Financial Management

Fundraising software & leadership for healthy nonprofit functionality

Implementing fundraising software into a nonprofit’s operations can improve leadership and functionality. Organizations depend on strong leaders to guide them toward their goals. However, as charity staff members know all too well, running a successful nonprofit requires an enormous amount of effort and skill. By sharing leadership responsibilities and adopting fundraising software, organizations can perform at their best.

Partners in education
In England, for the last eight years, a high school in Essex has operated with two principals. Forbes reported that though the full-time co-principals initially shared the position as a temporary solution for the school, they now work together to make decisions and help run the institution. What they’ve found is that the partnership challenges both parties to stay fresh and find innovative ways to make sure their faculty and students are happy. They base their relationship on trust and present a unanimous front to their school and district. For instance, even if they disagree on an issue in private, they come to a resolution and present their solution publicly as a single unit.

“With a shared leadership model, organizations can accomplish more tasks, with more people, for less money.”

Nonprofit organizations should take note of this Essex high school’s success in the shared leadership experience. Nonprofit Quarterly discussed the concept in great detail, stating that with a shared leadership model, organizations can accomplish more tasks, with more people, for less money. In a two-year exploration of shared leadership effectiveness conducted by the TCC Group, 78 percent of the 27 organizations involved found that their accountability, involvement and decision making improved. They also found that this occurred with either less or the same amount of funding as had been used previously.

What is shared leadership?
Essentially, shared leadership is the expansion of authority across multiple levels or individuals within an organization. It seems that this style of governance is the future of nonprofit hierarchy, or lack thereof.

Benefits of shared leadership
Nonprofits that embark on a journey to distribute power and decision-making responsibilities to a variety of people can become more adaptable and trusting.

With more than one all-powerful leader, nonprofits gain the benefit of multiple points of view and skill sets heading up their operations. As unique situations present themselves, the leadership group can better adapt to solve these issues based on who is best equipped to deal with them.

Distributing responsibility improves a nonprofit’s ability to adapt and make decisions.

While trust is initially required to establish this system, the TCC Group found that it only increased over time. Taking a leap of faith and holding staff to high standards improved trust levels among personnel. One side effect of boosting trustworthiness is an increase in confidence; employees who feel valued and entrusted with specific responsibility are more likely to work hard and be loyal to their charity.
When all staff members are responsible for a nonprofit’s success, the charity’s capacity for problem-solving and fundraising grows. The big picture is more apparent and better interpreted.

Passing down knowledge
The Harvard Business Review noted that upper-level executives tend to hoard expertise and insight into their industry. This isn’t always the case, but many times there are businesses that are stunted in their growth due to an overwhelmingly unequal distribution of knowledge. It’s important for nonprofits to set up systems for imparting expertise upon all staff, rather than waiting until one party dominates the organization’s key information. This can cause resentment among staff and burdens for leaders.

One way to increase transparency and share information is through fundraising software. A system that allows staff to better track funds raised, volunteer management and donor trends over time lead to healthier operations and more meaningful interactions between nonprofit workers.