Home NonprofitNonprofit Management Getting The Right People On The Bus

Getting The Right People On The Bus

by Dan Kimball

Recently, a few of us from Aplos spent the day in Sacramento with hundreds of nonprofit leaders and fundraisers at the What If Conference, sponsored by the Impact Foundry. It’s refreshing to converse with passionate and dedicated nonprofit leaders. I love hearing stories about how nonprofits started, and about all the turning gears that make them tick, so it was a great experience.

An amazing group of people attended the conference. These people have given so much time and energy to make our communities and the world a better place. With 20 years of experience in the nonprofit field, I’ve become very familiar with the territory. I had the privilege of relating to the trials, tribulations, and uplifting moments others have experienced.

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. Essentially, it means you should hire for attitude and then train for skill.

People Who Care About Your Cause

To be successful as a leader, you’ll need the right people in your organization who are passionate about your cause and on the same page. If your nonprofit’s staff and volunteers are going through the motions or giving minimal effort under your management, it’s critical to motivate them. Remind them of the mission and purpose of your organization to renew their excitement.

Hopefully you’re hiring people within every facet of your organization who are willing to do whatever it takes to further your nonprofit’s work, and are willing to learn along the way. You can always teach someone how to work. But passion is much harder to come by. It’s not just a job. It’s a purpose.

I hope you have all the right people on your bus.

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