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Leadership in non-profits

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emphasize.v1

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Hello guys, as the title says I'm curious about your approach to leadership in non-profit organizations. I'm currently a president of one students association and I'm facing difficulties in motivating newest members to participate and contribute to projects.

What I realized so far is that only a personal relationship with members can trigger them to participate. Once people feel the emotion of putting something they've created and organized out, they get hooked and naturally want to be included in other projects and engage more activities.

The value they get out of participating is that they learn practical organizational skills, networking with people from all industries/businesses, peer networking, selling skills (we pitch for sponsorship a lot) etc. All in all, there is value for everyone that wants to enroll, despite that, only 10% of people actually spend time working on projects.

Any suggestions or personal examples?
 

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Rabby

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This is hard because people join non-profit boards for various reasons. Someone with a strong desire to contribute will usually find ways to do that. It's immediately obvious because they are productive.

Others might be there because they think it's something they should do professionally, or a resume builder, or something.

I'm on a local non-profit board, and I've worked with several non-profits in various capacities. There is a range of people, from driven to completely inert.

Best thing I can think of is trying to focus them on a problem they can solve for people. If the organization is for students, look for a legitimate improvement that helps those people and see if you can get someone interested in actually working on it. My hope would be that it will either get your existing members motivated, or attract new members with internal drive.
 

emphasize.v1

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Thanks for the response buddy. Yeah what drives me crazy is the "resume builder" motive, like why for gods sake...


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Zcott

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One of my uncle's is a successful business owner and does some work in non-profit. He has a tactic he uses when it comes to meetings like this. He gets everyone involved to bake something. Biscuits/cookies, muffins, brownies, whatever, just bake something.

They get the attachment by making something themselves from scratch and sharing it with others. It has a second attachment because it's a conversation piece. Everyone starts talking about the food, it helps stimulate conversation, brings people in those meetings a bit closer together and then you can focus on what you're trying to achieve. People who consistently don't bake anything are the ones you need to root out as they're the ones bringing everyone down.

From putting in the time and effort to buy ingredients, prepare, bake, and bring in, hoping others like what you made, whilst eating other people's goods who have done the same process, people become more invested in the cause.

This might not be what you're looking for, but it could be food for thought.
 

Mattie

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Hello guys, as the title says I'm curious about your approach to leadership in non-profit organizations. I'm currently a president of one students association and I'm facing difficulties in motivating newest members to participate and contribute to projects.

What I realized so far is that only a personal relationship with members can trigger them to participate. Once people feel the emotion of putting something they've created and organized out, they get hooked and naturally want to be included in other projects and engage more activities.

The value they get out of participating is that they learn practical organizational skills, networking with people from all industries/businesses, peer networking, selling skills (we pitch for sponsorship a lot) etc. All in all, there is value for everyone that wants to enroll, despite that, only 10% of people actually spend time working on projects.

Any suggestions or personal examples?
I can tell part of this is the particular school or education they receive. I attended a business school and accelerated. My professors worked in the professions outside of being a professor. When you have projects, it also determines the environment, whether it's dramatic, or everyone has the same type of of objectives. The non-profits I volunteered for aligned with my beliefs, values, an humanitarian out look. Is everyone in your groups 100% interested in the mission of the Non-profit. Usually if they're in alignment, they usually work well together. One thing we did was take an hour a week to share information about ourselves, share an inspirational story, or something pertaining to our part in the business, and pointing out the best qualities of everyone in the group.
 

Sheens

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Motivation leading to valuable contribution is a great question for boards, taskforce groups, educational projects, forums etc. As a tangent, it is relevant as a mindset question at an individual level as well.

Different levels of involvement and even legal responsibilities can be seen within those groups or boards. As an example, for a board with fiduciary responsibility it is imperative that members are engaged and reviewing the finances or the board needs to be terminated and new members elected.

In my experience on boards and voting delegations, giving a concrete task or portion to be ready to discuss or report progress on a certain date helps the accountability piece. It is similar to having an accountability partner for fitness or business goals.

The personal relationship you have found as a trigger is something that I think Mattie says perfectly above! Let them talk about themselves and get to know each other. Most people love the adrenaline and confidence boost. As this leads to laughing and good morale, lay out the tasks they need to complete within the deadlines you set. In the end, board members may need to be replaced if he or she is not working for the organization's best interests.
 

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