Ask Questions to Improve Nonprofit Performance in the New Year

Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 10:55PM

Hardy Smith Nonprofit Speaker and Consultant

Do you want to improve your nonprofit’s performance in the year ahead? Ask the key questions to identify priority actions that must be taken.

Open-ended questions such as, “How can we improve?” and “What do we need to do differently?” can apply to particular activities or to the entire organization. Follow-up your questioning exercise by identifying specific actions you will take in the next 12 months.

Here are four other questions that are especially significant to nonprofits in the New Year.

  • How can your organization stay relevant? Nonprofits are operating in a world of rapid change. There is a growing list of influences now redefining how nonprofits conduct their business (which I will address in a future newsletter). What are the actions necessary to ensure that the purpose you serve and the ways you serve it remain relevant
  • How can your board members’ experience be improved? Organizations continue to express frustration regarding their volunteer board members. My research and experience confirm that board members become discouraged when dissatisfied with their board service experience. How can you create an environment that contributes to enhancing board performance rather than turning it off?
  • How can your use of social media be improved? Every organization should be working to understand how to effectively make use of this now key resource. What action does your nonprofit need to take either to initiate a social media strategy or to further develop the one you already have?
  • What is your ratio of thanking to asking? How often are you thanking those who support your cause? Are you showing gratitude more frequently than you are appealing for more support? Are your communications personalized and sincere? How can you improve the quality of your thank-you messages so that your volunteers, donors, and sponsors better feel the value of their contributions to your success?

Bring focus to your nonprofit by answering these action-purposed questions. The results can generate a solid list of strategic activities that will improve your nonprofit’s performance in the New Year.


Bookmark & Share



User Comments


Be the first to comment on this post below!

Add A Comment

Popular tags on this blog

Barry Banther | best practices | burnout | communication | creativity | customer service | effective communication | governance | listening | nonprofit boards | nonprofits | organizational performance | personalities | positive leadership | recognition | recruitment | Ruby Newell-Legner | Simone Joyaux | teamwork | volunteer and board cultivation | volunteers |