Welcome to Training with Molly
As I prepare my presentations for this year NRPA conference in St. Louis, I've spent a lot of time reflecting on what makes fundraising so daunting and how I can convey (in one hour) some of the things I have learned since I went to a full time fundraising position.
Two big words pop to mind - people and emotions...
Many of you reading this don't know me, so if you want to talk to me about your organization's mission and work, you go into it blind without really knowing if I will be receptive or not. So, when we meet new people, we need to remember that not everyone is going to love our organization. (If you talk to me about sports, you'll lose me... talk to me about animals and wildlife, I'm on the hook. This is not about whether an organization is good or bad, its about how I (your potential donor) FEELS about the organization and the mission.)
For example, if someone from an animal rescue organization takes the time to talk to me about their mission - spay and neuter programs to reduce the population of domestic animals in the United States - they will not only have my attention but likely have to listen to ME talk long and loud about my opinions on our "throw away" society and my wish that we could somehow turn the tide so that so many precious animals are not homeless, suffering, or euthanized every year. (Uh oh, can you see passion coming through?! Yep, from a mile away!) Meanwhile, back to my example, when the person who was hoping to talk me into becoming a donor sees my fervor, hopefully they will invite me to get involved, tour the facility, volunteer at an event -- harness that excitement! Next, when they know me better, they will know that asking me for a donation toward the Spay & Neuter program feels like the right ask... ask me about funding the Feral Cat program, probably likely... ask me about funding the pet book lending section, maybe not so much (worthy, but not my passion, see?)
So... my thoughts for you today are to remember that is about people, emotions, and connecting them (and their money) with something they love! More thoughts on this coming soon! Thanks for reading!
Re-posted from Feb 26, 2015
Tonight I am preparing to be part of the NRPA Administrator’s Network Virtual Roundtable on “Staff Training and Staff Culture” with Neelay Bhatt of PROS Consulting and Tom Venniro from the NY State Parks & Recreation Society.
I am very honored and very excited to be asked to speak as part of this virtual roundtable. As I reflect on what I would like to share during this hour – two important things occurred to me. One is that so many of us fall into the standard style training where we sit people in boring rows and begin the training with “Welcome, please open your staff manual to page 1…” Then we jam the next few hours with procedures, policies, do’s and don’ts — until people are completely bored AND no longer listening or learning. And yes… I said “We”, which brings me to point #2. I fall into this myself sometimes.
Its a classic scenario. When you start out, you’re excited and energized to train new people and welcome them to your culture! As the training gets closer, the press of topics and details that must be shared during the oh-so-short time you have becomes bigger. As the day nears, the list has grown to a staggering agenda that you will need to muscle through the best you can. And many times, I know for myself, when training day(s) finally arrive, I’m usually staring helplessly at a full inbox and a list of issues that need faced and wondering how I can possibly be away from my desk and focused to lead training for the next two DAYS! Its very hard to be enthusiastic and a fantastic trainer when you have this type of start.
So. I wish I had a magic answer but I can say from experience, staying a little late the night before, organizing the checklist, and sometimes – horrors! – not checking email in the morning before training but just walking straight into training, all work to help you be your very best.
Back to point #1 – incorporating exciting training concepts and then bringing in the necessary policies and procedures in small segments, can really revitalize your staff and your training. I’ll talk a lot more about that in the next post, when I summarize the Virtual Roundtable discussion for you.
And I’ll leave you with this thought… I have talked in the earlier paragraph about you preparing for training – but remember, it doesn’t have to be you. The trainer of your staff should be the best person to lead the training. Another staff member who demonstrates enthusiasm and charisma as a speaker? A trainer that you hire for this very important task? A professional with a skill to teach? Perhaps a collective group of experts who can provide a quality training to your students. Whoever that person is, be sure they will meet the objectives and do it with pizzazz!
Thanks for reading! More on training and civility soon!
This is an important question to consider!
Most people say yes! Civility issues are common in the workplace and many times they lead to an “Us versus Them” attitude among different parts of the staff or between the Board and the Staff, etc.
Can these issues be addressed? Can we decide as a team to start treating each other better and working as a team? YES! YES!
The first thing to do is assess how open the staff is to discussing the issues and making action steps to move forward. A survey to poll the true feelings of the team and the issues they are facing is also important at the start. By the time the team moves to the Training phase of the process, the issues have been aired in the survey and are presentable in (sometimes shocking) numbers and visuals, which can be a strong wake up call for teams to see their concerns and issues in stark results.
Is the current workplace a good place to be? If not, let’s figure out where to go from here!
Civility Training is a strong essential conversation to have within your team to move morale and team work to another level!