One of my favorite things is having the time to have face-to-face meetings with clients, spending time to hear how they are doing, what is working (or not working) in their non-profit office, and seeing what we can do to help. When I first started JMT, I was in front of clients everyday and had the privilege of knowing every client personally. As JMT has grown, as you can probably imagine, I am not able to spend as much time as I would like with our clients and that is unfortunate. But I still make a point of doing so as much as I can and I am always so glad when I do.
While we survey our clients, there is nothing like a face-to-face meeting. My goal in most meetings is a simple one…is JMT living up to our non-profit client’s expectations and delivering service at the high level we strive for. Most of the time I am proud to say the answer is a resounding “yes”, rarely do I hear a “no”. But those “no” responses are exactly why I am there. In order for any firm to be the best it can be, we need to have honest, constructive feedback and performance indicators on how we are doing, and that is as true for JMT as for any other firm, including non-profits.
If you are unfamiliar with non-profits, you might wonder how this translates. Funders and contributors want to ensure that their funds are being used effectively. Every organization needs to be able to demonstrate the positive impact it is having through the delivery of its services (its performance indicators). Often, this is not even optional, but a matter of funding compliance. The better an organization is in capturing and reporting on its impact, the more successful an organization will be in capturing funding or getting repeat funding. The more successful it is in capturing funds, the more successful it will be in achieving its mission.
Non-profits know this and it seems most of my conversations with clients lately are about measurement and assessment tools. The importance of this topic has been further reinforced recently by the number of attendees to our grant management webinars, which continue to grow. The ability to automate this process has been a long time coming, but it is here now and those non-profits who are unable to easily measure and report on the positive impact of their programs may find themselves behind the eight ball when it comes to funding. Today it is about accountability and measurable effectiveness.