I’ll be launching a big nonprofit website and also going be kicking off a couple of new nonprofit projects. It got me thinking a little bit about what it takes to prepare a team for an effective nonprofit project.
Process is everything! And, more specifically, making sure that the right people are involved at the right points in the process is absolutely critical.
At the beginning of a project, you need to figure out three things.
Who is Responsible?
First, who is going to be responsible for actually helping to deliver the project? These are people that are going to be planning the content, pulling together the pictures and videos, meeting with the development team, and figuring out what needs to happen, etc. Figure out who that team is.
Who are the Decision Makers?
Next, identify decision-makers. Who are all of the people that the day before launch could stop the project in its tracks if they don’t like it? Maybe the director, the board, possibly the heads of different departments, etc. It might be a legal decision-maker or it might not. Consider them a decision-maker if they have enough say in your organization to prevent a project or initiative from being approved.
We have to make sure we know who they are, then make sure to engage them at each step of the project.
Who needs to be Informed?
The third group is not as critical as the second, but still should not be overlooked. This group consists of anybody else who needs to be informed about the project. These are folks who don’t have decisions making power and are not directly working on building the project, but they still need to know what’s going on. This could include staff members, constituents, and partners, depending on the structure of your organization.
These people can’t exactly stop a project, but if they’re completely left out of the loop they are much more likely to feel bitter about it all and are potentially going to create a lot of roadblocks to getting the site launched successfully.
Identify these groups right away.
These groups of people can be whatever size they need to be. They can be one, there can be 10, there can be 20. Figure out who needs to be there, and bring them on at the beginning of the process. Make it clear what you need from them, and you will have a much more pleasant process from beginning to end, and you’ll finish with a site that everybody loves and is excited to share.
In a nutshell, make people feel like they’re on your team, so they don’t feel like they’re working against your team.