As you increase your nonprofit’s ability to think like a tech startup, don’t forget to include your employees in the equation. After all, many nonprofits are unable to pay their employees wages that are comparable to those available in the for-profit sector, and thus rely on employees’ commitment to the organization’s mission to keep them engaged. Here are some great new nonprofit methods (and some things that are becoming standard in the nonprofit world) that could increase both productivity and employee satisfaction in your own nonprofit organization.

Panda Fridays – the World Wildlife Fund instituted a new schedule as a summer experiment in 2007, and it became so successful that it is now the standard schedule for 95% of the organization’s employees. Staff members work 70 hours in 9 days instead of 10, allowing them to take every other Friday off. This also allows the organization to reduce its carbon footprint by one workday’s worth of air conditioning, heating and computer electricity usage, and employees benefit from one less day of commuting costs. Staff can use this Panda Friday to take care of errands that would otherwise have them standing in long lines on Saturdays, or having to take time off during workdays.

Telecommuting – According to a WorldatWork report, this is becoming increasingly the norm in both nonprofit and for-profit businesses. Additional advantages for a nonprofit include mission alignment, since, for many nonprofits, sustainability is either a primary or secondary goal. Offering this option also increases the level of trust between staff and management.

Coaching – One relatively new and innovative benefit that is increasingly finding support in the nonprofit sector is coaching. A more formal revision of the traditional mentoring of younger colleagues, the benefits of professionally outsourcing include the chance to focus on mission goals in team meetings and leave the coaching to professionals who are trained to make the most of that time.

So don’t forget to include your employees when thinking creatively about how to run your nonprofit organization. They are, after all, the backbone of your business and the face of your mission. Contact us today to learn more.