NFP Consultancy Services Blog

Stop Killing The KPI Buy-in!


We all want to know what to do to increase buy-in to performance measurement, but sometimes it’s more about what NOT to do.

Question: How do you create buy-in to performance measurement?

Answer: You don’t have to create buy-in, you just have to stop doing things that kill it.

Conclusion: Buy-in is a natural product of respecting people, and not getting in their way of contributing.

Buy-in is that state when people are committed to something, when they are convinced of its worth for them and no longer have objections or fears that get in their way of adopting it. It’s when they feel a sense of ownership about it. Most of us want our people to feel this way about performance measurement, which is one of the harder things in business to get people to buy-in to.  

Click Here to read the 8-page White Paper by Stacy Barr. Stacy is a globally recognised specialist in organisational performance measurement. She discovered that the struggles with measuring business performance are, surprisingly, universal. The biggest include hard-to-measure goals, trivial or meaningless measures, and no buy-in from people to measure and improve what matters. The root cause is a set of bad habits that have become common practice.

Discover more about Stacey and practical performance measurement at www.staceybarr.com.

Posted 58 weeks ago

“FOUR QUESTIONS TO ASK IN EVERY APPEAL“

nfp-specialist:

Katya Andresen and Julie Stofer, Network for Good

To grow your donor base and total donations you need to have an appropriate “Call to Action” in every appeal. The problem is that many non for profit campaigns lack that. Hence the problem of the “Call to Inaction.”

It’s great to state who you are and what you do, but if you never clearly ask for money and never appeal to potential donors correctly, your results won’t amount to much. To do that you need to answer the following four questions every time you ask:

Why me?
Your audience needs to care about what you are doing. Show them why what you’re doing is personally relevant to them. They need to connect to you on a human level. Use pictures, tell stories and do anything that can help your audience relate.  

If your writing tends to be more like an academic argument than a true-life story aimed at touching the heart, it’s time to break out of your old habits and put the heart and soul of your work back into every word you write.

Why Now?
Most people donate online on two occasions. The first is towards the end of the year; people are in charitable mindsets and looking to make year-end tax contributions. The other is when there’s a humanitarian crisis such as the earthquake in Nepal. What do you do the rest of the year?

• Create a sense of urgency and immediacy in your appeal. Explain why a donation is needed right now.

• Break down what you are currently doing and show any immediately understandable or visible results that will make people want to take action.

What For?
People know you’re a nonprofit organization and you need donations to help your cause. But where exactly is a donor’s money going? What will they get in return for their donation - personally and in terms of your programs?

• Don’t just focus on need; focus on specifically explaining the impact a donation will make.

• Show them that you will take care of their money so a potential donor knows it won’t be wasted or inefficiently used.

• Clearly show which programs are being helped by a donation or what goods are going to result.

• Share human interest stories and success stories. Share how other donors made an impact or how donors impacted other individuals in need. Avoid talking about massive numbers, mind-numbing statistics, or intangible outcomes.

Who says?
The messenger is often as important as the message.

People tend to do what other people are doing. Tap into that by using trustworthy messengers - people you’ve actually helped or other donors instead of just you. People say friends and family are the most influential in determining where they give money, so also think about how you can get your supporters to speak for you among their own circles of influence.

Posted 59 weeks ago

THE NEW NATIONAL STANDARDS FOR VOLUNTEER INVOLVEMENT

Volunteering Australia’s new National Standards for Volunteer Involvement were launched on Monday 11 May 2015 to mark the beginning of National Volunteer Week 2015 (11-17 May). The new Standards incorporate significant changes to the original standards in order to reflect best practice in volunteer management in Australia’s current work environment.

The Standards provide a sound framework for supporting the volunteer sector in Australia. The Standards are much easier to follow and are adaptable to different organisation types and different forms of volunteering which reflect the diversity of this growing sector.

Direct benefits to organisations:

  • They provide good practice guidance and benchmarks to help organisations attract, manage and retain volunteers, and
  • Help manage risk and safety in their work with volunteers.

Direct benefits to volunteers:

  • They help improve the volunteer experience.

The new National Standards for Volunteer Involvement are available for download here.

Posted 220 weeks ago

NAB CHARITABLE GIVING INDEX

By NAB Group Economics

Giving to charity grew by just 2% over the year to February 2015, down from 10% at the same time last year. Growth slowed in most age groups (except 65+), in all regions and there was significant divergence in the rate of charitable giving growth across charity categories.

The slowdown in giving mirrors some key findings from our Consumer Anxiety Reports which shows that Australians are responding to heightened stress by cutting back spending on “non essentials”, including charitable donations. Slower growth in charitable donations has also occurred against a backdrop of below trend economic growth and rising unemployment.

Despite these challenges, the average donation size for all charities increased by $2 over the past year to $336 per donor, with nearly all charity sectors experiencing an increase in average donation size. For this update, we have undertaken a review of charity categorisations to improve how charities are represented in the publication. This has resulted in some changes, with around 50% of the “Other” category reallocated to a new “Charitable Lotteries” category. Despite this change, Humanitarian Services charities continue to attract by far the biggest (albeit declining) share of all charity donations (35%).

Finally, we continue to see a very strong relationship between average dollar giving and average incomes with the affluent suburbs of Middle Park (3206), Bellevue Hill (2023) and Hunters Hill (2110) leading the country for generosity. Relative to incomes, however, the suburbs of Castlemaine (3450), Sturt (5047) and Fitzroy North (3068) lead the way for charity.

To download the full report:  NAB Charitable Giving index: Indepth report – 12 months to February 2015 (PDF, 1.90 MB)

Posted 221 weeks ago

“FOUR QUESTIONS TO ASK IN EVERY APPEAL“

Katya Andresen and Julie Stofer, Network for Good

To grow your donor base and total donations you need to have an appropriate “Call to Action” in every appeal. The problem is that many non for profit campaigns lack that. Hence the problem of the “Call to Inaction.”

It’s great to state who you are and what you do, but if you never clearly ask for money and never appeal to potential donors correctly, your results won’t amount to much. To do that you need to answer the following four questions every time you ask:

Why me?
Your audience needs to care about what you are doing. Show them why what you’re doing is personally relevant to them. They need to connect to you on a human level. Use pictures, tell stories and do anything that can help your audience relate.  

If your writing tends to be more like an academic argument than a true-life story aimed at touching the heart, it’s time to break out of your old habits and put the heart and soul of your work back into every word you write.

Why Now?
Most people donate online on two occasions. The first is towards the end of the year; people are in charitable mindsets and looking to make year-end tax contributions. The other is when there’s a humanitarian crisis such as the earthquake in Nepal. What do you do the rest of the year?

• Create a sense of urgency and immediacy in your appeal. Explain why a donation is needed right now.

• Break down what you are currently doing and show any immediately understandable or visible results that will make people want to take action.

What For?
People know you’re a nonprofit organization and you need donations to help your cause. But where exactly is a donor’s money going? What will they get in return for their donation - personally and in terms of your programs?

• Don’t just focus on need; focus on specifically explaining the impact a donation will make.

• Show them that you will take care of their money so a potential donor knows it won’t be wasted or inefficiently used.

• Clearly show which programs are being helped by a donation or what goods are going to result.

• Share human interest stories and success stories. Share how other donors made an impact or how donors impacted other individuals in need. Avoid talking about massive numbers, mind-numbing statistics, or intangible outcomes.

Who says?
The messenger is often as important as the message.

People tend to do what other people are doing. Tap into that by using trustworthy messengers - people you’ve actually helped or other donors instead of just you. People say friends and family are the most influential in determining where they give money, so also think about how you can get your supporters to speak for you among their own circles of influence.

Posted 222 weeks ago

"NFP's TRIPPING OVER THEIR OWN RULES"

In addition to external regulations, self-imposed rules are compromising the ability of the Australian not-for-profit (NFP) and non-government organisations (NGOs) to deliver services, a new report has found.

According to Deloitte’s Get out of your own way: Unleashing productivity, self-imposed red tape generates a significant additional burden on NFPs and NGOs, with the average worker in both sectors spending more than six hours a week on self-imposed red tape. These include:

  • Decision-making by processes – governance structures that require decisions to be ratified by multiple committees.

  • Federation causing duplication – NFPs doing the same thing in different states, but under separate legal entities, sometimes without sharing services, knowledge or information across states.
  • KPIs not supporting strategy – internal frameworks and KPIs do not align with strategic priorities.
  • Strategy v operations –role definitions between boards and management not being clear, resulting in boards becoming too involved in operational matters as opposed to focusing on strategy and risk.

According to the report’s co-author, Deloitte Access Economics’ Chris Richardson, both the public and private sectors can benefit from a new approach to managing risk. “Where rules don’t exist, we create them. Where they already do, we make more. They overlap, they contradict, they eat our time and they weigh us down,” he said.

“We’ve created a ‘compliance sector’ that employs more people than construction, manufacturing or education, and taking a long, hard look at the rules that individual organisations operate within will reduce the cost and complexity of doing business in Australia.”

For a copy of the report, click here.

Posted 248 weeks ago

"TOP TIPS TO BE A MORE EFFECTIVE BOARD TRUSTEE"

A good board will have a broad set of interests and skills and will work together to create a team that delivers, writes nfpSynergy’s Joe Saxton who offers his top five things to do to be a more effective Board Trustee.

A good board may have a ‘balanced set of axes to grind’ about all the issues a charity faces. Some trustees may find they have little in common with each other, but collectively the key is whether or not they do the job.

These are my personal views gathered over 25 years experience. The key issue for me is whether my experiences are useful in stimulating others to look at how they can make the boards on which they sit more effective.

1…Get to know members of staff (and other trustees)

There is a danger for any trustee (and for any board) in having the CEO/senior management team and the papers sent in preparation for board meetings as their only sources of insight, knowledge and information. A useful trustee will be out there meeting staff, seeing projects, talking to volunteers and acting as the eyes and ears of the board.

Over time, the best way to do this is to know some staff well enough to email, call or visit them and ask “how are things going?” In reality, the same is true for getting to know your fellow trustees – it can really help a board become more effective if trustees know each other and talk between meetings.

2….Get to know three specific areas of an organisation’s work

Trustees are responsible for everything. However, it’s all too easy for trustees to be responsible for everything and know about nothing in detail. I think it’s always good for a trustee to have two or three areas of an organisation’s work that they know about in a bit more detail. Sometimes these are called portfolios. In the world of school governors, these roles are called ‘link governors’ - knowing and understanding how a department is doing. Trustees should pick their areas and immerse themselves so they can add value inside or outside board meetings.

3….Ask for non-financial as well as financial performance indicators

How many boards measure the money in great detail (my favourite is always actual vs. budget for insurance costs), but do little regular monitoring of non-financial aspects?

The irony is of course that charities don’t exist to make money, they exist to make a difference, so at every board meeting there should be regular data on non-financial parameters. Let me put this another way. Imagine that a board could never use money as a proxy for success. How would you know that your charity is doing a great job? And in particular, a better job this year than last year?

4….Be the grit in the oyster in a particular aspect of the organisation’s work

One of the ways that any trustee can do a better job is to be engaged in constructive discontent on an issue. How could we do this better? How are our peers and competitors doing? What is holding our performance back? What extra resources would help us do a better job? Any trustee can take on the role of being the grit in the oyster for better performance, officially or by just making it happen.

5…..Make trustee meetings make the big decisions

One of the roles that an individual trustee can help with is making the board processes work so that the big challenges are tackled by the trustee board. “Chair, I think that would be a really good issue for a board discussion”, or “Can we discuss the issue of … and the reason I say that a trustee can agitate to get items on the agenda is that it’s all too easy for boards to have such a routine of minute-approving, committee-reporting, matters-arising and item-noting that they don’t actually discuss the big issues (which may only get discussed in CEO/chair meetings or not at all).

Worst still, some CEOs and chairs prefer it if board discussions are controlled and mundane. After all a compliant board is much easier to manage and less time-consuming.

A final thought – focus on decisions made, rather than finishing on time

I sympathise when busy CEOs and chairs want board meetings to be run on a tight rein, but rarely is it good for governance, strategy, beneficiaries or innovation for boards to be unchallenging. Individual trustees can be the agents to provoke discussion of the big challenges that an organisation faces.

In this sense, there is no greater irony than when a chair celebrates finishing a meeting on time, or even early, if in doing so the chance for genuine, strategic debate has been stifled or side-stepped. That is not to say that board meetings overrunning are a good thing if time has been spent discussing minutiae or issues not even on the agenda.

The question at the end of each board meeting should be “Did we make decisions today that will affect what we do a year or five years from now?”, rather than “Did we finish on time?”

About the author: Joe Saxton is Driver of Ideas at nfpSynergy based in the UK. He has been the chair of four different charities and founded two. He has sat on the boards or sub-committees of four more charities and also has experience from numerous other charities where he has worked with the trustee boards as either a consultant to the organisation or as a senior member of staff. The thoughts in this piece are based on his personal experience of all those trustee boards over the last 25 years.

This article is an edited version of Joe Saxton’s complete article entitled A Trusted Role: The challenges of creating an effective trustee board

Also published 03/11/2014 on: http://www.probonoaustralia.com.au

Posted 249 weeks ago