Culture & Engagement in Nonprofit Organizations

Cultivate an Exceptional Culture and Watch your Nonprofit Grow

Your cause is what draws people to your nonprofit organization. Your culture is what engages and retains the staff members, volunteers and donors you need. Just as providing proper care is essential for plants to survive, providing proper care for their organizational culture is essential for nonprofits to succeed in their mission.

Cultivate Your Culture2Just as you can determine what a plant needs to thrive and directly affect the supply of nutrients, you can determine what staff members, volunteers and donors need to thrive within your nonprofit. Subsequently, you can determine whether your culture is providing what is needed.

This requires a commitment to the people who are the heart of your organization. A commitment that will be a key factor in determining the success of your organization and the extent to which you will be able to make an impact in the community.

When your culture is consistent and aligned with your Mission, Vision, Purpose and Values,
people can accomplish great things.

A culture that is inconsistent and is not aligned with your Mission, Vision, Purpose and Values extinguishes engagement and pushes people away. It can cause staff members to collaborate less effectively because they feel they are not heading in the same direction. It can cause volunteers to feel that their time and talents are not being used as efficiently as they could. It can cause donors to feel that they are not making as much of an impact as they possibly could. When you have a culture that is consistent and aligned with your Mission, Vision, Purpose and Values, it helps convey your message and draws people to your organization and to your cause.

Creating an exceptional cultural experience for staff members, volunteers and donors will ultimately benefit those you serve and promote your nonprofit’s cause.

The people who work for, volunteer at, and donate to nonprofit organizations have a strong desire to nurture and serve others; and, this brings them great satisfaction. These people also have a need to be nurtured; and, a positive organizational culture within the nonprofit they are committed to will make them feel involved, informed, empowered, and trusted.



Elizabeth Dunn

Dr. Elizabeth Dunn – “Spending money helping others doesn’t necessarily promote happiness; instead, it matters how we do it."

"If we want people to give more, we need to subvert the way we think about charitable giving. We need to create opportunities to give that enable us to appreciate our shared humanities. If any of you work for a charity, don’t reward your donors with pens or calendars. Reward them with the opportunity to see the specific impact that their generosity is having and to connect with the individuals and communities they’re helping."

Click here to watch the TedTalk.


Strengthen your Team - Further your Nonprofit's Cause

The goal of every nonprofit is to work for the good of the people they are serving. This requires a strong team of staff members, volunteers, donors and leaders who are engaged and work together effectively.

Team Mission 3A TEAM MISSION STATEMENT will focus everyone on shared objectives and channel efforts toward the common goals of the team. When people have clear shared objectives, they are driven to perform at a higher level because they understand the value of their individual contribution in achieving specific team outcomes.

A TEAM VALUES STATEMENT connects people and provides guidelines for team interactions. It will ensure that the team is aligned and moving forward together with high standards and expectations for all.

Motivation can be inspired in some people by encouraging their creativity or offering them challenging work. For some, motivation can be inspired by involving them in decisions and reinforcing the impact of their contribution. For others, motivation can be inspired by ensuring that they are able to use their skills and abilities to full advantage or by giving them opportunities to coach and mentor others.

When nonprofits make the effort to understand how the people involved with their organization are motivated and can best achieve their goals, the organization, those they are serving, and the entire team will benefit. This will allow each individual team member, volunteer, donor and leader to maximize their contribution and channel it toward the common goals of the team.



Making Purpose Personal

Non Profit Image For WebsitePurpose is at the heart of any nonprofit organization. It is what drives engagement among your leadership, staff members, volunteers and donors. When engagement thrives, so does your organization and its cause. People pursue personal, professional and social purpose. Changing times have magnified the need for stability and purpose in our lives. People are looking to create a better and more certain future for everyone.

According to researcher Nicolas de Benoist, "When people are engaged in something greater than themselves, they have more resilience to face the stresses of everyday life," he says. Without purpose, you get stuck in the small details of everyday life and forget the larger goals.

Finding a sense of purpose and making it personal happens when the people involved with your nonprofit can align their efforts with their own personal values and key motivators; and, they are able to best utilize those to contribute. When this happens, we are our most authentic selves. "It's hard to talk about meaning without authenticity," de Benoist says. "It's about sharing our gifts and talents with others with a sense of shared purpose." 



Nonprofits with a Positive Culture are More Successful in Achieving their Mission

Picture 2 For Non Profits

The nonprofit sector can be stressful. In addition to putting their main focus on those they are serving, leaders and staff members must guide volunteers and connect with donors, while also maintaining the business side of the organization.

Nonprofit organizations will not be able to attract and retain the people they need simply with a strong organizational mission. They must take a close look at their organizational culture.

It is extremely important to get feedback from the people involved with your organization. It is the only way to open up communication and gain a true understanding of what those people need to have a positive experience. You need to discover what truly motivates and engages these individuals. With this understanding, you will build stronger connections that are crucial to your success.

Don't forget about the volunteers who have dedicated their free time to your cause. They want to be active contributors. They want to feel useful and know that their ideas and suggestions are being heard and are being used.

Within a positive culture, people are better able to focus on serving and positively impacting the members of their communities who are in need.



The Younger Generations want to Change the World

This is great news for nonprofits. The younger generations want to be dedicated to a cause and feel that they are serving the greater good. So how can nonprofit organizations draw those younger generations to their cause?

Image For Jul NLThose who dedicate themselves to the service and care of others not only want to know they are making a real impact, they also want to know the organization cares about them.

Nonprofits can show they care about and value their people by involving them in decision-making and asking for their input. Provide them with challenge and give them chances to lead projects. Younger generations look for opportunities to continually learn and grow; and, there may be grants for training or discounted fees for workshops available to nonprofits.

Ensuring that people have work/life balance is one of the best ways an organization can show their people that their personal well-being is important to the organization. Spending time with family and friends is important for everyone's mental health. People are looking to have enough flexibility that they are able to attend their children's school functions, for example. Having appropriate work/life balance gives people new energy and enthusiasm when they are doing their work.

No matter what their age, people who feel that they are valued contributors give more of themselves.



 Most organizations are facing shortages of people they need to be
successful. With nonprofits, this poses a serious
threat to our community members who depend on their services.
Click here to learn more about how THRIVE can help your
nonprofit organization continue to attract and retain a
strong, effective team of leaders, staff members, volunteers and donors.