The challenges of recent years have made an impact on all organizations, including non-profits. With the new year we hope that our local non-profits are able to strengthen their resolve and continue to work to support their missions. To achieve their goals this year, non-profit leaders need to focus on shoring up the organization with these best practices.

What Is Your Mission?

The mission of a non-profit organization brings together your staff, board, and community for a common goal. That goal should be at the heart of everything you do to make sure that your organization is working toward achieving its mission. 

Often, an Organization starts with a mission, but it is not reiterated.  Yearly, you should return to your mission to make sure you are in alignment with it and to make sure that everyone at your organization knows the mission forward and backwards. Additionally everyone should have a clear understanding on what the mission means to the organization, not just what it means to them personally. The mission of a non-profit organization will vary from one organization to the next, but no matter what the mission should be considered with each and every decision you make. 

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Can Get You There

Non-profit organizations typically succeed with their DE&I goals but it is always worth reiterating: if you choose not to have a diverse staff and leadership, you’re losing out on valuable insight and ideas. Non-profit organizations should consider if their DE&I programs reach every level of their organization. Making sure to have an organization-wide approach to DE&I will ensure that you’re hearing diverse voices at every level. 

The Role of HR

For Non-profit organizations, HR is there to help you support the mission and build a team that will support your mission. This means ensuring you have the right employees to do the job, and employees that will help you keep in compliance with the law. A non-profit organization can require different needs from their employees than other organizations. HR needs to work with the organization to build a team that is excited about the mission, that understands the goals of the Organization and understands what it will take to move the mission forward. 

Courageous Leadership

The only way for a non-profit organization to reach the goal of their mission is to have leadership that aligns with that goal. Non-profit organizations need structure, which includes strong, decisive, courageous leaders that propel the organization. Leadership in non-profit organizations need to have the mission and vision at the heart of all of their decisions, which can mean telling employees “no” when their idea or plan ultimately does not support the mission. It can be all too easy to get lost in the work and lose sight of the mission of the organization. It takes courageous leaders to ensure that their team doesn’t lose sight of their goals. 

The Role of The Board

In non-profit organizations the board of directors acts more like the “government” and less like “management”. The board is there to step in and remind the team of the mission when necessary. A non-profit board should ensure that DE&I, social responsibility, and the organization’s mission is incorporated into the strategic plan of the organization. The board should help to support the management team, and step in when decisions are made that do not reflect the mission of the organization. 

It All Works Together

  1. A strong employee base
  2. A mission that is understood and shared
  3. HR that understands what type of employees the non-profit needs to move the mission forward
  4. A board that understands their important role in strategic planning and governance

The above elements are the necessary pieces that meld together to build a non-profit that will withstand the test of time and leave a legacy for fulfilling the mission it was created to address. 

Transcendent Law Group works with non-profit organizations across the gulf south to serve as general counsel, and to help maintain compliance with applicable laws, policies, and procedures. Contact us today by phone 504.459.4557 or email us at for more information.