In this episode of the Strategic Nonprofit podcast, our host and program advisor Trista sits down with Brandy Eldridge, the Executive Director of CASA for Children and Texarkana Children’s Advocacy Center, to discuss hiring, firing and growing your NPO team.
The reason why things work right is that I had failed at them in the past, or I’ve seen them fail in the past – I believe that we make our biggest growth through failures.Brandy Eldridge
Brandy Eldridge works with a team of people who proudly endeavour to make the world a better place for children that have suffered from child abuse and neglect. She and her husband have a podcast together called The Beta Male Revolution, discussing modern roles in relationships. They are part of the Practice Podcast Network.
Join Trista and Brandy as they examine the broad topic of organizational growth. Beginning with the differences between Operational and Board duties, the importance of Strategic Planning in sustaining growth, and how the Executive Director plays an integral part in cultivating company culture.
- Key Elements of Strategic Planning Sessions with Trista & Joanna
- Building Sustainable Nonprofit Organizations with Marat Ressin
- How NPOs Can Stay Connected To The Community During Times of Crisis with Gregory Ould
Operational Vs. Board Duties
Clarity is imperative for operational staff and board members to understand their roles, responsibilities, and duties. In simple terms, we’re discussing Governance Vs. Management. Operational Duties are delegated to your management, team, and volunteers to continue the organization’s day-to-day running. In contrast, Board Members are responsible for supervising the Chief Executive and ensuring that the organization is well managed and operating within recognized policies, the law and budget.
Of course, the purpose of your Nonprofit Organization is to make a meaningful change, regardless of whether that is for an individual, group or community. So naturally, you want your team to share your passion for your cause. Still, it’s also essential to consider that a long-term, reliable, and committed employee is worth their weight in gold.
When considering candidates, it’s essential to identify their:
- Passion for the organizations’ mission.
- Leadership potential.
- Knowledge of the position.
- Communication skills.
- Motivational forces.
When we hire, there’s a team of us. Ultimately, it’s my decision, but I don’t want that because “that’s Brandy’s person.” That doesn’t, for me, create cohesion in teams.Brandy on Hiring
Letting go of employees is never easy, but you can make the process more palatable for both parties. First of all, don’t leave your employee in the dark, it’s just inconsiderate! So, it’s crucial to give them as much warning as possible about their termination. All employees deserve fair and respectful treatment, so consider providing severance pay to help them while they search for a new job.
Nonprofit people just have such big hearts. That’s why I believe ED’s have to have a backbone. It’s not your job to make friends with everybody. It’s your job to take care of them, and it’s your job to get rid of the people that don’t belong in your organization.Brandy on Saying Goodbye
Teamwork and grace. I’ve had staff members come to me and say, “Hey, you’re really screwing this part up.” I’ve had to say, “You know what? You’re right. I’m so sorry. I’ve been a jerk. Can you allow me some grace? thank you for bringing it to me”.
Having those conversations and that culture is number one for us.Brandy on Cultivating Company Culture
To first understand Company Culture, it’s helpful to define exactly what we mean by the term. Company Culture is the framework of your organization because it determines the collective understanding of how you operate. So, regardless of your organization’s work. It’s essential to define a set of core values, beliefs, and perspectives in alignment with your mission.
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