stefan-stefancik-257625How well does your nonprofit communicate, internally? Does everyone seem to know what is going on in their departments and within the organisation as a whole? Or, are there always a few members who get left out of the proverbial loop?

If you want your organisation to operate efficiently and effectively, your NFP must have clear, concise communications. Communication should be as open as possible between departments as well as between individual members on the board, and among your staff and volunteers. The following ideas can help you to improve your nonprofit’s internal communications.

Identify Problem Areas

Before you change anything, take the time to identify the key areas where your communications need improvement. One way to do this is to ask your staff and volunteers for feedback. Conduct a survey to help you identify the areas where conversations seem to get bogged down frequently. Ask your team for suggestions for how communications can be improved.

Once you have the results, formally define your communication needs, and create goals. Set benchmarks so that you can periodically measure the progress that is being made towards improving internal communications.

Socialise to Break Down Barriers

Often, bottlenecks in communication occur between departments because each has little knowledge and experience with the other. It is almost like each department is its own little world, with its own language. You can break through these bottlenecks by hosting periodic events that encourage members of all of your departments to get together to socialise. You can also offer board members, staff and volunteers opportunities to visit multiple departments within your organisation and observe how each team works together. This makes it easier for everyone to see how each group, and individual members contribute to the organisation and impact the service community as a whole.

Use Technology to Make it Easier to Communicate

Does your nonprofit use technology to communicate internally? Do you use methods other than email to transmit information? Are you still doing it “old school” and handing out printed copies of handbooks and getting the word out by posting notices on a physical bulletin board in the break room?

Create a central online hub where everyone in your organisation can quickly find the information that they need when they have questions. Use apps to make it easier to connect and share information via software with instant messaging and chat features. Allow members to sign up for alerts that will push important breaking news and notifications to their smartphones.

Consider adopting a self-service portal to answer questions about roles and responsibilities, job duties, assignments, deadlines, and so forth. Store more detailed information such as reports, internal contact directories, lists of essential links and FAQs in an internal, online database that is searchable by term. Offer a forum where members of your organisation can post their remaining questions and share their expert knowledge and experiences with one another.