Most nonprofits are reliant on their staff and volunteers to deliver and fulfill the mission of the organization. However, all too often professional development is the last thing to be included in the limited budget of the organization and growth opportunities become non-existent.
For nonprofit organizations to be strong, effective organizations, leaders must be strong and for leaders to be strong, they must be learning. No one is effective if they are not continuing to learn AND since no one has ever reached their fullest potential, we all have room to grow.
So, how do we grow….in addition to everything else that we have to do?
First, create an environment for growth? Think about what you want the environment of the nonprofit to look and feel like. How can you create that? How do you function best? What do you like to do?
Once you can answer these questions for yourself, then you can begin to develop your staff in the same manner. Your staff and volunteers may not even be aware of the need to grow; however, to maximize the potential of the nonprofit to serve, it is your job to help them understand that need AND perhaps implement strategies for that growth to occur.
Some cost affordable ways to encourage growth among staff and volunteers:
- Purchase copies of a book that has meant a lot to you, distribute to your staff and use as a discussion guide during staff meetings.
- Match individuals with mentors who can provide growth opportunities.
- Encourage staff to volunteer in the community by providing work time to do so.
- Celebrate milestones and accomplishments.
- Provide an opportunity for staff to attend relevant professional development opportunities.
- Have a coach work with the entire team or just a few individuals at a time.
Remember, organizations are only “as good as” the people in them.
Can we help you develop a system of professional growth opportunities for your staff and volunteers?