As a nonprofit, finding the right people is a key part of fulfilling your mission. The right people supporting your nonprofit are essential in the success of your work.
We’ve broken the people you need down into five categories: Employees, Donors, Board Members, Event Attendees, and Volunteers. While this list isn’t inclusive of any and all people your nonprofit may need to operate, it can help you narrow down ways to find the people you want supporting your nonprofit.
First and foremost, your nonprofit needs to have the right employees. Nonprofit employees are unlike any other. They’re devoted to working towards a cause they believe in and often sacrifice time, energy, and other resources they have to truly make an impact on the people their nonprofit is serving. Your nonprofit not only needs people to help it run smoothly, but they need to be the right people. Start by looking at the websites that you post jobs on. Are you posting on general sites where people are searching for jobs of any kind or are you posting with purpose and intent? You might find this list of nonprofit job board websites that you can post on helpful. It’s also important to start early in your search, as finding the right people can take a bit of time.
Once you’ve got your people in the office, it’s time to work on keeping them there and keeping them happy. You might remember our recent post on avoiding nonprofit burnout. As nonprofit leadership, it’s an essential part of your responsibility to maintain your employees’ level of satisfaction while they are employed with you.
There isn’t a nonprofit that you’ll find unfamiliar with engaging donors. After all, donors are important since they help drive most or all of your nonprofit’s funding. There are people across the board who have the resources (whether it is money or time, which we’ll cover later in the post) and it’s important to find ways to connect with them. One of the most powerful ways to find new donors is through sharing stories and testimonies from current donors. People want to belong, and empowering both sides through sharing these stories and creating an amazing thing to be a part of is a great way to establish this.
Making donors feel like they can connect to your mission is essential in creating relationships that last far beyond just the donation. You can increase these relationships by following up and thanking donors, creating a social media presence to connect with donors, and hosting events that either honor them or that they can attend and see your mission in action. Create a hospitable space for donors to feel welcomed and as though they are a part of something. This will help you find the key donors that will stay with you throughout your nonprofit’s journey.
Finding board members that are invested in your organization and happy to serve are crucial in executing decisions that are on par with the mission and goals of your nonprofit. Finding the right board members will require some work on your end, but it will pay off in the end when you have a team of people who have vested interest in your nonprofit. Look places you already have people, such as your donor and volunteer list. Seek out people from all areas to ensure that you’re covering a wide variety of strengths within the board.
Planning events can be a great way to spread awareness for your mission while including attendees that are familiar with your organization or brand new to it. Events should be advertised well including making social media events, posting flyers in the community, and sharing on your website. Publicizing your event to get it in front of the eyes of as many people as possible is key to building the community of support your nonprofit needs. These event attendees can turn out to be donors, volunteers, board members, and possibly even employees!
Start viewing events as ways to increase your public image and help spread your mission through word of mouth. While at the event, make sure you’re having attendees provide some sort of information, such as names, phone numbers, and emails. Keeping this information can come in handy when you’re fundraising or seeking assistance for future events.
Aside from your employees, volunteers are the hands and feet of your nonprofit. Volunteers can show up in the office to help with administrative tasks or on the ground with you at events and during fundraisers. It’s essential that you find a group of volunteers that are not only interested in your mission, but who come from different backgrounds. For example, having a volunteer that is also a writer can help your nonprofit create blogs and event pages. Having a volunteer who is an accountant can answer last minute questions you have during tax season. You might also find opportunities to get families with children involved in volunteering, too! There are many different avenues, both in person and online, that you can go to find the volunteers you need. You can seek out volunteers at your next event, ask current volunteers if they know of people, and post online to recruit those looking for an opportunity.
The people that surround your nonprofit are the heart and soul of your organization. They keep your nonprofit afloat, supported, and able to move forward. Outsourcing jobs your nonprofit isn’t ready or able to take on is also an important part of utilizing your surrounding resources. If your nonprofit is looking for assistance with escrow and/or lockbox/caging services to take some of that work off your plate, we’d love to be your “people.”