How to Combat the Excuses of Poor Nonprofit Follow-Through

Last week, we talked about the reasons nonprofits are failing at follow-through in Part I of the series. There are plenty of excuses for not following through on something when you work for a nonprofit. However, it’s time to combat those excuses. Check out these ways to make sure you’re getting from point A to point B with no detours along the way.

1. Allocate Resources Wisely

Sometimes, the risk is worth the reward. When you think about resources that your nonprofit needs, I challenge you to think about what will have the best return on investment.

“For your organization, return on investment refers to how much you’re helping your cause for what you’re putting into it.”

For a business, return on investment refers directly to their profits. For your organization, return on investment refers to how much you’re helping your cause for what you’re putting into it. Maybe something feels like it’s a lot of money, but it might directly impact your cause so much that it’s worth it. While for nonprofits it’s not always cut and dry, ROI is something to think about.


2. Productivity Hacks

When you’re feeling like there isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done, it’s time to simplify. Check out these productivity sites that can help streamline your communication and processes.

If you’re really feeling strapped for time, set boundaries for yourself. Only allow yourself an allotted time for certain tasks, then move on no matter what. Learn to prioritize what needs to be done.


3. Roll with the Punches

Quite simply, sometimes events are out of your control. The sector is changing constantly and maybe your cause is, too. Make sure to set aside time to reevaluate. Have vision meetings where your board or top execs can think about the future of your organization. If you’re not looking proactively towards the future, nobody will be. That’s a dangerous slope to go down.

“If you’re not looking proactively towards the future, nobody will be.”


4. Hire (or Recruit) Strategically

There’s this saying that I’ve always loved that goes,

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

In a world that’s hell-bent on getting to the top alone, stop to embrace the people around you who are also working toward the same cause. Hire people who have multiple talents and attributes they can give to your organization. Where some lack, others are plentiful and vice versa. We all have special talents, we just need to work together for the common good. Don’t be afraid to delegate to volunteers who are willing to help. If you have trustworthy volunteers, put them to use.


By identifying the reasons we’re failing as a sector at follow-through and being cognizant of how to combat those issues, we’re giving a fighting chance to completely transforming the sector for the better. It only takes a few small steps, and then a few more to start adding up to big change. By wisely delegating your organization’s resources to the right places and taking the time to finish your tasks, you could improve fundraising, donor retention and so many more aspects or your organization.

Sound off in the comment section below — how will your organization improve the follow-through?

nonprofit follow-through

Lyndsey Hrabik

Lyndsey is a former editor for Nonprofit Hub and Nonprofit Hub Magazine. She now serves as a guest contributor, writing on topics such as social media, technology, marketing and starting a nonprofit.

July 25, 2016

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