Category Archives: Research

How to manage risks in your organization.

In order to determine the degree of risk, you apply the formula:

Risk = Likelihood of something happening × Impact.

  • Each risk then needs to be quantified.
  • Managing the risk then involves selecting tools from the risk management armoury to prevent or minimise the risk by reducing the likelihood of it happening or it’s impact.
  • Insurance is one tool to reduce the impact of a risk.You can always explore from those offered by different insurance service providers and choose the package that most minimises the risk.
  • Another option is to accept the risk.This decision should be taken after careful assessment of the risk and the possible consequences of accepting it.
  • Although risk management is a responsibility of the Board,every organization should appoint a risk officer to take the lead in risk management.The risk officer should be responsible for preparing and updating a risk register.
  • The risk register will form the basis of the risk management strategy that is necessary for good governance.

A sample risk register

RiskLikelihood of riskPotential impactControl procedureMonitoring processOwnershipFurther actionDate of review
Reduction in funding from government.LowHighSetting and achieving required performance.Using performance indicators.You,BoardReport on performance to the Board every month.Every 3 months
Risk register
Finding out risks

Ways of reducing the risks that affect an organization

  • Having a risk management process to avoid some risks and to manage others properly.
  • Change the way the organization is governed to mitigate potential risks.When an organization is governed in a transparent and accountable way,many risks associated with public image, funding and stakeholder satisfaction can be avoided.
  • Change the strategic direction of the organization if necessary.
  • Reduce or expand services and change the way of operating to reduce risks e.g introducing the evaluation and control procedures can assist greatly with the management risk.
  • If there are significant risks facing the organization,it may be possible to take out insurance to cover the risk.For example insuring the officials and athletes in a sports organization against injury.

As with governance,the process of risk management should be transparent and communicated throughout the organization.The annual report should include an acknowledgement of the Board responsibilities,the process followed and a confirmation of the systems in place to control areas of major risk.In this we all stakeholders become comfortable with risk management of the organization.

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How to make a presentation to sponsors

A successful organization sponsorship bidding processing will always require a well planned way of laying down your proposals to the prospective sponsors.Once the benefits and opportunities have been defined,it is essential to prepare yourself to present these to sponsors.How will you present these benefits to a company?Will you do it yourself or through an agency?These must be carefully considered,as an agency would claim commission or a fee.Always read the small print and never sign away your rights.For the presentation,there are numerous options, such as:

  • A written proposal
  • A projector presentation
  • A flip chart presentation
  • A computer-based(multimedia) presentation.
A presentation underway

Much will depend on the budget available.However whichever route is taken,it must be done professionally and be well set out.Rehearse it.Write a script and test it on companies with whom you have dealt with in the past.Keep it concise and no more than 30 minutes long so that the audience does not lose interest.The content of a presentation to sponsors could include the following:

  • Introduction to your organization-What is the role of the organization and the work?
  • The sponsorship package-What are the benefits and opportunities available?
  • How it benefits the sponsor-What will they get from it?
  • Summary-Reinforce the key points and outline the benefits again.Then,lead into “investment”, i.e the amount of money required.Focus on partnership and being part of a team.

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How to get and retain sponsors for your organization.

Having established what benefits and opportunities are available, it’s then necessary to identify key companies to approach.A criterion for deciding whom to approach could be alignment between what you have to offer and what the sponsor might want and/or the acceptability of this match to both parties for example,it may not be acceptable to your organization to be sponsored by a tobacco company.

Look at companies that have similar values with the Olympic movement and choose them carefully.Financial institutions,car manufacturers, airlines, and telecommunication companies are all good targets, although there are many others.For example,the Amateur Swimming Association in England has received substantial sponsorship from British Gas,a utility company.

Sponsor names and logos on display in a

The process

This is the most difficult aspect.A personal introduction is best,the aim being to meet with key decision makers to present your proposal directly to them.If a personal introduction is not possible,a letter requesting a presentation should be sent.It must be worded carefully to be attractive and also interesting enough to make the recipient want to hear more.Ensure the letter is addressed to the correct person and follow it up with a phone call.When approaching potential corporations for sponsorship you should do the following:

  • Ensure that your marks and symbols are registered and otherwise legally protected so that you can control their use.
  • Identify the product (emblem, statements such as “official team sponsor” or programmes (e.g competitions, athletes, coaches, special events).
  • Draw up a complete list of products or programmes “for sale”sponsors should have no doubt as to what they can purchase.
  • Determine the market value of each product category or programme.
  • Assign your rights (e.g your emblem)to only one company in a particular product category e.g airline, bank, sports shoe firm) in order to develop as much exclusivity as possible.A sponsor of your organization should be sure that no rival ,by acquiring the same symbol,can mount a competitive promotion.
  • Package the products or programmes to meet the perceived needs of the potential sponsor.Ask yourself why a corporate sponsor would be interested in this particular project.
  • Advertise, promote and sell the products to corporations by emphasizing that;
    • Sport is universal and easy to understand
    • Sport attracts media attention/exposure; and
    • Sport has talented young individuals who not only bring pride to your country but who are worthy of support in their own right.
    • Arrange a meeting with a prospective client to make a presentation.
    • Ensure sponsorship agreements guarantee you a specific sum of money, regardless of the success of the company’s promotion.

Once a sponsor has expressed an interest,the major hurdle is to get them to sign a contract between you and them.The contract must be legally binding on both sides and should be drafted by legal advisors.As an organization,do not commit to anything you cannot deliver.

The cost of sponsorship will vary greatly from country to country.It may be an idea to talk to some friendly companies and ask them whether they think the sponsorship is pitched at the right level.Try to identify the cost of other sponsorship in your country and be aware of what your competitors could offer the sponsor.

When negotiating the value of the sponsorship, you should take into account how much you can receive as cash and the amount contributed as VIK.Although cash is always useful, it is often easier for sponsors to provide equipment and services.Also remember to consider what the actual cost of running each sponsorship is likely to be.

Retaining a sponsor

Having signed a sponsor, Your aims must be to develop a long term relationship with them.This servicing of the sponsor is crucial and poor servicing is the main reason why many sponsorship faill.Maintain communication with the sponsor, and provide new initiatives and opportunities for them to exploit their sponsorship.Update them regularly on all your activities and give them exposure whenever you can demonstrate to the sponsor how the sponsorship has benefitted them.

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How to raise organization funds through sponsorship.

Sponsorship is an activity that creates a direct association between your organization,what it has to offer, and another organization.There must be benefits for both parties for the sponsorship to work.Sponsors can provide cash, goods and services known as value in kind(VIK) or a combination of these.

Company logo displayed in a club stadium

What do you have to sell?

Sponsorship is only possible if your organization has something to promote to a sponsor and if the benefits of this can be made clear to a sponsor.The following could be benefits that might attract sponsorship, consider each one carefully in terms of value to a sponsor and the cost to yourself and then look for others.

  • Use of emblem-Can a sponsor use the emblem of your organization or event? You will need to make sure you have the legal right to offer this.
  • Official sponsor status-Can they be given title of official sponsor?
  • Exclusivity-Will there be a limited number of sponsors, thereby making it more exclusive? Can they each be assigned an exclusive product category?
  • Publications-Do you have any publications in which a sponsor can advertise?Can they put their logo in a prominent location?
  • Television-Can you acquire good advertising rates on television?Do you have any of your own television programs through which they can get exposure?
  • Athletes-Athletes are always a good benefit to sponsors who like to have them appear at company functions and corporate events.It is good practice to guarantee a certain number of appearances per annum.
  • VIPs-Do you have access to VIPs and high ranking personalities? Would they host a dinner or appear at certain events organised by your sponsors.
  • Internet-Do you have your own website?Can you offer sponsors exposure on your website?
  • Event tickets-Can sponsors have access to purchase tickets to the Olympic games or other events of regional or national significance? Will you provide tickets free of charge?
  • Hospitality-Do you stage events in your country at which you can offer hospitality?
  • Other activities-Look carefully at all the activities you run particularly high-profile events, such as Olympic day celebrations.Could any be an opportunity to a sponsor?

The above should provide some ideas from which you can develop a package of benefits and opportunities.This should be developed into a written proposal, outlining each benefit and how it can be used.This proposal then usually forms the basis of a contractual agreement.Need help drafting a proposal?here we have got you covered,reach out and we shall be happy to write for you just the right proposal. Watch out for articles on how to get and retain a sponsor? & how to make a presentation to sponsors?

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Raising funds for a sports organization through fundraising activities

There are many activities that will raise funds for your organization:

  • Selling a product
  • Social events (dances, picnics, dinners,receptions)
  • Bazaars, auctions,craft sales
  • Gambling (bingos, lotteries, casinos)
  • Celebrity shows(concerts)
  • Sports events(runs, tennis, tournaments)
  • Providing services ((gardening,car washing)
A dance performance to raise funds

When considering which activities to explore,consider the following points:

  • The commitment of the fundraiser-Activities are only successful if those who are responsible for them are committed and motivated.For example there is little point in holding a club raffle if club members are not willing to sell tickets.
  • The novelty of the activity-The general rule of thumb is that the more novel the activity, the more interest it will create.
  • The estimated net profit-Some activities raise funds,but if this has to be spent on staging the activity,there may be no point .For example, the costs of a formal dinner may be so high that the extra you can add to the entry fee to generate revenue is so small and not worth it.
  • Resources needed-You need to make sure that you have the equipment, facilities and most importantly, people to carry out your activity to a high standard.Otherwise you are likely to have to pay for these, which will decrease your profit.
  • Timing of the activity-You need enough time to organize an event properly and to run the activity when it faces the least competition.Trying to sell expensive raffle tickets just before festive celebrations is bad timing as people often have little spare money.
  • Asssesssment of risk and legal implications-You should consider what might go wrong and how you will deal with this.You should also be aware of any permits or licences you may need.

Careful consideration must be given to ensuring that the right event is chosen,one that has appeal to the public and that will encourage participation The following is a checklist to guide your decision:

  • You are a worthwhile cause that will be supported.
  • The project leader has been established.
  • Prospective volunteers have been identified.
  • Committees and their chairpersons have been identified (where appropriate).
  • Initial publicity plans have been formulated.
  • You have a financial goal for the project.
  • You know how you will use the funds.
  • Your financial and human resources have been established.
  • A decision has been made regarding the special event to be organised.
  • A project budget has been drawn up.
  • Your target market has been established.
  • The timing of your event has been determined.
  • A plan for acknowledging those individuals who helped make your event a success has been developed.
  • A meeting has been planned to evaluate the fundraising event.
  • A post -event party has been planned to thank the workers for their efforts.

No matter how you decide to raise funds,it is important that the activity is well managed to make the best use of resources and the goodwill of those who attend the event.This will help to maximize the amount of money raised.

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Key communication types in organization management

Someone communicating

Communication can occur in a number of ways:

  • One way communication-This is the giving of information or direction.Immediate feedback is not requested or required.Communication in this category includes announcements,news releases and program information.One way communication must be phrased in simple, clear language and should be understandable,easily interpreted ,of interest to the reader and pertinent.The disadvantage of one way communication is that there is no way of knowing if the information was received or interpreted in the intended manner.
  • Two-way communication-In this instance, information is given and immediate feedback is requested or required.Communication in this category includes face to face contact,such as meetings and conferences, and written communiques requesting opinions.One advantage of this type of communication is that misunderstood issues can be cleared up immediately.You can give as little or as much information as is required and can adjust this on an individual basis.Facial and body language may clarify or enhance the message.This same body language may serve to create misinterpretation and you must be careful and consistent with your body and oral or written communication.
  • Listening-The ability to listen is also an essential communication tool,since it’s important to hear and understand the information that is being passed on,rather than just focusing on the words that are being said.If you can show that you are interested in what is being said and have heard and understood the message, the people communicating with you will be more satisfied.There are a number of ways to do this:
    • Maintaining appropriate eye contact with the person who is talking.
    • Encouraging the person to continue talking nodding or agreeing with what is being said.
    • Showing that you understand what the person feels.
    • Summarizing what has been said before answering as this will allow you to check that you have understood.
    • Not interrupting.

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How to evaluate your volunteer strategy.

Volunteers rescuing endangered animals

Consider the following questions when evaluating your use of volunteers:

  • What tasks are performed by volunteers?
  • Is there a coordinator to whom all volunteers report and who assumes full responsibility for them?
  • Are the goals, purposes and policies of the volunteer program stated in writing (e.g job descriptions)?
  • Is the volunteer program regularly planned,organized and revised with participation from the Board,staff,user and community groups,as necessary?
  • Are volunteers given a formal introduction to the organization as well as to their own roles to volunteers?
  • On the basis of what criteria are volunteers recruited and placed?
  • What training is provided to volunteers?
  • Does the organization maintain records on each volunteer?
  • What expense does the organization cover for volunteers (e.g transportation, child care)?
  • Are volunteers given individual performance evaluations?By whom?, When?
  • Do volunteers receive clerical support?Are work space and equipment allotted to them?

Critical areas to look into:

  • How good is your organization’s recruitment process?
  • Do you know if people are doing the jobs best suited to their skills?
  • How can the way you manage your people resource be improved?

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Sources of volunteers for an organization

A few areas where you might begin looking for volunteers include:

  • Individuals who have benefitted from your program.
  • Students
  • Parents and helps
  • Spectators
  • Military or government employees.

In order to recruit volunteers, you could:

  • Contact volunteer bureaus and other such organizations with regard to potential volunteers.
  • Make arrangements to meet and talk to specific groups to create interest.
  • Encourage reporters or broadcasters to publicise the aims and objectives of your organization and the opportunities for volunteers to become involved.
  • Distribute handbills,posters, leaflets,pamphlets and other printed matter to inform people of opportunities to volunteer.
  • Make presentations to schools and universities.and
  • Advertise on your website and other relevant websites.

Once you have located sources of volunteers, individual personal contact is the best approach.This provides an opportunity to discuss the program’s needs, create interest and communicate aims, objectives and philosophy.

Place volunteers in the best roles possible:-If your volunteer program is to function and grow, the following steps should be taken:

  • Create a clear job description.Outline the commitment expected, including your program objectives and the general philosophy of the organization.Describe the resources currently available to undertake the task and possible procedures.
  • Provide your volunteers with training in their prospective jobs.Give them time to learn before actually doing the work.
  • Encourage people to grow in their jobs, to try new procedures as long as the objectives of the program are met.
  • Give the volunteer the opportunity to suggest new ideas or procedures.
  • Build in incentives.Give the volunteer credit and recognition for work accomplished and some tangible form of reward if appropriate.
  • Once you recognize the volunteer’s motivation, encourage self development to further motivate the volunteer to improve your organization.

Managing relationships with volunteers

Where an organization employs paid staff,there can be difficulties in the relationship between these employees and volunteers.Conflicts can occur when responsibilities and authorities are not clear.They can occur because of personality conflicts or differing opinions on goals and strategies.Boards, which may meet only a few times a year,may feel the full time employees are running the organization their way rather than being surbordinate to the board.Thus for every organization that depends on volunteers,it is extremely helpful if the employees, volunteers and Board are clear about their roles and responsibilities and to whom they should report.Most importantly success depends on everyone being prepared to work cooperatively for the good of the organization,to support each others’ efforts and to recognize each person’s contribution.

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How to recruit volunteers for your organization

There is an ever increasing need for volunteers to assist within organizations. However at the same time, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find volunteers due to pressures of time and income.This means that volunteers need to be managed as effectively as paid staff. Although volunteers are a relatively inexpensive resource,they do create some costs for the organization.

Volunteers at work

Reasons why people volunteer -some of the reasons people volunteer include:

  • Service to others-to put something back to society.
  • To gain work experience
  • Family involvement
  • Social reasons
  • Prestige and
  • To influence policy

You need to recognize these motives, consider them in light of the program requirements and place the volunteer in a situation that is beneficial to both the individual and the program.It is important that volunteers are asked why they participate in order to help determine how well their needs are being met.

consider your volunteer requirements on a regular basis taking into consideration what needs to be done in your organization.To do these it might be helpful to classify volunteers into three categories:

  • Administrative leadership- Volunteers recruited for this role should have skills to serve as executive board members, secretaries,treasurer’s or as committee members.
  • Technical leadership-volunteers must possess real knowledge and skills in the technical field that they are volunteering in.
  • Non-leadership services-There is always a need for volunteers in a non-leadership capacity.Volunteers who could fill these roles are those who do not have technical qualifications or the time for prolonged commitment.

Try to much your volunteers with the specific requirements of the work to be done.Some criteria to consider are:

  • Short term vs. long term-How long do you need your volunteers to commit for?
  • Intense vs.relaxed-Does the job allow the individual to work at a leisurely pace or does it involve tough decisions,tight deadlines or constant attention?
  • Responsible vs.non-responsible -Does the job require an individual who will be highly accountable or responsible for programs or does it involve little accountability?

No matter how you plan to use volunteers,they should all understand and promote the objectives of the program.This will involve specific effort on your part to communicate the program’s objectives before a volunteer commits to it.

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How to plan for training in an organization

Training could be formal, such as an organized course carried out by an expert,or informal, which relies on practical experience such as on the job experience.We always think that formal training is more valuable as it is delivered by an expert.However this type of training tends to deliver information,but not practical skills.In order to get the most out of a training, you should try and make it as practical as possible.For example,an organization could hold briefing sessions on various topics led by different people working in the organization.

A set training venue

Preparation of a training plan should cover the following:

  • The objectives of the training-what is to be achieved.
  • The population to be trained-who is to be involved, such as the Executive Board.
  • The choice of training methods-How the training will be delivered, such as attending courses.
  • How the success of the training will be measured.
  • The evaluation of the training.

Evaluating the training plan

The training plan needs to be evaluated against the established objectives.Without this evaluation the effectiveness of the training cannot be assessed.There are three levels at which evaluation can be carried out:

  • Acquired skills and knowledge-Have the required skills been learnt?
  • Applied practice-Have the skills been put into practice?
  • Impact on the organization-Have the acquired skills made the organization to function more effectively?

The success of the training should be demonstrated by improvements in both individual and organizational performance.

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