Getting The Right People On The Bus

What If Conference:

A couple of us here at Aplos recently had the opportunity to spend the day in Sacramento with hundreds of nonprofit leaders and fundraisers at the What If Conference, sponsored by the Impact Foundry. Being around passionate and dedicated nonprofit leaders is always a refreshing experience, and I love hearing the stories about how nonprofits found their start, or about all the turning gears that make them tick. An amazing group of people attended the conference—people who have given so much time and energy to make our communities and the world a better place. With twenty years of experience in the nonprofit field, I’ve become very familiar with the territory, so I had the privilege of relating to the trials, tribulations, and even uplifting moments everyone there experienced.

I’d like to mention one of the outstanding tidbits of info shared at the conference. Joan Garry, a conference speaker who has previously been a webinar guest for Aplos, reminded the audience of the popular, yet ever-effective phrase, “Getting the right people on the bus”. This term has been around for some time and was popularized by Jim Collins in his book, “Good to Great”. The main idea behind this phrase is to hire for attitude and to train for skill. As nonprofit leaders, in order to be successful you’ll need the right people in your organization who are passionate about your cause or ministry and are all on the same page. If your staff and volunteers are going through the motions or are giving minimal effort, it’s critical you motivate and remind them of the mission and purpose of your organization.

Hopefully, you’re hiring people within every facet of your organization who are willing to do whatever it takes to further your work and are willing to learn along the way. How to work in a nonprofit can always be taught, but passion is much harder to come by. It’s not just a job, but a purpose. As we approach that time of year when a lot of nonprofit work picks up, I just hope you have all the right people on your bus.

Dan Kimball is a seasoned fundraiser with twenty years of experience in strategic fund development and nonprofit management. He’s currently developing Aplos’ Donor Management Platform to help nonprofits connect with (and cultivate!) their donor base.

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