How to Get Buy-In From Your Executive Director
As a nonprofit volunteer coordinator, the possibility of implementing Connect platform can be exciting for you. Now it’s time to get your director on board; this can mean having to “pitch” the software internally to decision makers like your executive director or business manager. Galaxy Digital enlisted the help of Tim McCarthy, coordinator at Cape Cod Volunteers, to bring you strategies for getting your team on board with Connect.
Communicate the Value
McCarthy wanted to rejuvenate Cape Cod Volunteers’ volunteer site, and he needed the go-ahead from their board; he had to make a strong argument for investing in one of Galaxy’s Connect platforms. This meant communicating the software’s value, not just for himself, but for the entire organization. Below, we’ve listed a few selling points that he suggests to appeal to nonprofit administration:
- Cross-departmental functionality: “There isn’t a single individual who won’t be able to benefit in some way from the platform,” McCarthy says. A robust volunteer management software can have multiple functions within your organization, “The software touches on every base, from CRM to marketing.” It’s important to communicate that the donations manager, development director, and marketing manager can all benefit from the use of the platform.
- Reports: Connect’s reporting features are a big draw for nonprofit business managers The reports are designed for grants, making it easier to collect and present the data needed to make your case. Point out features like reports, as well as your real-time impact page that make marketing your cause and securing funds simpler.
- Spending time on what matters: Developing relationships with supporters is necessary; however, best practices can easily fall by the wayside when you’re up to your ears in administrative tasks. Let your nonprofit’s directors know that the system can track hours, manage contacts, and generate reports so that you’ll have more time to engage volunteers and bolster support.
Provide the Necessary Materials
Often times, decision makers won’t be the ones on the phone with a Galaxy Digital team member or attending a software demonstration. McCarthy insists “coaching is necessary.” You’ll want to provide your director with the right materials to make an informed decision.
Gather your team to discuss specific features they’ll benefit from, as well as your budget. Have supporting materials prepared beforehand and anticipate questions and concerns your team may have. Your nonprofit is more likely to get behind the software when they have a clear understanding of the product. Here are a few key points you may want to discuss with your team and board:
- Talk budget: Be transparent about the cost. You may need to go the extra mile and calculate the potential time and money you can save with the software in place. It’s important to note that your nonprofit may not have enough in its volunteer engagement budget. But because of its cross-department functionality, your finance director may be able to pull from different departments, making the software a more cost-effective tool.
- Provide resources: Lead the director to the resources that are available to you. Words are great, but visuals are even better. There’s a good chance the business manager won’t mind watching a short video about the software or exploring our website. If there is a particular feature, article, or resource you found especially relevant to your nonprofit, why not print it out and create a “starter packet” for your director to browse in their own time? You can always contact Galaxy Digital for informative materials to get you started.
- Make the case from a practical and emotional standpoint: Connect is about more than just making your job easier. “It’s important to reframe the decision in terms of growing the organization through innovation,” says McCarthy. “This is not wasted money. We have a responsibility to our community. If you have the proper tools for what you’re trying to do you’re going to have more of an impact.” Consider the practical reasons you may need Connect, as well as the broader picture: How does this software fit into our budget? How will it save us time and money? How will it help us to achieve our desired outcomes? How will it help our community?
Use Galaxy Digital’s Expertise
As the volunteer coordinator, you’ll have seen the software but may not have all the answers yet. Your GD sales representative is more than happy to answer any questions and “pitch” the software to your Executive Director. (It’s what they’re trained for!) Link decision makers to your GD point person and they’ll have all the information your team needs to make an informed choice.
Implementing new technology into your nonprofit’s day-to-day operations can be a tough sell for some. But with the right resources and a bit of preparation, you can put forth a solid argument for why the platform will benefit the whole team. Once Connect is up and running, your team may not believe just how you operated without it!
Originally published at Galaxy Digital.