Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Add These Five People to Improve Your Impact

Nonprofit boards provide vital feedback and guidance for your organization. But, most boards are not made up of the demographic that the organization serves. How can you be sure that you are providing the best service in the best possible manner?

An advisory panel provides insight into the lives and needs of the people you serve. Advisory panel members are volunteers, but it acts like more of a committee than a board. Advisory panel members do not have the same obligations as board members. Their role is simple: to provide insight and guidance on how to best provide your service, from the perspective of those who benefit.  

To get started, make a list of individuals who are already recipient advocates for your cause. Who do you take when you need to prove impact to a group of donors? Those individuals are the ones who will more than likely be glad to voice their opinions and offer insight. Look for about five of them and ask if they can commit one hour per month to have a meeting (by phone is fine) to help you improve your organization.

During the monthly meetings, review new activity and present upcoming initiatives. Ask the advisory panel for their opinions. The next step is the most important step: Listen to what they say. Ask them for more details if you need more clarity. Then, adjust your plans accordingly. Even small changes can lead to improved service, cost reduction, and more impact. If you use it properly, an advisory panel can be the biggest asset your organization has. 

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