Blogs

Entries with Blog Label Nonprofit Management .

November 18, 2022

Implementing Change to Build Resiliency

Some argue that they couldn’t prepare for the pandemic, because it was a black swan event—defined as unforeseeable. While that may be true, it’s imperative to develop and implement better defenses against future incidents—regardless of forewarning. Whether the next calamity is a virus, an extreme weather event, or something else, the effects to your nonprofit can be mitigated. Take strategic steps now to protect your clients, workers, continuity of services, and overall sustainability from whatever the future may bring.

Three Major Threats

Start by understanding and correcting three common vulnerabilities. First, study your supply chain and its logistics risks. Those with global supply chains may be at higher levels of vulnerability to any kind of worldwide incident. Next, make sure to complete your survival plan to manage your continuity in the event of any kind of shutdown or crisis. And third, understand that communication helps to reduce uncertainty, so develop a clear communication plan with your team and partners. Once you’ve taken these initial steps, you're ready to deep-dive into real preparedness.

Three Keys to Recovery

Nonprofits strengthen their resilience through robust, faster, and more inclusive post-disaster rebuilding. When the process is robust, organizations become less vulnerable to future disruptions; when it's fast, people can get back to their normal life earlier; and when it's inclusive, nobody is left behind in the recovery process. Now, imagine that public and private stakeholders across the land are performing the same process. This can include small and large governmental agencies, for-profit companies, private citizen groups, and nonprofit organizations. Encourage your nonprofit to join the conversation, as everyone pulls together to build back better, with faster communication, inclusive thinking, and robust planning.

The Unfolding Future and Disaster Risk Reduction

The effects of climate change are already increasing destruction and the risk of life globally. Many are already seeking ways to mitigate and prepare for upcoming disasters. Flood, fire, and disease are on the rise, as we continue to survive through natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis. The United Nation’s 2015 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR) predicted that “the risk of economic losses is rising as a result of the rapidly increasing value of assets that are exposed to major hazards.” In addition, a large proportion of losses continue to be associated with small and recurring disaster events that severely damage critical public infrastructure, human lives, animal and wildlife, agriculture, housing, and production.”

It is no longer practical to put off disaster preparedness in the hope that it won’t happen. True, nonprofits must work within limited budgets, often relying on the ingenuity of their leaders. Because of this, the best plan for long-term resiliency is to integrate sustainability into everything your nonprofit does. Resilience means that your nonprofit will be able to adapt and recover rapidly from disruptions due to emergencies.

No matter how devastating an emergency might be, recovery can take place. It might require months or even years, but when communities work together, balancing short-term objectives and long-term goals, involving all stakeholders, and following a common vision for the future – they can pull together funding from more sources, additional technical support, and information gleaned from other nonprofits to build back better, stronger, more adaptable, and more resilient.

The good news is various programs are now available to reduce the impact of natural, technological, and human-made events on your nonprofit’s community. The National Hazard Management Association (NHMA) has developed the Disaster Risk Reduction Ambassador Curriculum (DRR) in cooperation with FEMA. The DRR Ambassador Curriculum helps community stakeholders find ways to understand and prepare to implement programs and measures handling the entire disaster cycle – pre, during and post disaster. This supports nonprofit and other community leaders as they engage in community-level discussions with multidisciplinary educational resources, self-study materials, and training workshops. You will find three stand-alone modules, each taking about 1 to 2 hours to complete. Whether or not you can complete this training, your nonprofit could benefit from the aid of a DRR Ambassador. They come from various backgrounds and groups with the goal of helping their communities take strong proactive steps to mitigate risks from natural hazards. Bold decision-making comes from a process of education and discussion, but the rewards will take your organization beyond the minimal protection provided by existing federal standards.

DRR Ambassadors use a reference guide titled Building Your Roadmap to a Disaster Resilient Future. The Roadmap provides ideas for community disaster risk reduction along with explanations and hyperlinks to a wide array of technical and other resources needed at various junctures. Communities that avail themselves to NHMA’s program are clearly better prepared to face natural disasters in the future.

The Seven Basics

Here are seven important steps to a stronger, more resilient future:

Conduct annual risk assessments. Begin by seeing the potential scale of a hazard. Three areas deserve special consideration in gauging risks:

  • Finances. How manageable is your cash flow, debts, and expenses? Can you predict your nonprofit’s financial health up to a year? Address those red flags of worsening scenarios.
  • Technology and equipment. Cybersecurity threats can damage your bottom line and reputation. Its critical to audit your security often, as technology is constantly evolving.
  • Workspace Safety. How safe is your building and its location? Work with government agencies to weigh your risk for weather-related disasters, including floods, as well as natural disasters like earthquakes. Follow health safety updates for your building.

Cross-train employees with a clear training plan. Do your best to triage topics so they learn CPR and first aid first. Teach an escape plan, disaster preparedness, and preparation for other risks to life. Additionally, help employees train to work in additional roles and under different working conditions, such as a temporary worksite.

Stock up on supplies. Your team might be required to shelter in place at the office. Are you prepared with three days of shelf-stable food and water—enough for everyone? Remember to keep fresh hand sanitizer, anti-bacterial wipes, gloves, masks, flashlights, batteries, blankets, and phone chargers well-stocked for emergencies. Note expiration dates.

Save for a rainy day. Try to build up a cash reserve equal to three to six months of your nonprofit’s expenses. A 3-month fund should be considered bare minimum. If you have a 6-month fund, you will be prepared for unexpected opportunities.

Put your people first. Enact policies to address your staff’s needs during an emergency. Help them handle their primary concern, their families, so they can then focus on your nonprofit. Plan for work-from-home options and possibly providing childcare. Also, take some time each year to review your paid leave, health insurance, and sick leave policies. How might you build in more flexibility? Set guidelines for hazard pay to help those working in essential roles under tough conditions. Show them they are valued to motivate your team during challenging events.

Re-examine and diversify your fundraising efforts. If you’ve always relied on an annual gala event, it’s time to consider additional funding options. Build your adaptability in the event of closures. If you already have a variety of sources, conduct an audit to see which are the most successful and find ways to grow those.

Apply what you’ve learned. The pandemic provided vast learning opportunities. Explore all your strategies—from policies that protected your employees’ health to ways you handled financial losses. What worked? What didn’t? Consult your organization’s stakeholders including experts, like accountants and lawyers. Be proactive in fixing what didn’t work and promoting what did.

Agility and the Post-COVID Landscape

Are you exhausted from deploying stop-gap measures? Have you been slashing budgets, shifting services online, and doing whatever else you can to help your community and protect your nonprofit? The truth has become obvious. Each challenge is only one in a series of ongoing crises that will continue to threaten your organization. You must develop a frame of mind that continuously generates fresh, new solutions – with creativity and resourcefulness. Integrating sustainability is key to adapting more rapidly to crises. Those organizations that were committed to this before the pandemic struck were better able to navigate the challenges it brought.

Many nonprofits discovered to their dismay that the tools and policies they had in place as pre-planning prior to COVID failed to manage the speed, scale, breadth, and duration of all the pandemic’s impacts. Advance investments in your human and social capital that will help. Your team’s awareness of several potential pressures that could combine toward disaster will help you move toward best-practice management of your potential risks.

While you deploy stress tests and other exercises to prepare for the future, think about how your team has communicated during the pandemic. Everyone was forced to reconsider presuppositions and communicate clearly, no matter how fluid the situation. So now, you must encourage innovative thinking, rehearse dynamic situations and seek to empower your workers to own and manage risk within their scope of influence. This is one way of weaving resilience into the fabric of your organization’s culture. Investing in your staff first, helping them to communicate effectively with stakeholders, and building their leadership skills will position your nonprofit to better navigate future crises.

You’ve seen how everything is connected. Natural events, social order, and economic systems all flow together to impact your nonprofit. More than ever, events strike with ferocious speed and impact requiring sudden changes in strategy. We will continue to feel the increasing effects of climate change, deepening inequality, biodiversity loss, political upheaval, and more. Work with your nonprofit’s leadership to be clear, decisive, and authentic in all communication with the team so that everyone places their priorities in alignment, and your organization will be better prepared to pivot.

The following guiding principles have helped other nonprofits maintain their equilibrium as they’ve worked with donors, boards and government agencies to spark endless innovation:

• Keep going. Your ability to pivot might not always look perfect, but it will fail completely if you allow yourself to be stopped by disruptions. Many nonprofits were deeply challenged by the shift to virtual services, but those with an unrelenting attitude were eventually able to adapt. You must keep moving, trying, pushing, and innovating.

• Question fundamental assumptions, so you can imagine being part of a changed future. Take time to evaluate the changing political, physical, social, economic, and health needs of your community and targeted population. How should your mission and vision change? Be sure to test the appropriateness of multiple approach options, then explore how you might scale your chosen best result, and finally how you might escape the drag of longstanding processes that restrict fresh approaches. These three steps will empower you to solve complicated challenges.

• Focus on the most vulnerable. While it’s important to work toward larger dreams for the future, try to avoid leaving behind marginalized community members. Solutions that you devise for the most marginalized populations will find their way to help the larger society, too.

• Small steps add up to big changes. Start with small, rigorously tested ideas. Your methodology will mean everything as you design a process for continuous, everyday innovation. Start with one small problem. Generate promising ideas. Then, come up with early prototypes so that you can test, gauge, and improve whichever one has the best potential to make the most impact. Rapid prototyping is a more flexible and cost-effective approach than major initiative launches.

With each bit of urgency in a crisis, there is also opportunity. Innovate by surveying community members, brainstorming ideas, and rapidly developing simple prototypes of the most promising solutions. Start with the most severely impacted in a crisis and scale it up later. Seizing the moment could help you lead your nonprofit past whatever has blocked change in the past. You might feel like you’re building the jet plane during take-off, but when you factor in creativity, energy, enthusiasm, and constant learning … your odds of staying aloft are good.

Aim Toward Social Purpose

While many nonprofit leaders feel pressured into focusing on financial health, a broader view will help in providing more sustainability. Social purpose, with a clear understanding of your desired impact, will guide your decisions as you seek to balance your budget against your capacity to deliver impact. COVID-19 will eventually retreat into the past, but it has left in its wake a lasting effect on how we determine our effectiveness. Keeping social purpose in mind, follow these priority takeaways:

• Social Impact. No matter how society shifts, a sharp focus on your intended impact and theory of change will help you stay relevant. If you’re forced to forge new partnerships, alter your services or advocate in new ways, reexamining your social impact is critical to informing all decisions. As community need rises, develop new ways to deliver services while maintaining public support.

• Economic Viability. If you’re struggling to handle increased demand with disruptions in funding, you’re not alone. These destabilizing conditions could threaten your long-term financial wellness, and some threats will no doubt continue in the future. Sustainable nonprofits must have reliable funding and predictable expenses as well as cash on hand for routine and emergency expenses. Develop processes for managing your financial viability. First, take a clear and detailed assessment of your financial situation. Second, plan for various financial scenarios and emergencies. Finally, be honest with all your stakeholders including donors. Ask the tough questions, such as who plans to donate again. For better planning, you need to know.

• Capacity to Deliver. Four core ideals will help you maintain services. First, you must set up a strong and distributed leadership that can pivot in response to dynamic challenges. Second, your team must be flexible, recognizing potential changes in member needs, client behaviors, and the general community landscape. Third, look for more ways to collaborate with other nonprofits and agencies. Consider public-private partnerships. Make sure your cultural values are clear, give your team cooperative skillsets, and build incentives from the top-down, so your leaders model collaboration. Fourth, build your capacity for technological improvements. Work out the training your staff will need and establish whether technology can help you scale up services while lowering your long-term costs.

Under the Radar

Most companies have a new take on teleworking, which will change where people live. Depending on the nature and location of your mission, you might notice a subtle shift in populations. COVID-19 and other recent events have sparked this interest in landscapes amenable to social distancing, home-centered work, and a small-town quality of life. In ways similar to those wrought by the last century’s industrial revolution, macro-socioeconomic shifts caused by the pandemic could mean big changes are coming. Eventually, large cities could see decreased demand for services while small-town nonprofits experience growth in supportive community members.

Your new battleground might be at the digital divide, fighting to provide reliable high-speed internet access to all, especially in rural areas. Nonprofits and NGOs should recognize the opportunities for local communities collaborating to put the COVID crisis behind, overcome the challenges of social unrest, and work together toward solutions. It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that real estate agents in small towns across America have become partners toward social change, as the National Association of Realtors published information on equity, stabilization, and developing community engagement for their members.

Rural and suburban communities are remaining online. In fact, growing their online presence, like online crowdfunding, becomes a viable financial resource for nonprofits. Most of all, keep your eyes open for further societal evolution—perhaps, the next macro-adjustments will alter the very core of your nonprofit.

This is an excerpt from UST’s eBook, “3 Key Strategies for Nonprofit Resiliency: Preparing for Future Crises” in collaboration with Beth Black, Writer and Editor.

September 30, 2022

[Webinar Recording] UST Live: Succession Planning and Preparedness

In the latest rendition of UST Live, we were joined by thought leaders from across the U.S. with expertise in succession planning. Guest moderator, Jennifer Hutchins from the Maine Association of Nonprofits, lead the conversation as the group discussed how organizations nationwide are experiencing a shift in the workforce as employees seek out other opportunities. Whether a transition occurs due to an unexpected vacancy or the anticipated departure of a long-tenured leader, it's vital that nonprofits have a succession plan in place to ensure organizational sustainability.

The group also discussed why proactively addressing how your leadership needs will evolve in the future and identifying activities to strengthen leadership capacity can help create the resiliency and agility an organization needs to thrive.

Watch now to discover:

  • Succession planning as a risk management strategy
  • Common mistakes to avoid when preparing for succession planning
  • How to encourage development and training that cultivates leaders from within

Upcoming UST Live Webinars: This webinar series was designed to equip nonprofits with the strategies and resources they need to survive (and thrive) in a constantly evolving environment. Be on the lookout for future UST Live sessions—scheduled for November.

September 21, 2022

How to Improve Communication Strategies with Your Team

Working on a team requires more than just hard work, morale amongst co-workers, and willingness to work with others. The most important yet often ignored that attributes to a team’s success is effective communication. Communication is a vital part of any business environment—especially a nonprofit organization since many employees wear multiple hats—as it facilitates a consistent flow of information. When it comes to team communication, the purpose of interacting among co-workers is to share information that is essential to achieving organization goals. In addition, good communication makes it easy for team members to coordinate with one another effectively.

An organization’s communication strategy usually consists of techniques that encourage open communication and effective teamwork in a workplace environment. Having an action plan in place for your organization can help to improve your communication skills, work on team building, and executive tasks efficiently. This kind of proactive leadership is even more important today, given the rise of remote teams and virtual collaboration.

Here's just a few of the many benefits that result from an effective communication strategy:

1) Supports Employee Engagement: Effective communication in the workplace increases employee morale and engagement by helping team members feel connected to the work they’re doing and the organization their working for. Thoughtful team-building activities can also help nurture communication skills, which improves camaraderie and employee engagement. Increasing employee engagement can lead to reduced turnover, a better customer experience, and even increased profitability

2) Helps with Productivity: Inefficient work habits or missed project deadlines are almost always the result of poor workplace communication skills. By using effective communication strategies, you can be clearer about expectations and ultimately get the results you need to deliver projects in a timely manner.

3) Opens Up Doors for Innovation Opportunities: An environment of open communication in the workplace fosters creative problem solving, more adventurous ideas, and out-of-the-box thinking. It helps you create space for innovation by fostering a “no bad ideas” attitude and encouraging your team to try new things—even if those projects don’t work out as anticipated. Making space to learn from different collaboration styles can really expand the possibilities for your organization.

Effective communication in the workplace might sound straightforward but it’s about so much more than having a simple conversation—especially when not everyone communicates the same way. You need to be intentional and use the right strategies that provide diverse opportunities for both formal and informal communications across the organization. By employing communications strategies that foster open communication and collaboration, you can build an organization full of employees who are engaged, efficient, and innovative. And that’s the kind of team that makes an organization successful and most importantly, support the communities you serve.

August 03, 2022

Addressing Burnout & Compassion Fatigue In Nonprofit Employees

             

Nonprofit workers strive to make the world a better place. However, these passionate professionals often face long working hours, limited resources, funding deficiencies and an unrelenting stream of other on-the-job challenges. All this and more can lead to employee burnout, as well as nonprofit compassion fatigue.

How can nonprofit employees of all levels better address such difficulties and avoid becoming overly strained? Below are some actionable ideas to help prevent employee burnout and work toward a healthier work-life balance.

First, what is nonprofit compassion fatigue and what does it look like? Referred to at times as secondary trauma or vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue is a way to describe the excessive stress affecting those exposed to the traumatic suffering of others leading to desensitization, indifference or apathy. When untreated, it could lead to exhaustion, irritability, reduced productivity and absenteeism, along with physical and mental health problems.

Essentially, compassion fatigue means that a person working continuously under strenuous conditions no longer feels able to care about the people they serve. Often, these individuals get to this point by minimizing their own suffering. In fact, industry reports have found that 62% of people who engage in emotional work tend to hide their personal feelings. Combine this with being buried in work and these people can easily develop feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.

Over time, this not only affects an employee’s health and relationships, but it can significantly impact employee retention. A 2021 study found that 69% of participants believe their organizations are understaffed. Chronic staffing issues ultimately whittle away at a nonprofit's ability to achieve objectives.

What can leaders and HR professionals do to address compassion fatigue and burnout? It starts by implementing a strategy designed to promote a healthy work culture. Everyone should be encouraged to capitalize on vacation time, lunch breaks and time off-the-clock to de-stress from the important work they are striving to accomplish. Leaders should also establish and enforce reasonable work hours.

Another way to help address arduous workloads is to create a prioritization system for projects and tasks. While the job market is understandably in flux, efforts should be made to hire more staff or recruit additional volunteer support.

Lastly, open the door to enhanced communication strategies. Extend genuine thanks to the staff and encourage honest feedback, anonymous or otherwise. Not only are these methods more sustainable, but, in the end, they can generate greater employee engagement, retention and job satisfaction.

For employees, to avoid becoming burnt out and feeling powerless, it’s advised to utilize vacation time and take regular breaks. By “unplugging” during the day — even if it’s only a short break — it’s possible to reduce stress, gain perspective and feel more in control. Also, learn to say “no” without feeling guilty. Setting clear boundaries on messaging after hours, task delegation and more could do wonders for future productivity.

To learn more about combating nonprofit employee burnout, please see the accompanying resource.

Resources:

https://www.qgiv.com/blog/how-to-overcome-nonprofit-burnout-and-compassion-fatigue/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesnonprofitcouncil/2020/01/24/how-to-avoid-compassion-fatigue-care-for-your-staff-so-they-can-care-for-the-world/?sh=ffa58b276f88

https://hashtagnonprofit.org/index.php/resources/mentalhealth/355-recognising-compassion-fatigue-in-the-npo-workplace

https://www.missionbox.com/article/98/combating-compassion-fatigue-finding-balance-in-the-nonprofit-workplace

https://www.keela.co/blog/nonprofit-resources/3-leading-causes-of-nonprofit-burnout

https://www.idealist.org/en/careers/recognizing-compassion-fatigue-helping-professions


May 20, 2022

On-Demand Webinars: HR Strategies and Risk Management Tactics

Here at UST, we aim to create content designed to educate 501(c)(3) nonprofit leaders and strengthen the nonprofit sector. As part of our on-going commitment to serve nonprofit organizations, UST has published two on-demand webinars on relevant topics important to the sector. For just $29, you can register to watch one of our on-demand webinars to discover nonprofit strategies and best practice tips. PLUS, with your registration, you’ll also receive essential handouts for nonprofit leaders.

Human Resource Strategies: Employee Engagement and Nonprofit Brand

Today's increasingly virtual landscape—along with the workforce's evolving strategic priorities—has not only changed how we work, but it's also impacted the way we interact with one another. To maintain positive morale and strengthen company culture, nonprofit leaders must prioritize employee engagement and brand reputation strategies. During this on-demand webinar, discover helpful tactics for building a string nonprofit brand while fostering on engaged workforce. Register here.

The Workplace of Today and Tomorrow Managing Risk and Reward

During the last few years, nonprofits around the globe have been forced to develop contingency plans and re-examine the nature of ‘essential’ services. Learn how to identify (and mitigate) nonprofit risk while fostering an engaged workforce. During this on-demand webinar, you'll learn how to identify (and mitigate) nonprofit risk while fostering an engaged workforce. You'll also be able to download several handouts essential for managing risk at your nonprofit. Register here.

March 04, 2022

[Webinar Recording] UST Live: Advocacy & Legislative Support for Nonprofits

In the latest rendition of UST Live, we were joined by thought leaders from across the U.S. with expertise in nonprofit advocacy. Guest moderator, Chai Jindasurat of Nonprofit New York, lead the conversation as the group discussed how advocacy efforts have changed and shared what their nonprofit organizations are doing to ensure they’re being heard at the local, state, and federal levels.

You'll also hear where they see cross-sector advocacy aligning in the next 12-18 months and what you can do to capture the attention of legislators to effect change—plus much more.

Watch now to discover:

  • Top "hot" button issues for 2022
  • What legislative changes nonprofits should prepare for and how it will impact their organizations
  • How advocacy looks at the local, state, and federal levels, and what strategies work best at each level

Upcoming UST Live Webinars: This webinar series was designed to equip nonprofits with the strategies and resources they need to survive (and thrive) in a constantly evolving environment. Be on the lookout for future UST Live sessions—scheduled for May, August, and November.

 

February 10, 2022

Four Ways to Create an Equitable Grantmaking Process

The grantmaking process is often exclusive and expensive, making it accessible to those select nonprofits with the right expertise and networks, which can be costly for organizations and funders to seek and distribute funding. Applying for grants is a tedious and expensive process, with a good percentage of applications taking upwards to a week or more just to write. To help those communities who’ve been commonly excluded to thrive, organizations with access to capital need to start adopting more equitable grantmaking practices—making funding more accessible to everyone. Grantmakers have a responsibility to create equitable processes, making sure that communities of color and other marginalized populations are not adversely impacted by giving practices.

When looking at grantmaking, diversity includes casting a wide net to attract diverse applicants. Inclusion might mean your reviewers are diverse, mirroring the community the organization serves. Equity might include revamping the application process making it more accessible.

In following these four tips, nonprofit organizations will be more equipped to have the right processes in place to evaluate equitable grantmaking:

1) Create a More Diverse Pool of Applicants: The first step toward equitable grantmaking is to encourage a diverse applicant pool. If nonprofits serving marginalized communities don’t know about your funding, they won’t be able to apply. Examine your pipeline to determine if you’re casting a wide net outside of your familiar go-to organizations. Look into expanding your networks—we all have a tendency to build relationships with those like ourselves. Attend diverse community meetings, events, or town halls to promote your fund.

2) Keep the Entire Application Process Simple: Grant applications can feel complicated to newer applicants. Use clear, simple language when creating instructions and applications. The general rule is to write at an eighth-grade reading level. (Word offers this functionality–you can use google to find out how to use it).  When it comes to equitable grantmaking, ADA-friendly applications are a must. For example, screen reader capability and keyboard accessibility create an equitable website experience. Without these, applicants with disabilities may have difficulty applying.  

3) Lower Chances of Bias in Review Process: Implicit bias is an unconscious association made about social groups. For example, many automatically assume business executives are male and secretaries are female. While it is ingrained in us from a young age, implicit bias can hinder best intentions for equitable grantmaking. By creating an unbiased review process, you’ll strengthen the entirety of the grant review process. Some examples include, offer implicit bias training to your reviewers and examine reasons why applicants were rejected.   

4) Review Reporting Metrics: Metrics are vital to any funder’s success—including equitable giving outcomes. Be sure to create equity metrics early in the process. You’ll want to track data points such as the number of diverse applicants and awardees. 

To reduce funding barriers, make sure to take a closer look at your processes from beginning to end. Take a look at each step and try to pin-point when diverse populations are no longer in the forefront. Be open to outside perspectives who could provide unique solutions—grantees and reviewers could offer ideas around inclusivity and/or equity. 

January 27, 2022

Employee Engagement and Nonprofit Brand Strategies

Today's increasingly virtual landscape—along with the workforce's evolving strategic priorities—has not only changed how we work, but it's also impacted the way we interact with one another. Employee engagement practices are an essential part of any organization—they can save the company money, improve productivity, increase morale, and decrease turnover. To maintain positive morale and strengthen company culture, nonprofit leaders must prioritize employee engagement and brand reputation strategies.

For just $29 you can discover helpful tactics for building a strong nonprofit brand while fostering an engaged workforce. During this on-demand webinar, you'll learn:

  • The importance of evaluating your employer brand
  • Tips for embracing cultural diversity within your workforce
  • Creative employee benefit ideas that support work-life balance
  • And, much more

Register today and you’ll also receive essential handouts for nonprofit leaders—including an employee engagement checklist, a comprehensive onboarding plan as well as creative ideas for celebrating your team and more—FREE with your registration.

January 24, 2022

Five Best Practices to Improve Nonprofit Member Retention

Members are a vital key to success when sustaining and growing your association and retaining those members ensures a long-term survival of your nonprofit organization. While recruiting and enrolling new members is important for growth, making a conscience effort to retain members is equally as important.  Making your current members feel important and special, reminds them of why they joined your association in the first place. Some tried and true retention methods include creating specialized resources, and educational content—the more you publish industry reports, educational webinars, or offer member discounts, the happier your members will be.

The best course of action to take when retaining members include, focusing on their needs, remind them how much value they bring to your association and engaging them on a regular basis. We’ve put together a list of 5 best practices for improving member retention at your nonprofit organization:

1) Create an Onboarding Plan: First-time members are a specific group within your membership profile that need to be approached with specific strategies. Look for ways to keep new members engaged—monthly check-ins, education materials about new products, keep them informed about upcoming events like webinars or virtual conferences—give them opportunities to learn more about the work your organization is doing in the nonprofit sector.

2) Offering Member Only Benefits: Members are interested and/or passionate about your cause, and they want to feel like they’re making a difference. Communicate with them often with weekly or monthly newsletters as well as through social media. Provide perks such as exclusive, member-only offers from your partners as well as networking opportunities. If possible, provide educational opportunities such as webinars, workshops, and relevant eBooks at member-only prices.

3) Create a Community for Your Members: Encourage a thriving, engaged community of like-minded individuals. Such as, organizing/hosting more networking events, mentorship programs, and creating an online member directory—all methods that can help to increase member retention.

4) Remind Members of the Value You Offer: In your end-of-year communications to members, remind them how their membership with your organization has benefited their association over the past year and how much value their membership brings to your organization.

5) Ask Members to Complete an Exit Survey: While it’s not ideal, it is the reality that there will be members who will choose to cancel their membership. This is a great opportunity to capture unique insight into why a member is leaving by asking them to fill out an exit survey. The data acquired can bring light to pitfalls or areas of your organization to be reviewed and improved upon.

Member retention isn't just a one-time activity. It is something that’s kept in mind throughout the whole member lifecycle—it’s a strategy that requires just as much attention as recruiting new members. To keep members around long-term, you should be focusing on building better relationships with your members from day one.

December 09, 2021

2021 Nonprofit Leadership Toolkit

Nonprofit managers are relied upon to not only lead productive teams, hold employees accountable, and manage processes but are also expected to engage and motivate employees with limited funding. They must be innovative, resourceful, and strategic. To help nonprofit leaders maintain high-performing teams—while also strengthening their leadership skills—we created the 2021 Nonprofit Leadership Toolkit.

This free toolkit includes a performance appraisal checklist, manager-employee check-in form, tips for leading a hybrid workforce, and more:

  1. Performance Appraisal Checklist
  2. Manager-Employee Check-In Form
  3. Performance Appraisal Form
  4. Addressing Employee Discipline
  5. Do's and Don'ts of Difficult Conversations
  6. Performance Improvement Plan
  7. Employee Training Log
  8. Tips for Leading a Hybrid Workforce
  9. Employee Contact Information Form
  10. [Webinar Recording] 7 Seismic Shifts Necessary to Move from Manager to Leader

Want access to more HR-specific articles, templates and checklists? Sign up for a FREE 60-Day Trial of UST HR Workplace today! You'll also gain access to live HR certified consultants, 300+ on-demand training courses and an extensive compliance library.

November 19, 2021

How to Grow into a Nonprofit Leader

Whether you’re aspiring to be an executive leader, get promoted into a director’s position, or even launch your own nonprofit—rarely there are clearly defined paths to career development when working in the nonprofit sector. While this lack of structure can be challenging, it offers an unexpected opportunity to pave or create your own career path. Without the typical career ladder to climb, the opportunity to take on new responsibilities could be presented to you in a more timely fashion. At any age, with drive, desire and expertise being essential characteristics, you can become a nonprofit leader who wants to make a difference.

In order to create the right professional development plan, here are nine methods to follow, to consider, and use as a guide when furthering ones’ professional career as a nonprofit leader:

1) Conduct thorough interviews: Find those who hold a position that you might aspire to want one day. Take the opportunity to ask questions about how they got to where they are, what their day-to-day tasks look like, how they contribute to the organization, and what the position requires of them.  

2) Seek out volunteer opportunities: When it comes to learning, especially within the nonprofit sector, there’s no substitute for hands-on experience. Volunteering can offer exposure to the operational facets of the organization by taking on new responsibilities, such as, join the fundraising or strategic planning committee or volunteer to help with the organization’s next event.

3) Ongoing education: If you’re looking for an advantage when pursuing leadership opportunities, consider looking into continuing education (i.e.: an advanced degree, or a specific leadership training program). Having this additional training under your belt will set you apart being well versed in business management principles and the ability to juggle competing priorities.

4) Learn about your organization: Take the time to develop a well-rounded view of everything that is involved in the role of running a nonprofit. This experience will be valuable to you as you progress into a leadership position.

5) Apply constructive feedback: As you take on new challenges and work outside your comfort zone, it’s more than likely you’ll make mistakes along the way. Take the time to learn from these and plan how you will do better in the future.

6) Network amongst your peers: Find people who are at a similar point in their own careers and develop genuine relationships with them. Be sure that you add real value to the relationship and that way, your peers will come to value you—opening doors for you in the future.

7) Relocate to another organization: With a strong foundation of skills in place and a desire to take on more responsibility, you might find that your current organization doesn’t have any openings for you to move up to. Take this opportunity to look for other employment and if you find a great position within your network, don’t hesitate to pursue it.

8) Join a nonprofit board: Being part of a board will give you high-level insights about the inner workings of nonprofits. Develop relationships with others who serve on nonprofit boards and seek out an organization doing work/serving a community that you’re passionate about.

9) Find day-to-day challenges: Leaders face challenges daily, so it is crucial to avoid becoming complacent. Striving to challenge yourself on a daily basis will not only push you to find solutions, it will help you build your resume.

When applying these methods, you will develop the skills and knowledge necessary to successfully lead an organization. If you envision yourself in a leadership role, you’ll have the ability to lay the foundation by excelling in the position you currently hold. These methods will help you cultivate leadership skills, emphasize teamwork and inclusive decision-making.

October 28, 2021

2021 Employer Guide: Nonprofit Leadership Development

A strong leadership team is vital to the success of any nonprofit organization—without it you risk reduced productivity, delayed decisions, and low morale. Rooted in the ability of a nonprofit to maintain sustainability, having a leadership succession plan in place is vital to organizational success.

Don't miss your chance to download a free copy of UST's latest Employer Guide, 3 Vital Steps for Developing a Durable Nonprofit Leadership Team, to discover strategies that can help identify (and develop) tomorrow's leaders with training opportunities designed to strengthen your brand and build resilient teams. In this eBook, you'll discover:

  • How to determine who your future leaders are
  • Tips for crafting leadership development opportunities
  • Ideas for managing leadership vacancies and executing transitions

The consequences of insufficient leadership can be devastating to an organization. Safeguard your nonprofit and its mission by reinventing your organizational leadership strategy—minimizing the threat (and high cost) of turnover.

October 14, 2021

2021 Nonprofit Workforce Trends Infographic

 

As employers continue to strategize for the future—paving the way for flexible work models and creative retention tactics—many are seeing permanent change take place. UST surveyed more than 400 nonprofit leaders from across the U.S. to uncover the latest sector trends caused by the pandemic and created the 2021 Workforce Trends Infographic.

Download your free copy today to get a sneak peak at what your nonprofit peers had to share about their top workforce issues, COVID's impact on staffing levels and more.

For only $99, you can also download a copy of the complete 2021 Nonprofit Sector Report to uncover valuable insight on how nonprofits continue to navigate the ongoing challenges that have risen throughout the pandemic.

September 24, 2021

[Webinar Recording] UST Live: The Future of the Nonprofit Workforce

Nonprofit employers nationwide are living through a fundamental transformation in the way they work and the pace at which employee priorities are changing. In the latest rendition of UST Live, we were joined by leaders from across the U.S with expertise in nonprofit management to discuss innovative strategies for creating a forward-looking workplace culture that is flexible, inclusive, and resilient.

Watch now to discover:

  • Top challenges nonprofit organizations are currently faced with
  • Strategies for creating (and maintaining) a productive hybrid workforce
  • Creative employee engagement tactics to keep employees engaged

Upcoming UST Live Webinars: UST Live was designed to equip nonprofit leaders with strategies that can help sustain their workforce and their mission-driven initiatives. In our final session of the year—scheduled for early December—we’ll discuss nonprofit leadership and succession planning.  

September 14, 2021

2021 Nonprofit Sector Report: Pandemic Impact on Workforce

Are you curious to discover how nonprofits have pivoted strategies in response to COVID-19 and how this pandemic is causing permanent change across the sector? With over 400 survey respondents—representing a wide variety of nonprofits from across the U.S.—this report unveils the pandemic’s impact on workforce evolution and illustrates how the sector withstood the hardships caused by the crisis.

Download the report to learn:

  • How COVID-19 impacted nonprofit staffing levels, ability to meet demand and employee benefits
  • Employer mandated vaccination trends
  • The most challenging workforce issues nonprofit employers are currently facing
  • Key strategies that nonprofit leaders plan to prioritize after the pandemic subsides

This report will provide valuable insight on how nonprofit organizations are navigating the ongoing challenges that have arisen throughout the pandemic. For only $99, download your copy of the 2021 sector report today!

August 31, 2021

The Importance of Nonprofit Risk Management

Risk management is defined as a discipline for dealing with the possibility that some future event will cause harm and nonprofit risk comes in an endless number of forms—data security, fundraising fraud, regulatory compliance, employee relations, volunteer staff, and theft just to name a few. Given the myriad of ways that nonprofits are changing the world and the impossible task of being able to predict every potential mission-disrupting event, every organization stands to benefit from risk reducing tactics. This is where risk management comes in—an essential necessity that helps nonprofits understand the threats they face and how to prioritize strategies that create sustainability in the future.

Developing a risk management process is essential to every nonprofit but many remain unprotected simply because they don’t have the funds or resources to implement such a strategy. There are however other ways to protect your organization without breaking the bank that just require more time and dedication to create and streamline. So, if you don’t have a risk management strategy in place already, now is the time to start.

Follow these four steps to create a risk management strategy:

  • Perform a risk assessment across all functions of the organization and look at all of the data your nonprofit collects—from donors, employees, volunteers, and investors. The Nonprofit Technology Network offers a helpful assessment tool template to accomplish this beginning stage in an easy and organized manner.
  • Gather pertinent organizational documentation—operational plans, mission, and value statements to understand context.
  • Develop a timeline and set goals to ensure a phased and deliberate process with metrics to measure success. An effective risk management strategy doesn’t happen overnight but requires thoughtful attention and consideration.
  • Implement a risk cycle that regularly evaluates what risks came to life and how they were addressed to understand what works, what needs improvement, and what else can be done. This ultimately enables an organization to adjust quickly and strengthen their risk management strategies.

A single liability incident can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars, not to mention the harm it can do to your reputation. In short, by taking the time to identify risks, prioritize issues, respond to the problems, assess the situation, and improve your strategy, nonprofit employers can better protect their assets and avoid future risks.

July 16, 2021

UST Quarterly Nonprofit Digest: Nonprofit Sustainability Strategies

UST just released the latest edition of our Quarterly Nonprofit Digest. This quick reference guide highlights key findings from last quarter's most popular content—which focused on innovative nonprofit sustainability strategies to help employers thrive in these ever evolving times.

If you're a nonprofit leader, download your free copy of the Q2 quarterly digest to discover essential strategies for:

  • Identifying (and prioritizing) diversity and inclusion practices
  • Developing better defenses against subsequent crises
  • Creating sustainable fundraising best practices
  • Building a high performing workforce

You'll also gain access to helpful checklists, people risk management templates and best practice tips to help you plan (and execute) a successful virtual event.

To get more nonprofit-exclusive content, webinar invitations and sector insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for UST's eNewsletter today.

July 07, 2021

Nonprofit eBook “Preparing for Future Crises” Uncovers Strategies to Ensure Nonprofit Resiliency

UST recently published an eBook that discusses how the global pandemic challenged nonprofits in ways that were unprecedented at that time and how taking the time to develop better defenses against subsequent crises—building greater resilience against natural, economic and health threats—nonprofits can move toward a better prepared future.  

This insightful eBook uncovers strategies that can help nonprofits implement a game plan that will help ensure organizational sustainability in the wake of the next disaster. Available now for download, UST’s eBook will help you protect your employees, continuity of services and the communities you serve when future challenges arise.

In this eBook, you'll also discover:

  • Why it's important to mitigate future risks
  • How to shift from crisis management to proactive planning
  • Methods to develop your intended impact and theory of change

Don’t miss your opportunity to download your complimentary copy of “Preparing for Future Crises: Strategies to Ensure Nonprofit Resiliency” to discover how to protect your nonprofit and its workforce from future crises.

June 25, 2021

[Webinar Recording] UST Live: Strategies to Identify Board Diversity

In the latest rendition of UST Live, we were joined by guest moderator, Jenny Berg of the Leadership Council for Nonprofits, where we welcomed thought leaders from across the U.S. with expertise in DEI best practices. In this session, the panel discussed innovative strategies for identifying (and prioritizing) board diversity and inclusion practices—that in turn can help advance your mission in such a way that is both equitable and more appealing to donors, potential job candidates and the communities you serve.

Watch now to discover:

  • Common hurdles nonprofits face with increasing diversity on the board
  • Ideas on how to identify and approach new board member candidates
  • Tips for helping nonprofit boards embrace the need to change
  • Strategies for onboarding new board members

 

Upcoming UST Live Webinars: This webinar series was designed to equip nonprofits with the strategies and resources they need to survive (and thrive) in a constantly evolving environment. Be on the lookout for our next UST Live sessions—scheduled for June, September, and December—where we'll discuss strategies surrounding nonprofit sustainability, HR and compliance and leadership development. 

June 18, 2021

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Nonprofit Organizations

While the nonprofit sector is dedicated to serving those in need, without encompassing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into their governance and operations, they risk becoming irrelevant. It has been proven that organizations with more diverse workforces perform better financially. Before strategizing a DEI plan, nonprofits must first understand where their organization is and where it wants to go. You can then track your nonprofit’s proficiency in diversity using both quantitative and qualitative metrics, diagnose risks and find opportunities for improvement. Nonprofits will also need to examine internal biases and adopt practices that promote DEI in their work and employment practices as well as on their boards, and in their communications.

Achieving diversity and inclusiveness in your workplace is a process of creating change through education, collaboration, and vigilance. When we apply equity and inclusion to all aspects of organizational structure, we take action towards ensuring that historically excluded groups are recognized, included, and heard. A diverse workplace encourages people to be more vocal, creative, and involved. Commitment to DEI can be demonstrated through governance policies, leadership, and recruitment.

Often when organizations begin diversity work, it can feel daunting trying to figure out where to start. While the process will be different for every organization, below are some things to consider when starting diversity work in your nonprofit.

  • Diversify Your Board – the majority of nonprofit organizations still lack diversity on their boards. In order to reflect the diversity of the communities you serve, it’s more crucial than ever to change the composition of your board. Working from the top down will also build commitment and trust from within the workplace.
  • Form DEI Committees – everyone needs a champion to support their dreams and efforts—this is no different in the workplace. A dedicated DEI committee can help the organization accomplish its diversity goals by planning and overseeing the strategy and will ultimately be better positioned to have big picture discussions about the organization’s DEI priorities.
  • Perform DEI Audits — a diversity audit helps organizations understand the demographics and culture of their workforce by generating evidence and data which allows them to identify the specific factors that will help create a more diverse and inclusive environment.
  • Update Your Policies – all aspects of your diversity initiatives should be incorporated in all activities and policies of the organization to ensure efforts remain ongoing—there is no end to a process that helps create diversity and supports inclusion.
  • Educate Your Workforce – for organizations to thrive in this time of social responsibility you need to be intentional about creating a race literate workforce. You can start by including race and ethnicity training in your diversity and inclusion initiatives—educated individuals are more invested.
  • Build a Race Equity Culture – starting with a clear and shared understanding of what a Race Equity Culture looks like for your nonprofit will enable you to create and sustain a culture that is focused on proactively counteracting race inequities.
  • Create Open Dialogue – allow your workforce to participate in the conversation. Host a formal event to share the organizations diversity initiatives. Having an external facilitator can help ensure discussions are both objective and effective.
  • Pursue Diverse Candidates – recruiting a diverse staff is essential to nonprofit sustainability. It also gives an organization a competitive advantage while also creating more engagement and greater productivity.
  • Utilize Diverse Suppliers – in an effort to strengthen your diversity initiatives and combat social injustice, nonprofits should utilize diversified suppliers and community partners. Both can be a cornerstone to success, helping to ethically and efficiently source products and services  

When we consider our own diversity, check our assumptions, ask questions, and apply our insights to our work, we can create change. Embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion as organizational values is a great way to intentionally make space for positive outcomes and will ultimately help nonprofits better serve their communities and attract a more diverse staff.

June 14, 2021

Four Best Practices to Improve Donor Engagement

With the rise of smartphones, social media and other digital channels, nonprofits now have more tools available to them for engaging donors than ever before. The issue that comes with having so many ways to donate, is that it can be difficult to pinpoint which engagement techniques are most effective for engaging donors. Most nonprofits know that the main form of donor engagement is making a donation, however, there are quite a few ways to engage with those individuals any time they support or directly interact with the organization. Any opportunity to interact with a donor is a chance to strengthen your relationship with them, which could naturally result in more donations.

To show appreciation for your donors, it’s crucial to develop nonprofit donor engagement strategies that strengthen the relationship between you and your supporters. If you’re looking for best practices to boost your donor engagement, here are four key techniques that can help your nonprofit raise more money and improve your donor retention rate:

1) Create Personal and Genuine Messaging: Engaging your donors requires a personal and authentic approach. Take the time to learn about your donor’s interests as individuals and be transparent when you have interactions with them. Establishing trust with your donors will often result in their willingness to support your mission and reaching your donors on a more personal level, can allow for more opportunities to create personalized engagement strategies down the line.

2) Utilize the Benefits of Software: It’s a challenging task to keep up with hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of donors. Successful communication with your donors requires individualized approaches and the information necessary to make it possible to make those individualized approaches come to life. This is where having a donor database can be a great resource—a nonprofit CRM—a tool built to help nonprofits track all aspects of their donor relationships. 

3) Offer and Implement a Membership Program: A membership involves the donor giving fees or dues to a nonprofit in exchange for member status and the rights, perks or benefits that are included in the membership. The frequency and type of engagement opportunities you offer members will depend on your organization, but the possibilities can be endless. For example: host member only events, special volunteer opportunities or a member ONLY newsletter.

4) Create a Text Communication Option: Seeing as texting is such a prevalent communication method, organizations need to take advantage of this huge engagement opportunity. There are many services that enable nonprofits to establish a text marketing list, allowing your organization the ability to send a mass text message to all donors who subscribed to this list.

Looking for opportunities to engage with your donors authentically and honestly will go a long way in ensuring donors donate time and time again. Take the time to deeply understand why the donor supports you and deliver on their expectations. Start seeing a donation as a part of a relationship, not a one-off business transaction. This way you begin to deepen relationships with people that support what you do, rather than just treating them as just donors. Show gratitude to your donors, invite them to engage in other ways than donating, share with them why they matter, and get to know them on a more personal level.

May 27, 2021

2021 Virtual Event Best Practice Tips

 

Nonprofits across the country were forced to pause, pivot and make remarkable changes to their in-person events last year due to the unprecedented circumstances of COVID-19. As organizations continue thinking about their in-person vs. virtual strategies, the hybrid future of events is taking form—changing the events landscape for years to come.

Virtual events offer the best combination of brand exposure and the digital engagement people crave. Whether your event is large or small, one day or one week, we've compiled some of the top Virtual Event Best Practice Tips to help you navigate the many considerations involved in planning (and executing) a successful virtual event. 

Want access to more nonprofit-specific tips, toolkits and webinars? Sign up for our nonprofit eNewsletter today!

April 16, 2021

A Workforce Strategy Designed to Help Push Your Nonprofit Forward

In today’s talent-based economy, an organization’s workforce is one of its most important tangible assets. Despite its importance, this asset is often not carefully planned, measured, or optimized. This can mean that many organizations are not sufficiently aware of the current or future workforce gaps that will limit execution of the current business strategy. Yet at the same time, boards of directors, CEOs and chief human resource officers will frequently declare that workforce planning and data-driven decision making is a top priority for their organizations.

While there can be a disconnect in understanding why there is a gap between intent and execution, the most obvious cause is a lack of defining consistent objectives regarding the outputs of workforce planning, and a lack of consistent processes by which organizations conduct workforce planning and future modeling. Organizations need to design an approach that moves workforce planning from only being considered by a small group of those who think about the future of their workforce, to everyone looking at it’s overall operational effectiveness—this is where management is accustomed to spending its time and energy.

When creating a workforce strategy, there are five key workforce areas that are critical to driving successful business outcomes:

1) Defining Business Operations and Direction: The most critical step in strategic workforce planning is alignment—alignment of business strategy, organizational structure, people, and results. Ensure clarity around strategic objectives, then make sure you have a holistic organizational design and talent plan to drive getting the right people with the right skill set into the right role, thus delivering results.

2) Staffing & Talent Goals: Strategic workforce planning is a key component when looking at the overall talent strategy. It begins with understanding where the organization is headed; what are the future organizational capabilities? This helps the organization identify new skills and competencies needed to create learning and developing opportunities. This is turn, helps define the talent acquisition strategy.

3) Training & Innovation: Offering training opportunities is an ideal way to retain your current staff and to bring on new talent. Investing in developing your employee’s skill set, knowledge and experience will go a long way in nurturing an employee’s journey while encouraging innovation within your workforce.

4) Employee Feedback: Taking the time to listen to your employees is key when creating a successful workforce strategy. Not only can showing your workforce that you are really listening to them improve employee engagement levels, but it also can boost workplace morale, job satisfaction rates and overall retention. Taking the employee feedback and applying it to the development of your workforce strategy will result in a more cohesive and successful strategy.

5) Workplace Environment: Factoring in the importance of your organization’s work environment from an overall workforce strategy perspective can enable an uptick in performance by increasing innovation, employee experience and most importantly, productivity.

Workforce planning requires in-depth insight into what a company needs in terms of talent and skills. And breaking it down into these five key areas will allow your organization to develop and sustain high quality workforce planning programs and be rid of the traditional barriers that can restrain effective workforce planning.

December 18, 2020

UST's Most Popular 2020 Content

This year, UST has been busy creating a plethora of timely and relevant resources designed specifically to help the nonprofit sector navigate the many unknowns presented by the pandemic. You probably recall seeing some of these resources over the past eight months but... with everything you are dealing with these days, you may have missed something.

Below is a list of our Top 5 Resources from 2020:

  1. COVID-19 Nonprofit Workforce Trends Report
  2. eBook: Strategies to Secure Nonprofit Endurance
  3. 7 Mental Wellness Tips Flyer
  4. COVID-19 Employer Guide
  5. Telecommuting Toolkit

As nonprofit employers and their employees continue to adjust their processes for how they work, UST remains committed to supporting the sector with reliable resources that help manage the day-to-day operational challenges. Interested to see what other content we have? Visit our Content Library today!

December 02, 2020

[Webinar Recording] Supporting Nonprofit Sustainability During a Crisis

This short 30-minute on-demand webinar features tools and resources that can help nonprofit employers streamline HR processes and stay compliant with state and federal regulations in these trying times. During this interactive session, UST answered questions about the CARES Act and FFCRA as well as shared examples of problems our nonprofit members have faced and overcome.

Watch now to learn about:

  • Efficiently managing unemployment claims, protests, and hearings
  • Updating policies and handbooks to comply with new legislation
  • Enhancing goodwill by utilizing outplacement services

Whether your primary focus is to ensure compliance, better manage unemployment claims, or to simply stay afloat and keep your employees engaged, this on-demand webinar will provide expert insight and invaluable resources for addressing your current needs.     

For additional COVID-19 employer resources and FAQs, please visit our COVID-19 Resource Center.

November 04, 2020

2020 Virtual Event Best Practice Tips

As we continue social-distancing—heavily relying on virtual resources—large-scale events have taken on a whole new look and feel. With 2021 right around the corner, NOW is the time to map out what your nonprofit's event strategy will look like in the new year and beyond.

While the idea of hosting a virtual event might seem overwhelming, with thoughtful planning and the right support, achieving exceptional results is possible. Virtual events offer the best combination of brand exposure and the digital engagement people crave. Whether your event is large or small, one day or one week, we've compiled some of the top Virtual Event Best Practice Tips to help you navigate the many considerations involved in planning (and executing) a successful virtual event. 

Want access to more nonprofit-specific tips, toolkits and webinars? Sign up for our nonprofit eNewsletter today!

October 15, 2020

[Webinar Recording] UST Live: Developing a Sustainable Strategy for 2021

 

UST's latest interactive webinar series, "UST Live," brings the collective expertise of reputable nonprofit leaders to you—live—in virtual panel discussions.

In our second UST Live webinar, the panel discussed new (and successful) strategies nonprofit leaders have implemented since COVID-19 began, as well as common hurdles nonprofits are facing with future strategy development. Plus, get YOUR questions answered first-hand by your nonprofit peers—who have tremendous experience in strategic thinking and organizational sustainability best practices.

Watch now to discover:

  • Common hurdles nonprofit leaders encountered (and overcame) during COVID-19
  • Tactics utilized for refining existing strategies and developing new ones altogether
  • Successful operational strategies that were implemented after the pandemic began
  • Ideas on how to develop sustainable strategies for 2021

Upcoming UST Live Webinars: In our final session for 2020—scheduled for November 19th—we'll discuss innovative recruitment best practices that can help nonprofits attract quality job candidates during (and after) a pandemic.

May 29, 2020

Tips for Ensuring Your Nonprofit Isn’t Scammed During COVID-19

COVID-19 continues to dominate headlines—in more ways than anticipated. While cybercriminals are always looking for ways to scam victims, pandemics provide additional opportunities for fraud. As people are spending more time than ever on their smart phones, iPads, and computers for work, shopping and entertainment, cybercriminals are ramping up their activities and getting more creative with their methods of hacking unsuspecting victims.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), scammers are using COVID-19 to further target consumers and businesses alike. They’re setting up websites, contacting people by phone and email, and posting dishonest information on social media platforms. Being aware of the different types of scams out there is the first step in protecting yourself, your business and your employees. Knowing how to handle those scams can save you a great deal of headache down the road.

The following are some examples of scams linked just to COVID-19:

  • Government Check Scams – Attempt to get you to make a payment in return for available business funds.
  • Business Email Scams – Create dummy accounts that look like they come from a company executive asking an employee to make a financial transaction.
  • IT Scams – Emails that appear to come from your tech team asking for a password or directing your employee to download infected software.
  • Supply and Shopping Scams – Create fake stores, e-commerce websites, social media accounts, and email addresses claiming to sell high demand supplies like hand sanitizer and face masks. 
  • Robocall Scams – Use a recording that appears to come from Google to target small businesses who may be affected by the Coronavirus, warning them to “ensure your Google listing is correctly displaying. Otherwise, customers may not find you online during this time.”
  • Phishing and Malware Scams - Gain access to your computer to steal your credentials. 
    • Malware is malicious software or viruses that can be activated when you click on email attachments or install risky software.  
    • Phishing is used to convince you to share sensitive data such as passwords or credit card information by pretending to be someone you know.

Take the following precautionary measures to protect your organization and its employees from known and emerging scams:

  • Independently verify the identity of any company, charity or individual that contacts you regarding any COVID-19 related content.
  • Ensure you’re using reliable resources to get up-to-date information on the Coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) websites are your safest sources.
  • Be wary of unsolicited emails offering information, supplies, or treatment for COVID-19 as well as anyone requesting personal information. Fraudulent emails may be infected with malware designed to capture keystrokes, credentials, or payment information.
  • Do not click on links or open email attachments from unknown or unverified sources.
  • Make sure your anti-malware and anti-virus software programs are operating and up to date.
  • Use secure login methods such as requiring multiple password authentication for remote employees.
  • Secure home networks by using encryption which scrambles information sent over a wireless  connection so outsiders can’t read it.
  • Never provide personal information to anyone who calls out of the blue.

With so many people working remote, hackers are looking for companies to drop their defenses, making it easier to infiltrate networks. When people are aware of what scams are out there, they are much less likely to fall for them. Talk about the risks with your management team, create a simplified outline of what to look for, and how to respond and relay to your entire staff.

May 26, 2020

COVID-19 Fact vs. Fiction for Nonprofit Employers

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 coronarvirus outbreak a pandemic leaving nonprofit employers across the states scrambling to understand the impact on their business. Now that orders are being lifted and we prepare to re-enter the workplace it’s important to understand the do’s and don’ts of implementing new COVID-19 procedures within your organization.

Do you know whether employers are permitted to take employees’ temperatures and ask about symptoms? Or if employers should allow employees to work at the office if they have been exposed to COVID-19, but are not showing any symptoms?

Since it's often difficult to differentiate the credible information from the bogus, UST has compiled a COVID-19 Fact vs. Fiction handout for nonprofit leaders. Uncover the answers by downloading the COVID-19 Fact vs. Fiction Employer Handoutand discover other key COVID-19 facts as well as common misconceptions.

Ensure that Your Nonprofit Stays Compliant! Get a FREE 60-Day Trial of UST HR Workplace, powered by ThinkHR—a cloud-based platform that provides access to a live HR hotline, COVID-19 policy updates, thousands of documents and more. Request your free trial today at www.chooseust.org/HR-trial.

May 07, 2020

COVID-19 Nonprofit Workforce Trends Report

In a recent nonprofit survey, UST uncovered how COVID-19 has affected 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, their employees and operational strategies.

With nearly 800 survey respondents—representing a wide variety of nonprofits from across the U.S.—this report highlights critical COVID-19 information, including:

  • How operations have been impacted as a result of COVID-19 containment efforts
  • Sector statistics on reduced work hours, suspended operations, threatened revenue and more
  • Trends surrounding the most utilized resources for navigating this crisis

This report will provide valuable insight on how nonprofit organizations are coping with the unprecedented challenges during this pandemic. Download your complimentary copy today.

— 30 Items per Page
Showing 1 - 30 of 84 results.