5 ways to increase capacity at your nonprofit without spending money

  1. Automate: take a moment to assess any parts of your job and your team’s jobs, are there tasks that you do over and over again? Determine if any of those processes can be automated. If you are just getting started with automation and have zero budget… start be getting yourself familiar with Zapier. Nonprofits are eligible for a free Pro account with Zapier as long as they display the Zapier logo somewhere on their website.
  2. Delegate: if you are overwhelmed by your accountabilities you will need to delegate everything that does not require your specific attention. If you feel resistance to delegating, consider what it’s costing you by not taking action on essential items such as… building a fundraising engine, evaluating the impact of your programs, etc.
  3. Prioritize the essential and stop doing the unessential: this may sound oversimplified, but it’s not, it’s crucial, and it will probably feel difficult at first, but you need to be brutal in the way you prioritize and realistic about your capacity, then put everything you can that isn’t a top priority on hold until you’ve eked out enough capacity. If your saying to yourself right now that there isn’t anything you or your organization can stop doing, then just “put some things on hold” that you will come back to in the future.
  4. Create a blueprint for your organization: once you’ve organized your nonprofit into the functions that make it run well, you can find lots of opportunities to gain capacity without spending more money.
  5. Identify your team members’ individual super powers: those things that they are great at, love doing, and that energize them when they do them. Use this information along with the accountability chart to start working on re-configuring people’s jobs. Once everyone on your team is doing a job that uses their super powers you will gain an incredible amount of efficiency, quality, and capacity.

Want to hear a podcast on this topic? Check out Sarah talking with Rhea Wong on the Nonprofit Lowdown Podcast

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