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  • Writer's pictureTejkaran Singh

3 Steps to Implement Change Management in a Nonprofit

Updated: Sep 19, 2022

Change is necessary for companies to move forward, stay competitive, and maintain a competitive edge over their competitors. However, change can be difficult to manage and can often lead to resistance. Without a proper change management plan, implementing changes throughout the company can lead to more confusion amongst departments.

For nonprofits, change presents an opportunity to grow their current business, as well as the chance to enter the market with new products and services. Many nonprofits are looking to become more modern in their communication and fundraising efforts.

The new social media platforms are quickly becoming central to the marketing strategy for nonprofits and many businesses. But, how does an organization successfully embrace change?

What is Change Management?

Change management is a process for managing transitions and change within a business or nonprofit organization.

Change can be a part of a business plan, part of a strategic evaluation process, or part of a planning process to integrate technology innovations, internal process reviews, post-competitive analysis shifts, organizational restructuring, and more.

Bringing change to any company, and nonprofit organizations in this case, can seem daunting. But with the right approach, organizations can overcome the initial challenges and reap the benefits of the changes implemented.

3 Steps to Effectively Make Changes in a Nonprofit

Step #1: Create a "Why" Statement so Everyone is on the Same Page on the Goals of this Change

The first step of implementing change in a nonprofit organization is to create a “why” statement. Each department must be on the same page about why specific changes are needed, what is expected from each department, and how the goals of the changes will contribute to the mission of the organization.

Each department must understand how its responsibilities will change with the new changes being made. If a department does not agree with the changes' goals, it will not be committed to seeing the changes through.

With that in mind, it's worth asking questions like: Why does this change need to happen? What are the goals of this change? What business problem will a new initiative solve?

Step #2: Have an Executive Sponsor Lead the Change

Once the initial ideas have been presented, each department must have an executive sponsor who is willing to hear the input from employees, accept their feedback and opinions, and lead them through the change.

A willing executive sponsor is crucial to the successful implementation of the changes. The executive sponsor will be the first one to hear the complaints, criticism, and general support.

In addition, they will be responsible for ensuring employees' buy-in to the goals of the new change. Lastly, executive sponsors will also be responsible for communicating the goals of the change to donors and other stakeholders.

Step #3: Keep People Interested by Rewarding their Efforts and Keeping Teams Engaged

When introducing change, many people naturally question why they should support it. They may feel that the change will create more work for them, or that it will get in the way of their current responsibilities.

Rewarding the efforts of the employees will fulfill their need for motivation and praise. Make sure your team knows the reason for the change, the mission and the goals of the strategic plan, and how the change aligns with the organization’s long-term goals.

Engaging team members will help them see the direction the company is headed. This will also help build trust and confidence amongst employees that the new change is good for the company and will benefit them.

For nonprofits, none of the changes would be possible without the support and guidance of their donors. If the organization can prove how its changes will benefit the donor, they will be more likely to support the changes.

The Bottom Line: The Pivotal Role Change Management Plays in Directing Your Organization's Growth

Change can be hard, especially for nonprofit organizations. However, change is necessary for the company to move forward and maintain its competitive advantage over the other businesses in its industry.

By taking the time to understand how these changes will affect the organization and its teams, as well as how they will affect the people they work to help, the organization will be successful in bringing change to its company.

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