CLAD Services have many years experience working in the Voluntary and Not for Profit sector and recognise the challenges facing it. We see the main ones as:
- Limited funds. Most organisations rely on membership fees and some fundraising to survive. Because of the nature of the organisations they are often reticent about raising membership fees so need to find other means of generating funds. You cannot survive on goodwill alone.
- Lack of continuity. Because Not for Profit organisations are run by boards of people who change over time, there is often a loss of historical information, or organisational memory. Boards often find themselves repeating history which can impede long term progress.
- Time poor board members. Executive Board members are always busy people. They are passionate about what they are doing but they also have full-time jobs to go to or businesses to run and cannot always commit the time needed to make any real progress on projects and indeed the day to day running of the organisation. Often they barely have time to think about the organisation's needs between meetings and if they do, they often feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities. Often it is the president or chair and the secretary who carry the bulk of the burden and these people tend to burn out after a couple of years if they are not assisted.
- Individual agendas. Sometimes organisations gain a board member who has a personal agenda that is not always compatible with the direction of the organiastion. Having policies and procedures in place that are properly managed can limit any negative impact from this.
- Effective communication with members. Boards often do a great deal of work that is not apparent to the membership and then feel aggrieved when the members do not recognise this. People like to belong to an organisation that is active, professional and accessible. They want their membership to mean something in the marketplace. They want to receive regular information and services and they want their organisation to be easy to communicate with. They want opportunities to participate in decision-making and to communicate with their executive committee or board. If they do not perceive any value in their membership they will leave.
- Recognition. When organisations are run part-time and are difficult to contact they can lose ground in the marketplace. They can be perceived as unprofessional, ineffective and can struggle to be taken seriously. When dealing with funders or lobbying Government and other groups it is important to be seen as an organisation that is organised and established.
We can help you work through these issues and find solutions which work for your organisation.