For most who get involved in nonprofit organizations, their reasons are entirely selfless. In many cases, however, they quickly find out just how much time philanthropic endeavors require. This can be disheartening — especially for smaller nonprofits that have to stretch a small staff as far as possible. Fortunately, there are a variety of time-management tips for nonprofit organizations to increase their effectiveness.
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Delegate
Small nonprofits are often run by those who take a hands-on approach to everything. This can quickly drain your reserves, so it’s imperative that you delegate certain responsibilities. If you have a trustworthy staff and volunteers, the work will get done exactly as it’s supposed to.
2. Take Advantage of Technological Shortcuts
Many aspects of running a nonprofit organization are manual in nature, but whenever technology can make your life easier, you should allow it. Instead of taking all donations over the phone or in person, for instance, utilize fundraising software that performs a variety of essential functions.
3. Plan the Following Week in Advance
It’s not enough for nonprofit professionals to have a “to-do” list of things they need to get done. A focused schedule that lists all essential activities and when they need to be performed can remove the burden of having things pile up all at once. This prevents any level of procrastination, and in the end, you may end up with a few free hours at the end of your week. Maybe.
4. Avoid Multitasking Too Much
When you’re working in a nonprofit organization, you’re going to have a variety of things on your plate at any given time. While this may make it seem as if multitasking is necessary, you should attempt to avoid juggling too many tasks at once.
Research has shown that multitasking can result in ineffectiveness at every activity you’re involved in. Utilize the aforementioned tips of delegating and planning to avoid dealing with too many things at once. This reduces mistakes that can prove time-consuming in the long run.
5. Put “No” Back Into Your Vocabulary
When you get involved in philanthropic endeavors, you will likely feel as if saying “yes” and helping everyone is essential. While you want to always focus on accomplishing your organization’s main goals, it’s essential that you learn to say “no” in as diplomatic of a way as possible.
This doesn’t mean a homeless-focused organization should turn away a person in need, but you’ll often find that businesses, media and other organizations will want a piece of your time. Granting the time can certainly help your nonprofit in the long run, but sometimes you have to decline requests if you’re going to effectively manage your time.
6. Treat Your Passion as a Job
When you decided to get involved in a nonprofit, it’s likely because you were emotionally attached to its mission. In order to get more time back in your life, though, you should look at your nonprofit solely as a job. “If I take in this much money, I can do this much.” Look at everything from a business perspective, and it will prevent you from stretching yourself or the organization further than they should be.
7. Get More Sleep
Spending more time asleep may seem counter-intuitive to stretching your time, but it’s a practice that’s been proven to work time and time again. A full night’s sleep reduces the likelihood that you’ll make unnecessary mistakes. Additionally, it’ll allow you to tolerate and manage challenges in a more effective and efficient way.
Making a small nonprofit successful is going to be a difficult task regardless of the time-management strategies you utilize. This is a given, but by taking real and proactive steps to efficient time management, you’ll find that your life goes much easier. Nonprofits will never be an easy job, but it doesn’t mean you have to constantly be pressed for time
Social selling is one of the best reasons to use social media. Business owners, marketing managers, sales leaders, or account representatives intuitively know that selling through social media is an underutilized sales channel.
Tip #1: Use social media to target prospective buyers on Facebook
Facebook makes social selling a relatively straightforward task. Corporate sales training experts often recommend it as a natural way to build the business’ community.
Placing a Facebook ad is easy. A Facebook representative learns about the seller’s products and services.
Facebook helps the business to identify the business’ ideal persona using proprietary search marketing techniques. Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns are a cost-effective way to generate leads or make sales on this social media site. PPC ensures that the business pays for only those people who “clicked” on the ad. The International Coach Federation (ICF) effectively uses this social media strategy.
Tip #2: Create Social Profiles to Reach the Business’ Ideal Persona(e)
More businesses understand the importance of a digital presence as part of the buying cycle. They spend considerable effort to know the ideal customer. Social media is one of the easiest ways to identify him or her.
A business profile page is important for LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Connect with relevant others to initiate the business’ network. If sales is the goal of the social media outreach, assign a sales professional as the community manager. BPM software can deliver real-time results of the campaign to every member of the sales and marketing team. Qatar Airways is a great example of a unified digital social media strategy.
Today’s buyer typically researches the product before outreaching to the business. Clicking on the business’ social media ad, or interacting with the business’ social media page, is the first step towards influencing and persuading the prospect to buy. The social media connection can activate new client relationships and sales with greater ease.
Tip #3: Connect Often on LinkedIn
LinkedIn’s format works well for almost any business in search of connections. These connections are the keys to effective networking and sales, and the company’s connections work around the clock, seven days a week.
Start by connecting to as many people as possible on LinkedIn. Use the prospective customer list to start making connections, then ask friends of the company to refer others.
Getting a foot in the door is also to accomplish on LinkedIn. Ask a customer to refer or introduce you to a dream prospect, then connect online. Don’t start with a “sales-y” outreach but do start the conversation. Liberty Mutual has developed an effective monitored presence on LinkedIn.
People who don’t take phone calls respond to LinkedIn messages. Sign up for InMail to maintain a gentle touch with prospects. Share articles of common interest or point contacts to an online portfolio. This keeps the business’ product or service gently in the forefront of prospects’ minds.
Tip #4: Join the Twitter Conversation
Twitter is one of the best places to connect with a dream contact list. Follow thought leaders in the industry, and make it top priority to keep up with their latest tweets. Plan to respond to these essential tidbits in real-time.
Use Twitter to expand yourself. Publish tweets about great ideas or relevant information in your business industry. Consider and share emerging trends. Retweet the best ideas that come your way, then link or mention trending posts or articles, wonderful quotations, and relevant statistics. Russell Reynolds Associates’ tweets with insight.
Everyone loves a personal message on his or her mobile phone or tablet. Connect with clients and prospects on Twitter to share fun and energy.
Social Media Uses
Sales professionals should always monitor social media flow and chatter as part of their process. Social media streams occasionally offer tremendous insight into current or would-be contacts. Tracking these conversations is the first step. The salesperson can decide to jump in and engage with the prospect after doing so.
Social media can be the light touch sales and marketing reps are looking for. Staying in touch with an on-hold prospect shouldn’t involve the drafting of long letters or emails. Sending a social media greeting every so often is just the right touch.
Of course, social selling hasn’t replaced the time honored sales process. Social sales complements other activities and fosters more relationships with less time and energy. Ultimately, social media can help the sales team close more sales and enjoy life.