I have been partnering with clients across the not-for-profit (NFP) space for my entire recruiting career, (without ticking a particular age box, let’s just say it’s double figures!) and up until now, never have I witnessed such intense challenges that the sector is currently experiencing.
This is in part due to the increasing number of charities, providing more choice for both corporates and individuals to support, both morally and financially. In addition, NFPs have become environments of accelerating change. This sector, its culture and day to day operations, have been disrupted.
Insight and opportunity
The transformation of the NFP sector inspired me to host a round table lunch recently, understand what is going on and gain a better perspective on this whirlwind of change. I invited 10 CFO’s from varied sized NFPs; from global entities to local start-ups, and the common points of discussion were around the funding models (in particular NDIS), new technology, Royal Commissions, and culture.
With the government making blanket funding changes across individual NFP and NGO service sectors, the ripple effect has caused various needs for additional, and changes in resources, to facilitate these changes effectively, and they find themselves in one of the most challenging and expensive peaks of change, ever seen.
Royal Commissions have intensified the need for public accountability and, of course, their outcomes inevitably shape public policy, impacting NFPs. In order to align with the culture of accountability and transparency, organisation’s technology have needed to be upgraded.
Transparent and accurate reporting of administration costs is the key driver to encourage donor support. Staff need to be upskilled like never before, to develop the capacity to utilise the tools that this new wave of technology possesses. Those employees in positions where their job is evolving into something quite different, are either embracing it, or are daunted by it.
The inevitable staff departures that stem from change, provide the opportunity to review and refresh the organisation structure and recruit individuals into the business who are eager to embrace change. Individuals that want to make a difference with their commercial acumen and ideas, creating new processes, that help drive operational efficiency.
With a team of fully invested staff, there is a far better chance of them maintaining service standards, whilst building a sustainable surplus for future expansion as the population grows.
Some of the CFOs that attended the Round Table event have made the switch themselves, moving from commercial businesses into the NFP sector to inject creativity and new strategies. They are now looking for others who can join them to help bring their strategies to life, and help their organisations thrive.
Purpose and recognition
We know that dominant workforce generations (Gen Y and Z) are socially conscious and purpose driven. We also know there has never been more demand for innovative and commercially minded people to cross over from businesses, where your efforts may be rewarded with renumeration, and a pat on the back, but without moral satisfaction.
A move to the NFP sector, could give you 3-dimensional job satisfaction and that priceless feeling that you are making a difference in your community.
I meet candidates on a day-to-day basis, who have pre-conceived ideas that this sector is “not for them” or see the sector as ''not forward thinking’' enough, or even “behind the times”. This is perhaps true of the NFP organisations in the past, but certainly not of current models. NFPs, many who have a focus on social equity and justice, are well positioned to drive diversity and inclusion within their organisations. In addition, their focus on technology has positive flow on effects for their staff, encouraging workplace flexibility and connectivity. If you would like to play an integral part in one of the biggest cultural and operational transformations within the modern business world, then you need to seriously consider this sector.
There’s more to Not For Profit than just goodwill.
Please get in contact with me to find out more. JNicholas@charterhouse.com.au
or 03 8610 6120 for a confidential discussion.