The pandemic has affected many sectors, including nonprofit organizations. Many issues that they have faced and still face today deserve to be highlighted. We are in a time of adaptation and change! Some of the organizations’ leaders have used innovative strategies to recover from these important issues and continue to help the community.
Are you one of the organizations that have been affected by the pandemic and need to incorporate good strategies for a better future? If so, this article will enlighten you on the challenges faced by NPOs with several possible solutions.
In this article, we address:
- Recongnize challenges faced by nonprofits
- Adapting to change
- Determine priorities
- Focus on technology
- Digitize your entire meetings process
Recongnize challenges faced by nonprofits
1. Financial decline from donations
In the wake of the pandemic, non-profit organizations have experienced a financial decline, primarily based on donations, particularly among smaller organizations.
According to this 2021 survey, almost a third of nonprofits have had to make adjustments and cuts to programs and services, even with government support related to COVID. Overall, 40% experienced a financial decrease and 33% an increase.
2. Increase in demands
In addition, half of the NPOs have experienced an increase in service requests in the past year. This news is not surprising, but for many organizations, this does not sit well if they have had a significant financial downturn.
3. Lack of staff retention
COVID has also brought problems for human resources, with 60% saying they have had difficulty recruiting or retaining staff, the same number saying they have experienced problems such as absenteeism, reduction of benefits, changes in the executive side or board of directors.
Adapting to change
Fortunately, many organizations that have faced these challenges have adapted by being open to change. Many have had to redesign their work strategies, renegotiate their leases, change their service models, but the majority have adopted new technology across their industry.
Many have been proactive, reinvented themselves, and used new resources to support their mission. Most are certainly still in remission, but still evolving.
Here are the changes that have been made in NPOs over the past year that will surely be part of the future:
We know that openness to change is part of the foundation of an organization’s evolution and resilience. But you still need to know where to improve so that you can thrive.
You could take stock of the issues you are experiencing and prioritize them in order of importance. You can use a “mind map” for example to put all your ideas on paper. This way, you will be able to put your energy into one problem at a time with more thoughtful solutions.
To give you some ideas on priorities, here is what nonprofits have been working on over the past year to overcome this wave or to improve what they have already in place:
Focus on technology
Part of the solution to the problems that NPOs have faced in the past year’s upheaval is technology. We’ve seen this with the rise of teleworking and online meetings that have allowed us to continue to be effective and communicate remotely.
On the other hand, technology also allows you to be more organized and methodical to improve the quality of your organization’s services, especially in times of crisis.
We are in a technological era where digital remains a holistic solution for many of the issues mentioned earlier. It can be a source of optimization as much for the financial aspect, the human resources as for the good operational functioning.
Digitize your entire meetings process
It’s no surprise to hear that meetings are one of the primary activities in an organization. They are essential to bringing your teams and board members together to communicate follow-ups, ideas, issues, and decisions.
Whether it’s a time of crisis or a wave of change in your organization, it is important to bring back the team spirit by enriching your communication methods. Optimizing your meetings is one of the strategies to adopt in response to the challenges mentioned earlier, thanks to technology.
We share with you the benefits of adopting a meeting management tool for your organization or your board of directors:
1. Optimize the structure and productivity of your meetings
Knowing how to better plan our everyday activities is an art and it is essential in terms of productivity and quality of work. Technological tools are a common thread in the planning and structure of your organization.
Many board members, especially in NPOs, find themselves disoriented and less engaged during meetings and the lack of structure contributes to this problem.
Using meeting management software can save you a lot of time by assisting you during the organization, the conduct, and the follow-ups of your meetings. This tool makes your communication meetings much more effective.
2. Increase engagement of participants and members
Increase engagement of participants and members
Opting for a secured tool that centralizes your documentation will provide better access to information for all the personnel, at any time and in any place.
In terms of meetings, it is a great solution that can make it easier to find meeting-related files such as agendas and minutes.
In addition, it can encourage your participants or board members to consult the agenda before the meeting which increases engagement and makes your discussions more concise.
3. Improve the governance of your board of directors
Of course, a board of directors, especially for nonprofits, must be impeccable. Implementing a meeting management tool for your BOD will optimize your governance thanks to the complete coordination of your meetings that will promote communication and collaboration between the members.
Your software should be able to :
- Make it easy to share the agenda with confidentiality options
- Provide secure access to all your meetings’ documentation
- Structure the flow of your meetings with time management
- Optimize the follow-up of decisions and resolutions
4. Brings a modern image to your organization
Finally, one of the biggest challenges facing NPOs today is the difficulty of recruiting or retaining staff. Do you agree that a technologically up-to-date organization can be part of the solution to this issue?
If you are skeptical, let’s not forget the technological portrait we were talking about earlier. We can see that the digital trend is not only current but also an important factor for an employee and even for donors if we want to go further in this reflection.
The implementation of a technological tool, whether it is as simple as a meeting management tool, shows a modern image of your organization which helps attract and retain staff. It also shows that you are part of the change and that you are not afraid to embrace new ideas to continue your mission.
We understand that NPOs are facing financial and operational challenges since the pandemic and that part of the solution is the implementation of technology. In addition, optimizing meetings, especially at the board level, is an integral part of the solution.
In conclusion, going digital with meeting management solutions like Beenote for your organization or Beeboard for your governance will help you thrive and at the same time demonstrate that you are part of the future!
A passionate web content creator and writer at Beenote, her primary motivation is to create content that can guide organizations looking to optimize their meetings and boards. Giving practical resources to inspire businesses to adopt best practices to become meeting pros. No more wasting time!