Basics of NGO Management
Updated: Nov 12, 2019
An important question in the mind of any non-profit founder is ‘how much time should I spend on the management aspect of running an NGO. It is easy to overlook functions like HR, accounting, reporting, marketing, and others when one are passionate about serving his cause, but it bodes well to remember that a non-profit organisation, much like any other company, cannot survive without its basic business functions in place. Here are some starting-point considerations for any NGO.
Every NGO leader must allocate time to plan its activities and short- and long-term plans in order to meet its quantitative and qualitative goals. Typically, a manager who plans well is also a good organiser. Organisation is about laying out the plans in an easy to understand and self-serving way. This involved decisions such as the responsibilities of the staff, the technology used for internal and external purposes, communication tools and times, etc.
Non-profit leaders sometimes underestimate the importance of communications. Though this is a time-consuming process, once the channels and methods of communication are organised, it leads to an efficient and trust-worthy organisation. Internally, open channels of communications leads to a motivated staff, who are do not require micro-management, while externally, well-planned communication forms trust between the organisation and its external stakeholders.
A function of communication, this concentrates on the financial and accounting recording and reporting. A registered charity regularly faces scrutiny from the government, society, donors, volunteers and other stakeholders on its accounting figures. It is a good practice to instil the importance of reporting early on, so as to avoid future confusion.
Finally, a non-profit leader must be able to inspire his employees and volunteers to take forth his vision. It is imperative to remember that while the founder may have a vision and goal in mind, he cannot work as an island. If he is able to communicate his vision to his stakeholders in an inspiring manner, then it is easier to find success.