Important Jobs in a Nonprofit

This blog post continues a recent blog post about nonprofit positions.

Nonprofit employees are categorized as operations (general overhead) or programs (specific to accomplishing the mission). I’m writing about the operations side since program people are unique to each nonprofit.

The most important employee is the executive director. However, many nonprofits have no other operations employee, which is wrong. One person cannot do everything. A nonprofit should have, at a minimum, three other employees.

  1. An office manager who oversees the day-to-day running of the office like a second in command. There are too many daily issues occurring for an executive director to manage alone.
  2. A volunteer coordinator who manages all the volunteers. There must be a person to make sure the volunteers are happy, which can be a daunting task.
  3. A grant writer who helps bring in the money. Many nonprofits fold this duty into the executive director’s job. But nonprofits who fill this job usually are better funded.

[I didn’t include a finance manager because these duties can be handled by the office manager or grant writer. With a single mission, there are software programs to help. With multiple missions, hiring a company to run the finances is easier.]

These three listed positions can be part time, but they must be paid positions. People are more invested in the nonprofit if it is their job.

Many times, these three positions are left vacant to keep operation expenses low. As a result, people from the programs side become drawn into doing operations work, worsening the problem on both sides. Even board members become involved with operations.

A nonprofit should look at itself like a business and hire those who would make it a success. Don’t pretend things are working out. They usually aren’t.

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