January 30, 2015 When Conflict Arises
We’ve all been there. Toes get stepped on by a committee member of a nonprofit and feelings get hurt or someone in charge is not responding as they should. Then the trickle down to the other committees is not happening, frustration sets in.… Fundraising is a great thing but personalities can unintentionally tear down a good intention. All nonprofits are working toward the same goal but often distention is created for one reason or another. This makes for a difficult situation and can demotivate others very quickly.
So what do you do?
First of all, each person involved has to step back for a moment. They need to find out where the issues are coming from, the real issues. Everyone most likely has great intentions. Maybe the delivery of a message was the problem, not the actual message. Remember, most committees are made up of volunteers. They have jobs and families and all sorts of other obligations that can add to their everyday stress, in addition to helping with the nonprofit. As an Auction Chair or a committee chair, make sure your messages are positive and not negative or derogatory. Always remember that you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.
I often hear “Communication is King” and boy, is that ever true! Most conflicts arise when communications are absent. Be courteous and be sure to respond to correspondence in a timely manner, keeping the team abreast of your activities.
Pushing and Pulling – I’ve seen some nonprofits that have committees with differences of opinion as to how things should be changed (or not changed). This can create a very unique situation. It is important to establish a pecking order if you will. This order may be one or two people or even a small committee who make the final decisions surrounding an event. Change is not easy, that is certain. Make sure the change being considered is relevant, makes the event fun and, most importantly, raises more money.
We have been the sounding board for more than one client who has had conflict among the committee. It can be worked out but you have to be diplomatic about it and remember the reason for the work in the first place.
Make every minute a revenue generating minute!
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