I know what some of you are thinking:
We’re a not-for-profit organisation and money is such a commercial motivation.
It’s even a dirty word.
After all, don’t we just want to serve people in need, fulfill our Mission, and make a positive difference in people’s lives? I know that’s why I signed up to the community services sector, and it is probably the reason you did too.
We cannot deny that community services is one the fastest growing industries across the world, and there are now more and more private equity firms entering the market.
The Government is continually telling us to be more ‘efficient’. Or in other words, ‘do more with less!’ The world we operate in is changing, and to survive, we need to do things differently.
The good news is this does not mean you have to ‘sell your soul’ or ‘abandon the Mission’.
There are actions you can take to ensure you are both efficient and achieving your Mission.
It goes without saying that our services should be consumer-centered, however, here are three additional tips to keep you focused on the ‘Mission and Money’ track:
1. Know why you exist and define this in one clear sentence. At VisAbility we have a vision for independence. Everyone is focused on this strong purpose which can be measured and celebrated. Work with your people to find ways they can meaningfully contribute to your purpose as employees and as individuals. Then, grow an organic culture around this.
2. Build into your services a fund designed to help people who are not eligible for funding or who can’t afford services. This is how you can ensure no-one slips through the cracks. Make sure you do this from your reserves or you will run out of money, fast.
3. Set financial KPIs that are realistic and achievable. In this brave new world you will need to create billable hours and productivity targets for staff and then engage them in these targets. Controversial? Maybe. Integral for survival? Absolutely.
This is just the beginning of the Mission and Money conversation. I will share many more tips and insights with you at this not to be missed event!
Dr Clare Allen will be speaking on ‘Aligning your brand integrity with commercial viability’ at the next NDIS conference.