Initially, the entirety of programming responsibilities will rely on the Board of Directors. However, they alone will only be capable of maintaining the nonprofit’s operations for so long. As the organization grows, additional people become necessary to carry out the mission. When this happens, it’s time for the organization to consider staffing.
While many nonprofits will eventually have the funding necessary to hire paid staff members, all will rely on some form of volunteer. In nonprofits of all sizes, volunteers are essential for the organization’s ongoing operations. They provide the time, skills, and labor necessary for the organization to fulfill its mission.
Organizations that thrive have detailed plans for recruiting, training, encouraging, and maintaining volunteers. Volunteers who feel under-utilized or under-appreciated will either never come back or, worse, tell their friends and family about their bad experience with your nonprofit. On the other hand, volunteers who are motivated and excited about the organization will not only work hard, but they will also act as free marketing in the community for your purpose.
Some roles within an organization require specialized skills, consistency, and training. When this occurs, it’s time to consider paid staff members. Paid staff are often one of the nonprofit’s most significant expenses, so ensuring consistent fundraising is necessary once hiring the organization’s first staff person. Like volunteers, organizations need a detailed plan to train and support paid staff members.
Regardless of if your staff is volunteering or paid, it’s essential to appreciate them regularly. Handwritten notes from the board, spotlights on the organization’s website, or personal words of thanks are great ways to show appreciation for the team. Showing appreciation is a vital way to ensure that volunteers and paid staff remain committed to your organization’s purpose.