Thursday, 11 September 2008

Energizing the Staff

If I were to create an EnergizedAccounting award, the first recipient would have to be Julie Kinkaid, a staff member of the Stewardship unit in the United Church of Canada. Charities typically have more worthy projects than funds, so staff have to "do more with less". In an atmosphere where the resources are always being stretched, people need something to re-energize them.

This year, Julie and her team decided to kick off the fall fundraiser with a little pizzazz. She also wanted to emphasize to staff just how the work of the church is funded as well as the rewarding ways the money is used. On the proverbial shoe string budget, she organized a week of events, such as a kick off (accompanied by some staff volunteer music), theme days where staff wore a specific colour, a knowledge contest, and a door decorating contest (see pictures). All emphasized the mission.

Just as in the for-profit world, all employees are ambassadors for their company, in the not-for-profit world, all staff are fundraisers. This is not to say that they all actually ask for donations, but they need to actively support the charitable mission and be prepared to talk about it to people they know or meet. What better way to help people reconnect with the mission than having a little fun at the same time?

What I loved about this campaign was that it involved EVERYONE, even the accounting department. The door above was decorated by people in one of the church's program areas. The door below is a virtual door, but real in the sense that it is where the money comes through: it is the workstation in the accounting department where the donations are processed.

Whether you are for-profit or not, the accounting department needs to be recognized and made to feel a part of the organization's mission.