Gone Fishin’

If you have looked around your office and realized that no one else is there – you are not alone! It is the time of the year when staff, board members, and volunteers take vacations, stay-cations, and even the occasional fishing trip. 

We went fishing this month too – to catch a glimpse of the local non-profit community and to see what trends are emerging.

Now, you should know that this wasn’t a big, complex research study. This quick little survey resulted in a 15% response rate where nearly 60% of respondents have operational budgets between $100,000 and $500,000. The results are not statistically relevant or accurate but they did confirm what many of us already believe – that there are complex funding challenges ahead, non-profit leaders remain resilient but are pulled in many directions, and that many organizations have significant milestones to celebrate in 2014.

Here’s what we learned from survey respondents:
40% reported a 10% or greater drop in revenues from fundraising events
26% experienced a more than 10% reduction or a 100% loss of Government Contracts for Services. One organization articulated the seriousness of their loss, “Our organization is on the brink of serious layoffs, termination of staff and program cuts due to decreases in government funding.”
20% report that it is likely or very likely that they will reduce paid staff. More than 48% are planning to increase wages
78% plan on recruiting student interns to help and 92% are looking for volunteers to help
25% report a 10% or greater reduction in grant funding and 33% report a 10% or greater reduction in corporate donations
60% of respondents report that it is likely or very likely that they will increase grant funding and 45% think it likely that they will increase cash sponsorships in the coming year
Municipal funding is shifting – 23% reported more than a 10% reduction and 23% reported a more than 10% increase in funding
11% reported 1st time funding from Gaming
85% of organizations with non government contracts for services expect revenues to stay the same
United Way funding was the only funding source where 100% of respondents reported no change in revenues 
46% reported that they earned more self-generated revenues. 70% report that it is likely or very likely that they will  increase self-generated revenues in the coming year
89% expect individual monthly giving to stay the same or increase
62% are actively trying to reduce expenses and 70% are looking for partners to share costs and leverage resources
90% are looking for new program partners
38% of agencies report that it is challenging or very challenging to meet their mission and strategic goals
80% shared reasons for celebration – many organizations are celebrating anniversaries in 2014 – one 50 year and eight 25, 30, and 40 year anniversaries –  other celebrations include increased client outcomes, new partnerships, funders, and services, increased client registration in programs, and dedicated staff and volunteers

Succession Planning – Is Your Organization Ready for the Future?

Today we’re pleased to feature a guest blog post by certified HR professional Ginger Brunner. Ginger is principal of Dynamic HR Solutions Inc and will be facilitating our upcoming “Succession Planning” workshop on February 17, 2011.

If the employees who currently hold key or critical positions within your organization were to leave tomorrow, would there be any qualified and/or experienced employees prepared to assume their role?

Many organizations are struggling to answer this question as the demographics of the workplace continue to shift. Succession planning is the process of identifying and developing internal employees with the potential to fill key or critical organizational positions. In the past, succession planning was something that only larger corporations did; it didn’t apply to smaller businesses or not-for-profit organizations … until now.

Consider this:

  • Forecasts show that by the year 2012, the first wave of baby boomers – individuals born between 1943 & 1965 and the largest generational demographic in today’s workforce – will start to retire.
  • In 2009, the rate of retirement in BC among senior managers was 42 retirements per 1,000 people in the labour force, compared to 23 out of 1,000 people in the labour force overall.
  • The highest retirement rates are in senior management positions and occupations requiring the greatest skill and experience. These occupations typically have an older labour force given the years of work experience and training required to fill the positions.
  • In 2009, the average age of senior managers in BC was 46.6, compared to 40.7 across all occupations.
  • Organizations that fail to prepare for the need to replace retiring employees could experience issues with productivity and product/service quality.
  • Unless organizations have programs and/or systems in place to ensure that corporate knowledge is not lost with departing employees, valuable time, energy and productivity will be wasted on re-learning processes and procedures.
If your organization is considering, or is in the process of implementing succession planning, here are a few key points to keep in mind:
  • In order to be fully effective, succession planning should be more than a stand-alone initiative. When developing succession planning strategies, they need to fit within the overall strategic direction of the organization. This helps strengthen the organization’s capacity for long term sustainability.
  • Succession planning is not just an HR initiative. Senior managers need to be responsible for identifying strong leaders within his or her organization and helping them develop in preparation for the next step in their career.
  • The “fear of being replaced” needs to be substituted by a “desire to be replaced”. Senior managers need to embrace the opportunity to mentor and prepare aspiring individuals to step into his or her position. Even if they are not retiring, this enables them to perhaps advance into another position in their own career path.
  • Succession planning may need to include looking outside of the organization. Although it is preferable to be able to develop individuals from within the organization, it is not always possible or realistic for a variety of reasons. In these cases, the organization may need to look outside of itself to recruit new talent.
  • Succession planning should be an ongoing process. Re-visit succession plans regularly to ensure that they are being followed, and make adjustments as required.
Whether or not organizations foresee a turnover of key leadership positions, implementing a proactive succession plan will help minimize the loss of corporate “memory”, increase employee engagement and, ultimately, strengthen the organization’s capacity for long term sustainability.

To reserve your space in the upcoming Succession Planning workshop offered by Volunteer Victoria, click here.

Announcing a new Emerging Leaders Network in Victoria

Volunteer Victoria has recently received funding to develop and manage an Emerging Leaders Network for younger nonprofit professionals in Greater Victoria.  This exciting new initiative, created by and for the “next generation” of nonprofit leaders, will offer them opportunities to participate in leadership-focused networking and professional development events and will engage them in mentoring relationships with current nonprofit leaders.

Volunteer Victoria has been co-leading a network for Executive Directors of nonprofit organizations for many years, but there has never been a networking group available to younger emerging leaders in the sector.  Many late 20 to early 40-somethings are already being recruited into middle management positions and are looking to the future.  They are extremely interested in increasing connections with their peers and developing learning relationships with more senior leaders.  Fostering these types of relationships will be a particular focus of the Emerging Leaders Network.

It’s no secret that many Executive Directors in the nonprofit sector will be transitioning to retirement in the next two to five years, creating huge leadership gaps.  But who will fill those gaps?  Some Generation X’ers are currently looking at the Executive Director role with a wary eye.  Although this demographic has a keen interest in career development and upward mobility, they also have a stronger tendency to value flexibility and work/life balance than their Boomer predecessors.  And today’s emerging leaders just aren’t sure whether the ED role – the way it looks now – is something that they want to fill. 

Events to be offered under this new network will show younger nonprofit professionals that there are many ways to be a leader within the sector and will help them develop the skills needed to get there.  Network activities will also aim to help current Boomer leaders understand the unique needs of the generation succeeding them, a crucial element in succession planning.

Emerging leaders in the Greater Victoria area will soon be invited to attend the Network’s first bi-monthly networking session and be able to sign up for an online community to connect with their peers.  For more information about these and other activities planned for the Emerging Leaders Network, contact Beth Cougler Blom at Volunteer Victoria at beth@volunteervictoria.bc.ca.

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