Welcome to G. Lee Resources
With hundreds of thousands of established and new nonprofits across the country, each with a unique mission and board of directors, there is no “One Size Fits All” program to address questions. G. Lee Resources listens to the needs of the organization and builds a program specifically geared to solve the its organizational challenges.
Our services offered are diverse and specialized to meet the specific needs of the client.
2017 Project Openings
Our staff has availability to help you with:
Grant Researching | Grant Writing | Board Development | Strategic Planning
Contact Us - Let us turn problems to solutions
1. Change Equals Success.
The term “organizational change” is one of those terms where eyes glaze over and people stop listening. Actually Organizational Change is a dynamic opportunity to grow your nonprofit programs and position them to to be more powerful and mission centered than ever before.
The truth is it is a rare nonprofit who just up and decides to give their program a facelift. It is much more common change comes out of some problem that needs immediate attention, like a compliance/governance issue, a change in funding or the fear of a funding change, something more sinister like embezzlement, staff or board problems. Even then, some in the organization will embrace change because they have to and others will have a more difficult time.
The best way for change to occur is to find a new way to look at a program. For example we went in to turnaround an organization and found every program had 5-6 admin staff. As the funds became tighter rather than look inside the organization at the systems and flow, they kept cutting services to the community. Suddenly they found themselves in danger of losing several million in funding because their programs were not supporting the number of children they had agreed to in their contract. They liked the way the program ran, the employees treated each other well and no one could bring themselves to make the difficult decisions for change. They were given the news by their regional officials to serve more children or lose the program. Blind to how to solve the problem they brought in consultants to help. The problems were immediately identified and corrections made. Real change takes time but the first step is recognizing it needs to happen.
2. Overcoming Obstacles For Change.
This week we will visit OBSTACLES that keep an organization from changing and ways to overcome those obstacles.
Here is one sentence that dooms a nonprofit organization. “We have always done it this way.”
What would be wrong with continuing practices and procedures that have for decades worked out fine? The problem may be that practices have changed; there has been a shift in what funder’s value, regulatory changes have occurred. There are faster and more streamlined and efficient ways to deliver program services, and even board of directors are now called on to be more engaged.
The difficulty in making changes and overcoming obstacles from within can be:
1. Every employee may have only been trained in the way programs are currently being delivered. In essence they may have no idea how to streamline services.
2. The fear of people they like in the organization who may not be vital losing their jobs paralyzes the process. No one wants to be the “bad” guy. The inclination is to find ways to keep extra positions even if they are no longer needed. This costs your program and the community your program serves.
Here are some suggestions to overcoming these obstacles. Get out of the building once in a while! Attend national conferences; specifically look for presentations about best practices relating to your services. Keep an open mind and instead of finding reasons why their suggestions won’t work, look for ways to modify the suggestions to make it work for your nonprofit program. Attend classes and workshops. Recognize change equals health. Nonprofits are known for being technologically behind but there is funding available to keep your organization updated. This is extremely important to showing your programs are relevant moving forward. You must have knowledge of how other programs that are similar to yours are running well, and be in the knowledge loop about changes being made in the world of nonprofits, Bring speakers, consultants, best practice leaders into your agency. Send staff to training’s and keep new information flowing through your agency. The response is that you cannot afford it but the reality is you can’t afford not to.
Once you have new information starting to flow from a coalition within your organization to tackle the concept of organizational change. This team could be made up of management, board representation, community representation, and those front line staff who interact in the program delivery. You want a diverse group so you do not fall into the emotional “protection” of any area that may not actually be necessary. By forming a group who can begin to analyze and put together best practices the new portrait of your nonprofit will begin to emerge. It is always a good idea to have at least one outside professional involved in this group to help guide and direct the process.
3. Organizational Change – Future Vision.
Let’s assume at this point an organization has recognized they need to look at their programs and processes. They have organized a team of people who work within the programs, and have included at least one board member and an outside consultant. Specific problems are identified, in fact many areas need to be overhauled and updated.
This scenario leads us to the next step. The nonprofit management staff needs to understand the board of director’s vision for the future of the organization. Without this piece, any organizational change will be incomplete. To get to this point and clean up the programs but have no future goals is a wasted opportunity.
This vision should be developed in a strategic plan. Normally there is not time in regular board meetings for this type of planning. It takes a retreat which could be an afternoon or a full day, weekend, several evenings etc depending upon board member availability. Creating a strategic plan takes commitment by the board. There is usually a professional from outside the organization to guide the process and write it up. The Strategic Plan helps the board articulate their vision for the future and the written report keeps them on track. When asked what the vision is for the future of any organization, the answer should be in the pages of the Strategic Plan.
With the problems beginning to be identified AND with the Strategic Plan reviewed and understood, only then are the next steps towards change possible.
4. The Road to Change: It is a Journey that Doesn’t End.
Nonprofits, who continue to change, continue to be successful. Those who don’t change, usually catch on when there is some sort of regulation or funding requirement change and must either quickly find ways to meet those requirements or risk losing funding, losing programs, or even closing doors forever. A lack of ongoing growth and change leads to a culture that lulls the nonprofit into thinking program funding is permanent. A good nonprofit is changing and growing to make programs better and continues to prove to the funding source the program is vital and vibrant to the community it serves.
Change takes a team effort. It has to be articulated in such a way all those associated with the program understands the reason for change and the future goal they are working towards. If a nonprofit waits to be in a crisis before change occurs the future goal becomes vague with the rational for change being “to get out of trouble and save the program”. Board members, senior staff, and all staff members need to have their voices heard when change is being planned. Change can be frightening if it is not fully understood. People like to know what is going to happen next, keeping secrets, not fully disclosing plans, and disregarding staff concerns is a fast track to disaster.
Finally, change shows growth. A growing and thriving nonprofit is one who is embracing change, planning for the future, and is keeping up on regulations and requirements.
5. Nonprofit Organizational Change.
The term “organizational change” is one of those terms where eyes glaze over and people stop listening.
Actually Organizational Change is a dynamic opportunity to grow your nonprofit programs and position them to to be more powerful and mission centered than ever before.