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  • Writer's pictureBryan Tamburrino

A Grant Admin's Perspective: Tips and Best Practices for Managing Nonprofit Organizations


As a nonprofit administrator, your job is to make sure the organization runs smoothly on a daily basis. You're responsible for designing and implementing policies that keep your organization running efficiently. And while you might be the only person working at a small- or medium-sized nonprofit, managing an entire organization full of people takes skill and experience.

Fortunately, there are some best practices out there for how to become an effective and efficient nonprofit manager:

Know your organization inside and out.

● Know your organization inside and out.

● Know its mission, vision and values.

● Know its strengths and weaknesses.

● Know the financials of your organization: revenues, expenses, fundraising results etc.

● Understand the programs and services that you offer to your target audience (the people or community you serve).

● Understand the history of your nonprofit organization; this will help you better understand where it has been in order to better predict where it may be going in the future.

Set a budget and stick to it.

Budgeting is an essential part of managing your organization. A budget allow you to plan for the future, prepare for unexpected expenses, and keep your finances in order. Having a well-defined budget will help you make better decisions about how much money should be spent on each project or program.

Budgets can be challenging to create because they require planning ahead and being realistic about where funds will come from (or won't). It's important that your nonprofit has a specific purpose for every dollar that comes through its doors; otherwise, it could find itself spending money on things that don't fit into its mission statement. Setting up a realistic budget requires careful thought about what needs funding most urgently--and whether those needs can be met by donations alone or whether additional revenue sources will need exploring as well (such as grants).

Once you've created an initial draft of your annual plan with projected expenses throughout the year, take some time away from it so that fresh eyes can look over what was written before moving forward with finalizing anything else related specifically towards fundraising efforts through grants programs offered through government agencies like USAID/USAIDPVCCAAMP.

Make sure board members understand their role in the organization.

The role of a board member is to be an active participant in the organization. That means they need to know what's expected of them and be able to contribute their expertise and time accordingly. They should understand how their role fits into the overall mission of the organization, as well as its vision and goals.

If you have any questions about managing nonprofit organizations or running a successful grant application process, contact us today!

Create an emergency preparedness plan for your organization.

If you're a grant administrator, you should be aware of the risks that your organization faces. This includes everything from natural disasters to cyberattacks and more. Once you know what these risks are, create an emergency preparedness plan for your organization. Make sure that all board members know about this plan and how they can use it during an emergency situation. If something happens where one or more people need help with their finances or other issues related to the organization (like taking care of animals), then the board members should be able to access funds from their accounts without having any problems doing so.

You may also want to consider having back-up plans in place so that if one fails or doesn't work out as expected, there's another option available at hand instead of just sitting around waiting until someone figures out what went wrong with Plan A before moving onto Plan B (or even worse: doing nothing).

Consider outsourcing as an option to free up your time and energy for more important tasks.

Consider outsourcing as an option to free up your time and energy for more important tasks.

Outsourcing is a great way to manage the administrative tasks that don't require your expertise or don't interest you, like filing taxes, managing human resources and accounting systems, creating budgets and projections, recruiting staff members and volunteers--the list goes on.

By outsourcing these responsibilities (and others), grant administrators can focus on what matters most: taking care of their clients by providing them with quality services within their mission statements.

Seek professional help if needed, but do not overspend on consultants unless they are necessary for the work of your nonprofit.

If you're not sure how to handle a particular situation, or if there's something that your organization needs help with, then it may be worth hiring a consultant. But make sure to get what you pay for! Make sure that the person or organization providing the service has experience working with nonprofits and understands the unique challenges faced by these organizations.

Consultants can provide valuable services such as fundraising consulting; program planning assistance; evaluation studies; strategic planning (including fundraising plans); board development training; marketing strategy development/consultation services; technology implementation assistance (for example: web site design/development).

If you do choose to hire consultants:

Build relationships with other organizations, especially those that do similar work and can serve as partners and collaborators.

As an organization leader, it's important to build relationships with other organizations. Collaboration can help you learn from each other and avoid duplicating efforts. You may be able to share resources or help each other with fundraising and volunteers, for example.

Plan ahead for fundraising events, including pricing tickets appropriately, securing venues and vendors, marketing events well in advance of the date, etc...

Planning for fundraising events is critical to the success of your event. You should consider many things when planning a fundraiser, including pricing tickets appropriately, securing venues and vendors, marketing events well in advance of the date, etc...

Here are some tips for planning ahead:

● Plan early. If you wait until last minute to plan an event, there's no guarantee that it will go smoothly or be successful. You'll want plenty of time for promotion and publicity so people know about it!

● Know what works best within your community/audience - think about what has worked previously (or didn't work) before deciding on this year's theme/venue location.

Make sure you have a comprehensive volunteer management system in place so volunteers know how and when they can volunteer and so you can track their hours worked (and impact).

As a nonprofit organization, you have to be able to track the time and effort of your volunteers. This is important because it helps you understand how much your volunteers are contributing to the organization's overall mission. You can also use this information when applying for grants or evaluating potential partners, who may ask about volunteer hours worked by staff members.

  • Volunteers can be an invaluable resource for your organization--but only if they're properly trained and engaged in their role with the company. Here are some tips on how you can keep them motivated:

  • Make sure that each volunteer has a clear understanding of what his/her responsibilities are within the context of his/her role at the company (i.e., whether he/she will be working directly with clients). If possible, assign someone who works full-time at the company as an additional mentor so there's always someone available whenever questions arise during shifts; this helps ensure consistency in quality control standards across all departments throughout each day.

Managing a nonprofit is tough work but it doesn't have to be overwhelming or stressful

Managing a nonprofit organization is tough work, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming or stressful. In fact, with a well-defined process and some helpful tips from others who have been in your shoes before you, managing a nonprofit can be quite rewarding.

Tip 1: Don't be afraid to ask for help!

If you find yourself struggling with any aspect of running your organization (e.g., writing grants or managing finances), don't hesitate to reach out for assistance from colleagues who might have experience in those areas. Remember that collaboration is key when it comes to managing nonprofits--you're stronger together than alone!


Managing a nonprofit can be an overwhelming task. The work is never done, there are always more things to do than you have time for and it feels like there are always more fires to put out than there are people on hand to help with them. But if you're willing to make some changes in how you do things and take advantage of the resources available to you, then managing a nonprofit organization doesn't have to be stressful or overwhelming!

For more information about putting this information to work at your organization contact Bryan at ( 203) 954-5121 or

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