So, who cares if nonprofit managers aren’t trained to be managers?
The answer is- everyone involved cares, which includes staff, volunteers, clients, donors, and the managers themselves.
Staff care because they want to do a good job serving clients.
If the manager lacks organizational, delegation, and communication skills, the staff will be frustrated and unable to do their best work.
Volunteers care because they believe in the nonprofit organization’s mission.
If the manager doesn’t know how to create and maintain a positive and comfortable work environment where volunteers feel supported and appreciated, they will leave.
Clients care because they depend on the services of the nonprofit organization.
If the manager doesn’t give the staff and volunteers the direction and support they need, the quality and timeliness of services will be negatively affected..
And if staff and volunteers leave, that will disrupt their existing relationships with clients, causing clients confusion, distress, and difficulty to obtain access.
Donors care because they want to know that the nonprofit organization is managed well so that promised services are provided, and the organization has a good public image.
If managers don’t know how to communicate with them or fulfill commitments made, donors will lack confidence and seek out other more stable organizations to support.
Managers care because they are responsible for staff, volunteers, programs, client services, and donor relations.
If managers don’t know how to communicate, delegate, manage their time, build a team, create a motivational environment, manage conflict, provide constructive performance feedback, celebrate staff and volunteer achievements, interact with donors, oversee client and program services, and effectively manage difficult staff and clients, they will fail.
And 60% of new managers fail within the first two years. They fail because they lack the training and support to succeed. As noted above, their failure negatively impacts the entire organization.
Managers aren’t born, they’re made. Management training is an investment. If you want your nonprofit to thrive, make sure that your managers can perform all their responsibilities with confidence and competence.
P.S. Do you think a nonprofit organization can succeed in its mission despite poor management?
May your learning be sweet.