How to improve nonprofit performance: get serious about employee development plans

People who follow this blog know that I “retired” (?) several years ago to take care of my Dad, now 94 1/2, and concentrate now on helping non-profits develop their marketing and strategic planning capabilities.  Most of the non-profits I’ve worked with serve people who face extreme economic challenges.  They’re usually small, bootstrap organizations.

Even little-engine-that-could organizations have to worry about performance.  Of course, they need to exercise fiscal responsibility, have adequate reserves, and budget for a surplus.  Of course, they need to budget conservatively and identify and mitigate risks that could threaten their missions.

Almost none put any actual resources (time or money) into developing management capability.  Even more than for most industrial sectors, the most important asset of a nonprofit is its people.   Improving performance of a nonprofit requires improving employees’ performance.  But most organizations don’t have access to a framework or tools for doing so.

I’m fortunate to know Dr. Karen Caruso of ViaPeople, based in Chicago.  She just published a wonderful free guide that does a great job of capturing the basics of performance planning and development.  Nonprofits who follow this blog may not be able to afford ViaPeople’s services, but now you can take advantage of a product of its brain trust.

You do have to register with your name and email address, but you will instantly be rewarded with the ability to download the guide.  I was fortunate to benefit from some great performance management programs in my corporate past; this guide helps make these important concepts available to committed people doing important community work through nonprofit management.  Check it out!


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