How TPS Aids Non-Profits: A Checklist

The majority of nonprofits have small staffs and small budgets which compounds the leadership and management problems they face, especially given their charters and the magnitude of needs with which they deal.

Some people think that because nonprofits tend to be small in size, issues in nonprofits should be simple in nature. Not so. The vast majority of organizations (regardless of size) experience similar issues, e.g., challenges in planning, organizing, motivating and guiding.
However, when these issues are focused in a small organization, the nature of the organization becomes very dynamic and complex.
In addition, running a successful organization isn’t enough. Most nonprofit directors and leadership teams run a second business — raising money to support the first. Both are complex and very time-consuming activities, especially when the director wears all the management hats.
Addressing these issue and others can be simplified if everyone in the organization is part of a team.
If you, the director, and your leadership team are seen by membership are the only “go to” people, use this checklist to help determine if there are effective teams within the organization or just teams in name only.

  • Each member has a specific role with related responsibilities both of which focus on an aspect of the organization’s health, e.g., financial, membership, exposure, etc.
  • Each member is part of a team within the team. For example, there can be a “sub-team” responsible brainstorming promotional activities or fund raising, etc.
  • Each member is well versed in the steps for building a consensus. Effective teams use consensus to get member buy in and do not rely edicts passed down from on high.
  • The goals of the organization are SMART.
  • People can be intimidated when asked to set goals — they seem to think they must be grandiose and long term. Not! Set short term realistic goals. Once the team has met those, they will have the confidence to “push the envelope.
  • For more information about essential steps for effective teams, go to


Bob McCarthy is editor of the E-Team Journal.


About Bob McCarthy

Originally from the Northeast, I now call Southwest Florida home. I have been a professional copywriter and editor since 1979, both freelance and in house. I have had article published in regional, national and international magazines. Plus, a video for which I wrote the script won an industry award as Best Training Video.
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