How to Delegate: 4 Easy StepsPosted on: March 6, 2019
A few years ago, the morning of our nonprofit’s Walk Event arrived. I had planned for this fundraising event for months… and it was finally here! The weather was unseasonably cold and windy, and my runner’s leggings weren’t quite cutting it for the polar vortex that decided to hit that spring day! Perhaps because I was shivering and frozen to the core is why this particular event is so vividly etched in my memory.
Early that morning, all the volunteers began arriving! From registration to signs to food… set-up was in full swing! But, despite all my careful plans to assign every single task, chaos ensued during set-up: I was the only “problem-solver” available. I was the only one that held the entire day’s plan in my head, and I was the only resource for our volunteers to come to with random questions. I remember thinking, “if only I could clone myself” as I rushed from one volunteer’s need to the next with a line of people waiting to talk with me.
It was then I realized it was time to make some changes. I could clone myself! Okay, maybe not exactly clone, but there needed to be at least one other person who held as much knowledge and authority during the event as I did. I needed to equip and then delegate control and responsibility to another key decision-maker for the events I was planning. Not only for my sanity, but also for the overall efficiency of the event!
So, by the time our next event rolled around, I made sure that I had a team member alongside me serving as an additional resource for any questions and split second decisions to be made. This made a WORLD of difference during set-up on the day of the event!
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Maybe you’re thinking “Rookie mistake!” You’ve been there, done that. But I have a sneaking suspicion that just maybe, some of you can identify with the stress of needing, but not quite knowing, how to delegate well. I am a firm believer that one of the most valuable things you can do for yourself, your team, and your events is to DELEGATE well. Keep reading for four tips on how to do just that!
1. Identify Your Team
As I look back on my time working at a nonprofit, one of the things I’ve learned is the importance of having a squad. A crew. You must develop a team of trusted individuals to SHARE responsibilities. The day of the event is not the time to go it alone. Make sure that you are not the only holder of important information. Don’t allow the constraints of a small budget to make you feel like you have to do it all. Recruit and equip volunteers with specific jobs in mind!
2. Delegate Responsibility
Don’t be afraid to delegate more than just tasks, delegate responsibility… (aka release control). As an employee in a nonprofit, you have the PRIVILEGE of serving and receiving the blessing for serving every day. You get a front row seat to some amazing, life-changing things. No, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies, but it is beautifully rewarding and chances are, you absolutely love it. So will other people! Let others in on the blessing of serving, belonging to a team, and ultimately, partnering with the work God is doing. A key way in which you can help your team members step into their purpose is by releasing enough control and authority for them to shine!
3. Pour Into Your Team!
Place a premium on productive, team-building conversations. Not necessarily an hour long coffee meeting every day… just stay connected! Prioritize consistent meetings to facilitate your team’s unity, connection and productivity. We ALL know team unity is priceless when it comes to the high stress world of nonprofits. Here at Ministry Sync, our development team meets frequently for 20-30 minute “stand-up” meetings. It’s efficient, consistent and productive. Because we work remotely, this often looks like a phone or video chat. Regularly scheduled time to get on the same page is highly important!
4. Don’t Be An Island
We get it! You work in a small nonprofit. You clean the bathrooms, meet with donors, set up and tear down events, recruit volunteers, stuff the mailings.. you’re the first one to arrive at work and the last one to leave. You do it all. However, having a heart ready and willing to serve does not mean you have to do it all. Be very careful of placing more responsibility on yourself than is necessary. Be very selective and careful about the things you feel that ONLY YOU can do! Work on implementing the above three steps to ease the load and build relationships while serving your nonprofit. After all, you are working in your job because you CARE about the mission of your organization, not because you’re obsessed with tasks… Am I right?!
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I hope these tips and ideas help you learn how to delegate well and serve your community to the greatest of your ability! If you have any valuable tips on how to delegate effectively, we’d love to hear from you! Feel free to message us @MinistrySync on Instagram or Facebook or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was inspired by our customers and written to encourage your fundraising efforts. Although we work with ministries and events daily, our team members are not Event Consultants. We encourage you to consult with your event consultant, executive team, and/or affiliate organization before making any major changes to your events.