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Goal Setting and Excellent Execution for Nonprofits. Nonprofit MBA Podcast 2.12

Summary: In any nonprofit organization, it is important to stay focused and working toward a specific goal. You must analyze your organization’s situation to understand what objectives and goals require the most amount of attention. Once your goals are set in place, execution comes into play.

In today’s Podcast, Stephen Halasnik speaks with consultant and coach, Robin Carbal about the importance of setting goals and executing your goals. They will identify key measures to focus on and tips to stay on track for your organization to reach a new level of success.

Importance of Identifying Nonprofit Goals

The key to any organization’s success is excellent execution, especially for smaller to midsize nonprofits. Your leadership team should use the COVID crisis to reevaluate the nonprofit organization and analyze a new plan for your business. Find the weaknesses in your organization and initiate time-bound goals to propel results in the next year.

Whether your business is in a bad position or not, you should always step back and reflect on everything that the nonprofit organization has done in the past. You need to examine what has worked and what has not to create a template for future successes. All your goals should be SMART goals, specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. The template will be the baseline for the planning process to maintain the organization’s mission even through the hard times.

Robin typically looks at the health metrics for a fundraising program and builds goals around the sources that move these metrics forward, including owner retention, donor acquisition, and donor upgrade. If you can not establish ways to raise funds consistently, then you have a slowly dying fundraising program.

Robin would say that about 99% of the nonprofit organizations she works with do not have specific goals. Granted she specializes in small to the midsize nonprofit, she has noticed that the nonprofit management operate as they always have and continue to not set any goals or objectives.

Setting goals is easy. Having strategic planning is not as easy, but the hardest part is actually the execution. Sticking to your plans and following up on your strategic plan is where the discipline really comes in to play. When working toward the execution of your goals you need to consider ways to improve your fundraising goals that ultimately bring more solutions to your cause and keep your stakeholders involved.

Executing Your Nonprofit Strategic Plan

With her clients, Robin takes the current fundraising plans set by team members and the board members of the organization and creates a laid out procedure with an implementation plan to achieve the desired results. She will typically conduct a SWOT analysis of the entire organization and then further creates a long-range plan, usually about 2 to 3 years long. Some organizations need to change faster, so they will align their new plans with a year. This calls for more frequent team meetings and benchmarks to make adjustments to the plan as needed to stay on track. Regardless, Robin keeps a scorecard of their efforts to make sure they are on track.

Meetings are usually monthly or quarterly, depending on the organization’s desired outreach. As the fundraising committee works toward their strategic goals, Robin continues the discussion and adjustments of the three-year plan. She works with the organization so that they also provide their outlook on ways to gain the greatest leverage.

Things to Consider When Goal Setting for your Nonprofit:

  1. The bigger and more successful the organization, the more planning there is and better execution on a plan.
  2. Executing an idea is hard and the process can become boring. It is fun to come up with new ideas, but when you are executing the plan, this can cause difficulties when trying to stay focused. The main reason could be that a ‘shiny new object’ or idea came up and causes the team to reconsider the original plan. Avoid this from occurring by having a monthly meeting with your team to review your strategic goals.
  3. Having a third party professional come in to evaluate your organization can help the nonprofit stay on task. Make sure that any coach you hire has the correct credentials, certification, and expertise for your business and that the coach has been in the nonprofit sector for at least 5 years for them to offer some value to you.
  4. We could not predict COVID coming, but you should still always prepare for possible future recessions. Your organization should always do risk assessment scans of external environmental items that could occur. Put in your calendar “Plan for the unexpected” to take time to plan how your nonprofit would survive due to possible negative occurrences, such as losing your largest donor or losing a large portion of your funding from the state.

Helping your Nonprofit Stay On Track

Having a third-party person hold you accountable is not a bad thing. Most professional sports teams have a coach along the sidelines to help direct the players in the next play. So a coach in a nonprofit would also hold you accountable to make sure that implementation is happening. A plan is only a plan if it never gets implemented.

The coach should be able to pay for themselves. They should be able to do their job so well that the organization is getting more money through its fundraising efforts and being more efficient at producing better results in your services.

With a nonprofit, there are many groups of people that make it function. There is the board of directors, the chairmen of the board, and the executive director. Having a third party person cut through all the leadership is important. The dynamic of having authority in a different department allows a great space for someone to help break any conflict or decision making. There are many layers of tension that exist that can block the execution of a plan in a nonprofit. So an investment of a coach could be helpful for a nonprofit to execute a plan with full accountability and help your organization stay focused.

Conclusion:

II would like to thank so very much Robin Cabral from Development Consulting Solutions for joining me on today’s podcast.

If you liked today’s podcast, please feel free to share it with a friend and also subscribe on your favorite podcasting app and leave us a review. Of course, if you are looking for a line of credit for your business, you can call us at 862-207-4118 or visit our website at www.nonprofitmbapodcast.com.

If anyone wants to get in touch with Robin, you can reach her website: developmentconsultingsolutions.com or on LinkedIn.

Thank you all for making the world a better place.

About the Guest Robin Carbal, Development Consulting Solutions

Today, I am excited to be speaking with Robin Cabral from Development Consulting Solutions. Robin is the fundraising coach and consultant who provides value-added interim “hands-on” remote and coaching support with razor-sharp monthly result objectives and benchmarked deliverables. With over 25 years of experience, she has raised millions of dollars for small to mid-sized organizations and she focuses her coaching experiences on the GROWing people, performance, and purpose model used by Performance Consultants International.

She serves as a sounding board, change agent, and extra staff person for those new to fundraising, wanting to excel in their fundraising job or role, or advance in their career. She serves both fundraising professionals and executive directors alike. Her writing has appeared in Nonprofit Pro, Massachusetts Nonprofit News, Charity Channel, Bloomerang, Donor Search, Nonprofit Expert, Donor Perfect, Nonprofit Learning Library, and many other blogs.

Robin, Welcome to the Nonprofit MBA podcast for the second time!

About The Host Stephen Halasnik, Financing Solutions

Stephen Halasnik is the host of the popular, The Nonprofit MBA Podcast. The Nonprofit MBA podcast’s purpose is to help nonprofit leaders. Mr. Halasnik is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Financing Solutions. Financing Solutions is a leading provider of Lines of Credit to nonprofits and small businesses. 

Mr. Halasnik is a graduate of Rutgers University and has an Executive Masters from the MIT Birthing of Giants Entrepreneurship program. Mr. Halasnik is a best selling Amazon author and is considered a leading authority on building great, purpose-driven businesses. Mr. Halasnik lives in New Jersey with his best friend, his wife Gina. Mr. Halasnik’s number one purpose is raising his two boys, Michael and Maxwell, to be good men. 

About Financing Solutions Nonprofit Line of Credit

Financing Solutions, an A+ and 5 stars rated BBB company since 2002, is a direct lender that provides lines of credit to nonprofits and small businesses.

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