NonProfit+™

Staying Motivated While Achieving Your Nonprofit’s Mission

If your New Year’s resolution has made it through Q1 of 2016, congratulations!  If you are like most people, however, your lofty goals for exercise and professional growth ended a few weeks into the new year.  With temperatures rising and Spring just around the corner, now is just as good of a time as any to make some effective changes in your daily routine.  Here are 5 ways to stay motivated, positive and passionate about your job as a Nonprofit employee.  The life of a social entrepreneur is difficult and comes with tall highs and low lows, so give one of these ideas below a try!

1) Change the scenery of your workspace

This might seem like an obvious solution, but I have a few specific recommendations.  Take a few minutes to organize that pile of paperwork you really don’t want to see anymore, add a new plant, update the pictures of your family, etc.  One specific item that I’ve found helpful is to hang pictures or memoirs of a recent event that your organization hosted or planned.  It is important that you surround yourself with evidence that you are being successful and producing something even though you may not feel like it everyday.  If you received an email from a grateful parent, volunteer or grantor, put it somewhere where you will see it daily.  Changing the landscape of your office space/work area will greatly improve how you react to the daily grind.

2) Send 3 positive emails a week 

We often forget to let one another know that a recent project, meeting, presentation, etc. was done well.  Many people are accustomed to giving and receiving negative feedback or criticism in the workplace.  When I was a teacher, we would constantly be in contact with parents of students with low grades or behavioral issues in class.  To provide some balance, I made it a point to send emails to the student’s parents that never heard from us.  These were the students with average to high grades, worked well with others and were overall courteous and respectful of others.  Everyone deserves to be celebrated, and just like physical gifts during the holidays, positive feedback is a powerful mood changer to both the giver and receiver.

3) Re-establish short term goals with your manager

It is a great goal to sit down with your supervisor every week, but if your organization is like most, the business of the work that you do comes in the way of this plan.  Take time to reconnect with your manager about your specific role in the business, and any changes that either of you would like to see by year end.  Don’t let miscommunication or lack of communication come in the way of your effectiveness as an employee during these busy months.  Be excited about the work you are doing and make sure you higher-ups know what you are working on!

4) Go for a mid-day walk

Although you may have access to some of the most advanced cloud technology to run your nonprofit, it is always a good idea to get a break from the screen and go for a walk.  According to one study, only 1 in 5 Americans step away from their workspace for lunch.  Even if you wind up working through lunch, take 20 minutes to go for a walk at least 3 times a week.  It will help clear your mind and will also start to get you in shape for those summer days on the beach!

5) Place your organization’s mission in a visible place

Our cloud accounting software helps organizations have success because we’ve recognized that nonprofits operate differently than for-profit companies.  When your bottom line isn’t related to dollars and cents, it can be difficult to see progress and growth as a company.  A for-profit company can easily measure their quarterly profits and expenditures.  The health of a nonprofit is evaluated on the impact of their funds, often times reporting back to donors on how funds were dispersed.  Social innovation can be much more difficult to pinpoint, so we recommend putting your organization’s mission in a place where you and anyone else that walks in your door can see it and remember to focus on the cause at hand.

Try at least two of these this week.  Do you have an easy way to stay motivated that works for you?  Leave a comment below to share!

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Nonprofit Accounting Software