Effective Communication is a skill that is learned through practice and includes five key areas which play a major role for nonprofit organizations:
Often times as directors of nonprofit organizations, you need to communicate with volunteers, employees, or members of the community via telephone. Communicating effectively is just as important on the telephone even though you are unable to see who you are speaking to. You cannot read or communicate using body language, making what we say and how it’s said very important.
Always remain calm, courteous, and professional on the telephone. When answering the phone, always give your name and the name of the nonprofit organization. Use the previous communication skills listed above. Keep in mind that how you come across to the caller can be influenced by your body language. Make careful notes including date, time, name of the caller, and return telephone number. See that the note is delivered to the appropriate party in a timely manner. What may not seem important to you can be important to the director, volunteer, or other party the message is for. Take great care in relaying sensitive or confidential information. Never repeat this information as you may be in violation of privacy rights if you do.
Outgoing calls should be treated the same as incoming calls; always introducing yourself and the full name of the nonprofit organization. Careful note taking is also necessary. Be sure to plan for the outgoing call in advance, making certain that you have all information at hand before making the call.
Communication is a key component in our daily lives, both personally and in business. By implementing the above guidelines in your nonprofit organization, relationships with volunteers, employees, and the community will grow in a positive manner and continue to become stronger as time progresses. Strong relationships help to keep nonprofits on the map and there to help their communities.
Download a complete copy of Communicating Effectively for Nonprofits.