firms, it does not necessary mean that sympathy is a good thing. Now I am not saying we should be hovering over our workers and micromanaging them in ways where they feel stifled or uncomfortable. Instead, I am talking about the mission.
One of the biggest obstacles for any fundraiser or philanthropy organization is to consistently spark and ignite the mission of your campaign. At times, people can feel solace to the 9-to-5 work hour days. While it is always great to get into the groove of things, you also have to understand that working at an NGO is not like working at a private consulting firm. Instead, a nonprofit runs by the passion and drive of its overall mission. For your workers to feel complacent about the task they do can be incredibly problematic, especially when it comes to urgency and productivity.
Now, it is never easy reigniting that fire. In fact, it takes a great deal of strategy and marketing to spark that flame just to the general public. So how do we improve this? What can be done to keep your workers motivated and driven for your organization’s goal?
For this to happen effectively, start by looking at your NGO holistically. Look to see the flaws and weaknesses in your vision and why there is such a lack of focus on your mission. At times, this problem can persist because of the unrealistic expectation they are being asked to make for change. Other times, it can be because they do not value the impact as much as you would want them to. To improve on this problem, you as an organization may need to realign your overarching goals and objectives. While it may take some time, doing this task can absolutely optimize the day-to-day operations for your employees. One of the biggest reasons people get disgruntled or dissatisfied at work is because they do not see value or purpose in what they are doing. By aligning your goals, you will be able to spark that much needed fire that what they are doing is bigger than themselves. Remember, the mission, at the end of the day, is what drives everything. It is the cause, it is the reason, and last but not least, it is the motive in doing this type of work each and every day. To make this successful, be sure to be cognizant in how tangible your goals are. Saying you want to make a change is not enough. Giving your workers realistic and foreseeable benchmarks will help push them to that much needed success.
Now, I know what some of you are thinking. How does this impact fundraising? Isn’t the purpose of fundraising just to accumulating more donors than anything else? While that is true, you have to understand that talking to a donor is just one piece of the puzzle. (To learn more about fundraising, please visit Matt Kupec Fundraising). In fact, gaining that success requires marketing, branding, sales, and work culture. Just think about it. The more driven and determined your workers are, the stronger you are at reaching your financial goals. For fundraising, especially when reaching out to donors, you want to make sure that all of your workers understand the bigger picture. By having your team internalize your organization’s goal, you will be able to drive more desire and ambition for success than anything. This type of shared, valued, and conceptualize mentality can be the true game changer between succeeding or failing.