The managerial skills, attitude, and approach are very important aspects for the success of a profit and nonprofit organization. The managers of nonprofit organizations have to know a lot that will help me to find the actual motive and skills behind the success of these organizations. I will conduct the interviews with five top managers from nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit organizations work for the betterment of society, and their success depends greatly on their managers’ capacity and their efforts to obtain the funds. Therefore, in an attempt to understand how these organizations work and what managerial requirements are there, I will take wisdom from the successful nonprofit managers that are in the top management of nonprofit organizations. I will conduct the interviews with managers of nonprofit organizations regarding general management to find the key factors of their success and how they manage these organizations to success.
The intent behind this project is to find the actual key factors that keep these organizations working for a longer period of time without involving their personal financial sources. The gestures, attitudes, and vision of a successful individual cannot be fully understood without direct interviews. Consequently, this has become the reason to have a direct formal interview with these managers to see satisfaction on their faces. The interviews will help me find the characteristics of managers that assist them in obtaining funds, thus leading these organizations to success. I hope to learn about the motivation that workers in nonprofit organizations have to continuously make efforts to better society without having much financial benefits and how managers motivate and develop their workforce to enhance social impact of their organizations.
As I have personal interest in social work and want to be an employee in this field in the future to start my political career, these interviews will help me understand the mechanism of nonprofit organizations and how it will help me reach my political and social goals.
I will conduct interviews with five managers from nonprofit organizations. The first interviewee will be Captain Paul J. Matthews, the Founder and Chairman of Buffalo Soldier National Museum. The second interviewee will be Ms. Ruth Githumbi, the Executive Director of Trees of Hope. The third interviewee will be Ms. Janette L. Cosley, the Executive Director of the Ensemble Theatre. The fourth interviewee will be Mr. Charles Savage, the Executive Director of Fifth Ward Enrichment Program, Inc. The fifth interviewee will be Ms. Cherry Steinwender, the Executive Director of Center for the Healing of Racism.
I will conduct the interviews with few preconceived questions; and further, I will add some questions as per the responses of the interviewees. I have chosen and prepared a set of nineteen questions that the interviewees will be asked; and then, further questions will be added to discover additional information. The set includes the following questions:
- How do you measure success?
- What is the toughest thing about management?
- Did you have a mentor when you first started your management career in nonprofit?
- What excites you the most about your organization operating in the Houston area?
- What legacy do you want to leave?
- What have you learned working with your organization?
- If I asked your staff how you manage them, what do you think they would answer?
- How do you encourage creative thinking among the individuals that you manage?
- As a manager, what do you emphasize to your employees: focus on mission, vision, or core values?
- How do you help new employees understand the culture of your organization?
- How do you work with your board?
- What is the one characteristic that you believe every manager should possess?
- As a manager of a nonprofit organization, what are your most urgent needs?
- How do you select the right people for any open positions that you have?
- What advice would you give someone going into the nonprofit management sector for the first time?
- What have you gained managing this organization?
- What is one of the obstacles that you face as a manger?
- What does your day as a manager look like?
I have chosen the above mentioned questions to ask the managers of nonprofit organizations, and these questions will help me understand the managerial requirements to run these organizations and how a nonprofit organization can gain success. The set of questions is not rigid; the questions will be further modified as per the responses of each interviewee. Further, I will add other supplementary questions to get the complete response. The additional questions for the interview comprise the ones presented below:
- What is the major operational efficiency element that you consider helps you manage the organization and leads it to success?
- What managerial characteristics do you have that assist you in making a successful team?
- How managing a nonprofit organization could help a manager lead business organizations?
The interviewees’ responses can be used to summarize and conclude the major skills and characteristics that managers of nonprofit possess to successfully lead these organizations. The major findings of the report show that managers in nonprofit consider the mission as the major aspect of success. If they get the mission accomplished, it is success for them. One of the major issues and challenges is to receive the funding to increase the activities. While being a new manager in nonprofit organization, multitasking is needed and self mentoring is the best way to learn and manage the nonprofit organizations as each day brings new challenges with it. The managers in nonprofit organizations provide space to their employees for implementation of creative ideas and motivate them to enhance the social living standards. Recruiting the right employees with the required skills and assigning them to the right tasks improves the performance and leads these organizations to success.
Being a business student, the interviews that I have conducted in regard to nonprofit organizations will help me much in my professional life. I may not work in nonprofit organization, but managing people and funds in globally diversified business world needs observations and experience from different environments. One of the important aspects that I have learned from this task is “people management,” which is the core of all interviews that I have taken. Managing people in different work environments when they do not have much benefit from the task at hand is difficult, but it can be achieved by motivating them with inner happiness and social benefits, which will help me in the future.
Unlike business organizations, working for nonprofit organizations may not be attractive. However, once a social goal is set, like it was done by many respondents, getting it achieved with personal learning and personal insight is mandatory for me in the future. One more lesson that I have learned from this task is that learning from personal experience and self-mentoring is the process that each manager needs as it enhances the skills and experience of the manager and guides them to manage staff and financials in tough times. Creative thinkers must be motivated and given power to implement their ideas in nonprofit and profit organizations.
There are five interviews conducted and the first interview was conducted with Captain Paul J. Matthews. He is the manager of the nonprofit organization that has a mission to educate and make the nation aware about the history of their Buffalo Soldiers who fought for America in different wars. As per this interview, the mission is most important for the success of the nonprofit organization; and if the firm is following its mission, the vision is automatically achieved. Resources to run the organization are scarce as per the response of the interviewee as peoples may not easily consider the museum for donations, which makes it tough. Working for a nonprofit organization needs no mentoring as the experience from profit-earning firms assists the captain in managing nonprofit. Getting people informed is the excitement of this task. The respondent said that he learned much from this experience; and every day was new, and he needed to adjust himself as per the tasks. The employees’ perception of the manager is important to get the mission accomplished; and as per the response, Paul managed smaller staff size with micro-management and large staff with less micro-management. Employees are given the opportunity for creative thinking in this organization, and then they are accountable for their ideas; however, it is mandatory to give individuals the space and time to create something. In this interview, I found that mission is very important in guiding employees through the vision and designing the core values. The history lessons and on-job internship is used as a tool to make employees familiar with the organizational culture. The vision must be clear to the managers in nonprofit organization so that they could do everything to get it achieved.
The second interview was conducted with Ruth Githumbi, the Executive Director in Trees of Hope, which is a nonprofit organization that voluntary takes care of homeless people in Houston. Those who are not able to have a home and live on the roads are provided with an opportunity to have a home and live a prosperous life. The summary of the interview demonstrates that Ruth believes in results and outcomes more than efforts, and she wants her staff to work as a well-oiled machine so that more social work can be done. Balancing the opinion and decision of board with the needs and terms of donors is considered as the toughest thing in this organization. It is not always needed to have a mentor for any work that you do, but being your own mentor and learning from mistakes is the best learning and experience. Getting related education and enhancing skills with time is needed. Working in this organization has taught the respondent that it is necessary to know the people that you are servicing and take the accountability. Micro-management in managing staff helps run the work smoothly and take the maximum out of them. The creative workers are allowed and welcomed to propose the idea; and if they have a real idea, then they will get time and control to implement it. Vision is the actual target of a firm; and once the vision is known to every employee and each of them is following it, the success is mandatory. The organizational culture is implemented with the help of training for each new and old worker. The respondent tackles the board with kindness and emphasis on the logistics and funding to keep running.
The third interview is conducted with Jannette L. Cosley, the Executive Directors in The Ensemble Theatre. The respondent replies that the hardest thing in her organization is to manage and maintain the building of the theatre and obtain the funds as this is the nonprofit theatre that makes the society aware about its rights. The success, in her point of view, is mostly monetary in terms of revenue and good reviews in the media. Jannette acknowledges that her mentor helps her run the nonprofit organization like the Ensemble Theatre. Money and funds are the blood and fuel of nonprofit organizations; and any effect on the economy creates the impact on donations. The donors need to take care of their society and the theatres like the Ensemble Theatre; therefore, they must donate funds so that peoples could get benefit from it. It is vital to coach new employees about the culture of organization and train them as per the best practices. Each employee is an asset for a nonprofit organization, and giving them a chance to speak and give ideas during meetings is one of the most efficient ways of getting creative things in operations. The candidates for the vacant positions who show their interest in social work and nonprofit business are given preferences, but the knowledge of the mission and the way to achieve it is most seen in interviews. Respondent advises the future nonprofit managers to get ready to do anything while managing these firms, and they must be ready to do extra tasks along with maintaining flexibility at work.
The fourth interview conducted was with Charles Savage, the Executive Director of Fifth Ward Enrichment Program, Inc. The organization works for the leadership development in the youth male population in Houston to make them a productive part of society and save them from bad habits. The respondent demonstrates that managing this organization does not only help him become a good teacher, but he becomes mature as a father to manage his son. The respondent measures the success in terms of productivity of their programs: if the boys enrolled graduate from their programs successfully, their organization will be successful. The cycle of success will keep going if the boy from this graduate program becomes a professor and continues doing the work that they are doing today. Getting the revenue and funds for this program is the major challenge for the manager. The founder of this organization Ernest McMillan guides and prepares Charles for responsibility and helps him become a social activist, which shows the importance of mentoring for the manager. Multitasking and accountability are the major things to tackle in nonprofit organization as sometimes the manager has to do the work of the subordinate. For the nonprofit organizations, people management becomes more typical for the manager as compared to the corporate world due to tough responsibilities and less financial benefits. However, helping employees with their needs improves their responsibility and performance. Soft skills, business skills, multitasking, writing, speaking, and negotiating are the required skills for future managers of nonprofit organizations.
The fifth interviewee is Cherry Steinwender, the Executive Director in Center for the Healing of Racism. The organization works to remove racism from society as they consider racism as a disease that can damage the actual essence of society. The organization operates to remove the negative consequences of racism from society and enhance the productivity of society and the nation. The responses of the interviewee show that new managers in nonprofit organizations must learn about their organization; and they must observe, listen, and learn what is happening and how the job is required to be done. Regular meetings with employees actually remind them about the goals, mission, and the way they selected to reach them. The respondent feels that working long on the issue of racism is the success. Arranging enough funds to implement programs and make people aware is the major challenge for nonprofit organizations as per this respondent. Being consistent with employees and becoming a role model helps the employees follow you, and that approach leads to success for the organization. Emotional stability is the key while working in nonprofit organization. Managing employees like responsible and accountable adults enhances their capability to perform and reduces the burden for the manager.
During these interviews, I found other characteristics and practices that are mandatory to be a successful manager. A successful manager expects excellence from the staff in each activity, and time management is the key characteristic of being a successful manager as employees follow the manager in doing things. In nonprofit organizations, successful managers always acknowledge and praise employees’ performance to keep them focused and motivated, and give credit to the team, not an individual performer. Successful managers should be a role model so that employees followed them without force; this is best way to get the things done by the successful manager. Both strengths and weaknesses exist in the organization, but using the strengths by maximum and converting a loss into the win is the actual attitude that successful managers adopt. IQ may not be too high, but a successful manager must be great with his Emotional Quotient to manage the issues, specifically those of the nonprofit organization. Therefore, the manager with high EQ always manages things efficiently. Managers are the leading people of a team; so, a successful manager must enhance personal skills and develop the personality continuously to remain upgraded all the time. Consequently, he will be able to direct the employees through challenges of the modern ever-changing world. Collective efforts and effective task delegation along with collaboration with internal and external stakeholders are the activities of successful managers in nonprofit organizations.
There are numerous nonprofit organizations working in Houston area that deal with different fields of social welfare of society. Further are some other nonprofit organizations that operate in Houston.
Hope Stone, Inc. is the nonprofit organization that has the art-related purpose; it obtains the funds from volunteers and teaches the art to youth and other groups of population to enhance their imagination. Hope Stone’s kids program is designed to select the children from different schools and conduct the programs for them in the art of dancing, painting, and acting.
United Way of Greater Houston is the nonprofit charity welfare organization that works to improve the lives of many needy people in the area. The major operation of United Way is to improve the standard of living in the community, enhance the academic opportunities for poor children, support financially 100,000 families and peoples who lost their jobs, and assist the students with no finances in pursuing their academic endeavors.
Houston Food Bank is the nonprofit organization that works to provide food to the needy part of the society. They provide food to children, youth, and senior citizens as per the nutrition and proteins required. Other nonprofit organizations include Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Community Family Center, Children at Risk, etc.
The above mentioned nonprofit organizations are those that also operate in Houston, but they get the funds easily as they work for education, food, homeless peoples, entertainment, and art, which increases their funding options. More volunteers fund them due to the nature of operations that these organizations have. I have selected organizations that have challenges in getting funds to know the obstacles and motivation behind their work. I preferred the organizations that I visited before personally and gave some donations to after getting attracted by their mission. The efficiency of their managers and the ways to manage the issues of the organizations that work with less familiar social welfare programs have been studied. Working with this kind of organizations will be more useful as I can discuss their issues and efficiencies with my social networks to enhance awareness.