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5 Manuals That Every Non Profit Should Have

Updated: Aug 28

Effective knowledge management and document retention is essential for successful non profit operations! Especially in today's virtual environment, it is necessary to be sure that you have the correct information, stored in the correct place, easy to access and implement, for those who may need to reference tasks and procedures now, and in the future. This is one of the hallmarks of Succession Planning, and positioning an organization for legacy and sustainability, no matter how many individuals may come in or out of the organizational system.


1) Board of Directors Manual- In addition to the agency by-laws, we recommend that you have a comprehensive BOD manual. This many goes into further depth on the history of the agency and it's charter documents, financials, programs, staff, and impact. In addition, it should include complete job descriptions for Board Officers and members. This is what you give to new Board Members, which helps to completely orient them to both their roles as BOD members, and the agency itself.


2) Executive Director Manual- The ED manual goes beyond the 2-3 page job description, and brings to light what the actual role does on a daily basis. This should include tasks, processes, passwords, vendors, goals, etc. This way, if something suddenly happens to your ED, it is possible for someone or a group of people, to step in to continue to necessary ED operations as needed, until next steps can be determined.


3) Human Resources Manual- Your staff are the most important part of your organization, and there are many people and systems oriented processes necessary to keep your agency operating as a well- oiled machine. This manual should include employee onboarding, training, and disciplinary procedures, benefits and compensation structures, and of course a link to your Employee Handbook.


4) Training & Development Plan- Having an agency- wide T&D Plan ensures that there is transparency regarding role clarity, professional development, and promotional opportunities within your organization. This plan should include the identification of T&D needs for all agency roles, conducted through a comprehensive staff Survey, in addition to identifying Core Competencies or skills to effectively implement each role. Remember: Great employees have both general Business Acumen and Leadership Skills, in additional to their Technical Skill (the skill needed to perform their actual job task).


5) Financial Operations Manual- If it's not clear where the money comes from, how it is handled, where it is going, and what each of those processes consist of, we're in BIG trouble!! Again, we can no longer silo knowledge into 1 department or with 1 person. This manual should include all agency funding sources and the fiscal reporting requirements for that funding, vendors lists, and general financial operating procedures unique for your agency.


We can help you with ALL of these!

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