Top 3 Time Management Tips for Effective NGO Management

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Time management is an important skill that all managers, leaders, and decision-makers should possess as it plays a critical role in determining an NGO’s efficiency and effectiveness.

Time is not just your biggest asset, it is an irretrievable asset. Therefore, a conscious investment should be made to develop, or improve, time management skills through strict self-imposed time management mechanisms.

  1. Prioritize Wisely
  • Make a list, the day before, and check it twice! Why? Because studies prove that pre-planning your work reduces stress and anxiety and promotes confidence, self-esteem, energy, and self-satisfaction.
  • Seek to accomplish the most essential tasks, that is, tasks that are both ‘urgent and important’, first.
  • Ensure that there are activities in your schedule that directly contributes to your NGO’s mission and vision or even directly relate to generating income and growing your non-profit.
  • Delegate less essential tasks to talented, qualified, and experienced team members, schedule a day or reserve some time for dealing with ‘not urgent but required tasks’ such as emails, filing, phone calls etc.
  1. Set S.MA.R.T. Goals

Establish tasks that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound in nature. This saves time, allows progress to be monitored and success measured, and helps to reduce the stress of trying to achieve unrealistic goals.

  1. Monitor Time and Eliminate Distractions
  • Create a time log of a ‘typical workday’ over a few days. Analyze this log in order to identify where you are investing your time, pinpoint which activities distract you from being productive, and just how much time you invest in these activities. These distractions may look a little like spending blocks of your day checking social media and catching up with colleagues.
  • Then, gather all your willpower and work within set blocks of time where you eliminate your distractions by closing your office door or manage distractions by taking scheduled breaks at pre-determined intervals to check your phone, go for doubles or just relax.

Remember, NGO’s that utilize good time management are better positioned to consistently deliver their product, or service, on-time to their target audience so get to work!

 

 

The Dyslexia Association- 2018 Winners of the JB Fernandes Award for NGO Excellence

One of the most memorable highlights of the 2018 T&T NGO Professionals Seminar was the announcement of the Dyslexia Association as the 2018 winner of the prestigious JB Fernandes Award for NGO Excellence.

Among several worthy applications received, the Association stood out among the rest for their innovation, best practices, and partnership development within the non-profit sector of Trinidad and Tobago.

On behalf of the JB Fernandes Memorial Trust II, Mr. Joseph Fernandes presented the award to an emotional Ms. Cathryn Kelshall, Chairman of the Association.

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According to Ms. Kelshall, the Board of the Association were convinced that they met the award criteria and three Board members undertook the task of accurately completing the application to demonstrate that the Dyslexia Association was deserving.

Having won, Ms. Kelshall stated that the award recognizes the ‘good governance and impact’ the Association has, it underscores their good reputation, and it demonstrates trust in the Association’s ability to deliver its mandate.

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The number of dyslexics in any population is conservatively estimated at 15%. This equates to a possible 300,000 dyslexics in the country. Formed in 1990, The Association has worked to provide training to teachers as the most effective way of ensuring that those students who are most at risk for reading challenges receive effective guidance in order to reduce failure academic failure.

In the absence of trained teachers at schools, remediation generally comes at a cost to the parents. Despite this, the Association’s efforts to have the Ministry of Education assign a trained remedial teacher in each primary school, have to date, been unsuccessful. Currently, Student Support Services refers parents to the Association’s programmes which are supported by specialist materials available from the UK. and the U.S.A.

Currently, the Association has created and published their own teaching manual and trained over one thousand teachers throughout Trinidad and Tobago to recognize and teach dyslexics. They use specifically designed programmes to meet the needs of the dyslexic population in every corner of the country.

Want to know more about the magnificent work done by The Dyslexia Association? Find out more here:  

Website: www.dyslexiatt.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DyslexiaTT/

 

Collaboration is ALIVE

The spirit of collaboration was definitely alive at our 2018 T&T NGO Professionals Seminar hosted by JB Fernandes Memorial Trust II as we delved into this year’s theme- “Strengthening Capacity through Collaboration”.

The Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business auditorium was filled with approximately 140 passionate attendees representing 60 non-governmental organizations throughout Trinidad and Tobago.

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Mr. Joseph Fernandes presented the opening remarks on behalf of the JB Fernandes Memorial Trust II and encouraged NGO’s to be innovative and cooperative in their approach to maintain sustainability.

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Mr. Mirza Ali-Mohammed got the ball rolling through a thought-provoking collaborative Experiential Learning Ice Breaker Session that thrust attendees straight into collaboration mode. Mr. Ali-Mohammed continued to share his expertise during his interactive workshop; ‘Where Collaboration Meets Communication’.

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Addressing the role of leadership within partnerships was Dr. Kamla Mungal, Director, Leadership Institute, ALJGSB. Dr. Mungal discussed various aspects of non-profit sustainability including the importance of engagement and putting egos and personal agendas aside to ensure successful and productive relationships.

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Ms. Rissa Edoo National Coordinator, GEF Small Grants Programme, brought remarks from the UNDP also advocated for NGOs to put personalities aside in order to work together to make a difference.

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Former President of the Diabetes Association of Trinidad and Tobago, Ms. Zobida Ragbirsingh was a powerhouse of collaborative ideas and experiences as she presented the second speaker address focused on ‘Collaborating for Sustainability: What Partnerships Work Best”. Her vibrant, open and jovial personality provided an enjoyable look into her decades of first-hand experience in building and maintaining partnerships.

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Co-founder of the Victim Support Unit, Ms. Loverne Henry’s Deep Dive Workshop on ‘Alliance Building through Strategic Networking’ reinforced the best practices and requirements of NGO’s seeking to develop partnerships with other stakeholders.

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No T&T NGO Professionals Seminar would not be complete without the presentation of the prestigious JB Fernandes Award for NGO Excellence. This year, the Dyslexia Association of Trinidad and Tobago received the award which highlighted their innovation, best practices, and partnership among organizations within the non-profit sector in Trinidad and Tobago.

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A tearful Cathryn Kelshall, Chairman of the Association received the award and shared some insight into her organization.

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This year’s Honourable Mentions for the award included Let’s Read, Ms. Suzette Cadiz and from The Heroes Foundation, Najette Abraham.

Finally, the Cocktails and Networking session brought attendees closer with the hope that new and innovative collaborative efforts were being developed for future initiatives.

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Check out the album for this year’s Seminar here: https://goo.gl/9Auan7

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Why Strengthen NGO Capacity through Collaboration?

As we get ready for our upcoming 2018 T&T NGO Professionals Seminar we take a closer look at the significance of this year’s theme- “Strengthening Capacity through Collaboration” and what it means for non-profits.

What’s Capacity and Why is it Important?

An organization’s capacity refers to its potential to perform through strategically utilizing skills and resources to achieve its social mission and meet the expectations of its stakeholders.

Organizational assessments usually reveal any existing weaknesses that would require attention. Thus capacity building typically encompasses the development and strengthening of human and institutional resources to ultimately optimize organizational performance. This is conducted by actions such as staff training and development and collaborating in order to improve effectiveness in various areas such as; organizational growth, financial stability, resource management, and program quality.

How does Collaborating Strengthen Organizational Capacity?

The value created through collaborating, working alongside another organization to achieve a common goal is undeniable.  Being able to combine resources, skills, knowledge, and experiences establishes a greater advantage for both parties involved.

For NGO’s this means:

  • A more strategic approach can be developed
  • Increased public awareness and advocacy
  • Stronger approach to facing obstacles
  • Greater resources can be utilized
  • Increased credibility through a united front
  • More goals accomplished together compared to working separately
  • Improved business understanding of social mission (corporate-NGO collaborations)

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Given these benefits, NGO’s must be more willing to capitalize on opportunities to develop collaborative relationships as they can definitely provide an ideal approach to fortifying shortcomings in the organization’s capacity.

Has your NGO ever collaborated with another organization? How was/is the experience? Share your views in the comment section below as we get ready to discuss at the 2018 T&T NGO Professionals Seminar hosted by the JB Fernandes Memorial Trust II.

Join TT NGO News for the 2018 T&T NGO Professionals Seminar hosted by the JB Fernandes Memorial Trust II on Thursday 26th April from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm at the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business, Mt. Hope.

Registration is currently open to a maximum of three (3) persons per registered NGO or non-profit organization. Save the date and book your space today- email intprog@lokjackgsb.edu.tt or call 645-6700 ext. 186/128. Registration cost- $150.00 TT per person. Monday 9th April is the registration deadline. 

Strengthening Capacity through Collaboration

The call and subsequent interest in collaborative efforts continue to proliferate as non-governmental organizations recognize the potential and benefits that can be derived from greater cooperation.

This, coupled with the current economic climate, further urges partnerships to be formed. Whether funded by private donations, government subventions or local or international grants, civil society organizations are know all too well the financial restrictions being faced.

Although collaborating is often viewed as complex and challenging, an old African proverb reinforces its purpose – “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Going together means that NGO’s, CBO’s and community-based organizations must find opportunities and learn how to establish formidable bonds. These partnerships must not only occur among themselves but with corporate entities, the government, and the media in order to propel and achieve effective social change.

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The biggest question here remains, how can this be done?

Join TTNGO News for the 2018 T&T NGO Professionals Seminar hosted by the JB Fernandes Memorial Trust II on Thursday 26th April from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm at the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business, Mt. Hope as we explore this year’s theme “Strengthening Capacity through Collaboration”.

Through interactive presentations, insightful panel discussions, and civil society contributions we will delve deeper into developing and fostering collaborative efforts to strengthen NGO capacity for progress.

You definitely don’t want to miss this year’s seminar. Registration is currently open to a maximum of three (3) persons per registered NGO or non-profit organization. Save the date and book your space today- email intprog@lokjackgsb.edu.tt or call 645-6700 ext. 186/128. Registration cost- $150.00 TT per person.

The JB Fernandes Award for NGO Excellence for 2018 will also be presented.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook  and Twitter for more updates!

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Apply Now! NGO Excellence Award

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Named after famed Trinidad and Tobago entrepreneur and philanthropist, JB Fernandes, the Memorial Trust II that bears his name was established in 1997. Its mission is to support charitable causes in Trinidad & Tobago.

The JB Fernandes Award for NGO Excellence in Trinidad and Tobago was established to recognize and reward NGOs who have excelled in their desire to improve their communities through various initiatives while also serving as a shining example of best practices in non-profit management.

Click here for details on the award and click here to download the application form. Deadline for applications ends April 18, 2018. 

The winning organization and other noteworthy nominations (Honourable Mentions) will be showcased and honored during an awards luncheon at the 2018 T&T NGO Professionals Seminar in April 2018.

Women Putting Women First- It’s……All About The Sisters!

There is something exceptionally special that happens when women collaborate to advance other women; it’s nothing short of inspirational. Trinbago-born founders and authors Mellany Paynter and Augusta Rullow have both set out to do exactly that with the recent launch of a new women’s tribe “All About The Sisters!”

Mellany, a Creative Wellness Coach, and Augusta, founder of Cancer Survivors in Action (CSIA) both Graduates of Howard University bonded through their passion for inspiring women. They both realized that they had a similar vision to establish a women’s movement, a space to help all women put self-care and self-love first. They decided to join forces in 2017 to provide a space for women to discover radical self-care thus All About The Sisters! (AATS) was born in January 2018.

Based in New York, AATS is committed to presenting opportunities for all women to embrace overall well-being by incorporating aspects of the Eight Dimensions of Wellness- Emotional, Environmental, Financial, Intellectual Occupational, Physical, Social, and Spiritual.

Since its inception, AATS has since incorporated activities such as hiking adventure, financial and vision board workshops, and a website-building class for aspiring businesswomen.

The long-term vision for AATS is to have a presence in every city internationally to provide quality, interactive, self-development experiences that encourage personal growth and social networking with other like-minded women.

They are willing to collaborate with women everywhere in the hopes of advancing the reach and vision of the movement. Anyone wanting to connect to the cause to help develop a pod in Trinidad and Tobago or anywhere else can reach out to Mellany and Augusta at contact@allaboutthesisters.com or check out their website at www.allaboutthesisters.com

Storytelling for NGO’s- Part Three

EFFECTIVE STORYTELLING VIDEOS 

No matter what social media platforms we utilize in our professional or personal lives, we’ve been exposed to, and even appreciate the power of video content to educate, entertain, and even inspire us to make a difference. Don’t think for one minute that your NGO can’t capitalize on this opportunity to advance your social mission through engaging video content.

However, before the camera starts rolling be sure that the critical planning aspects are covered. Check out part one of this three-part installment on NGO Storytelling- http://bit.ly/2EyXNIm

There are various types of storytelling videos to choose from such as interviews, documentaries, testimonials, or utilizing photos accompanied by a voice-over narration. Whichever style is selected, ensure that it seeks to convey an evocative story that effectively reflects your NGO’s essence.

Ready to start filming? Check out our tips on creating effective storytelling videos before you scream “Aaaand Action!”

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Keep Videos Short and Engaging

Short video clips are ideal due to short attention spans and the existence of so much competing content. It’s recommended that videos stay between 30 seconds to two minutes. Don’t worry, if done correctly, links to longer videos can be shared using short snippets to capture attention and interest.

Create a Powerful Introduction

You’ve only got a few seconds to capture people’s attention, make a connection, and establish your purpose. A visually appealing and powerful introduction manifests intrigue which can later translate to support for your ultimate call to action.

Clearly Communicate Your Social Mission

Help your audience better understand the exact role and focus of your organization and how you make a difference by showing them!

Adapt Your Story to Fit the Video Format

When writing your brand story, special attention must be paid to intricate details such as eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, the tone of voice, volume, pauses and even pacing as these details can strengthen the effectiveness and receptivity of your video.

Reduce Costs- Get your Audience Involved

Ask your audience to assist with the filming and editing aspect. You might be surprised by the response. There may be active volunteers who are capable of producing an excellent video. You can even ask past and present clients to submit video testimonials. However, while video production does not have to be costly it certainly has to be tastefully and accurately executed in a way that appropriately reflects your organization.

Overall, with some creativity, dedication, and the right tools, your CBO can implement these storytelling techniques to improve your brand video storytelling.

Storytelling for NGO’s- Part Two

VISUALLY COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR AUDIENCE

Just like photos of Carnival can capture the vibrant colors of the masqueraders, the intricate costume detailing and the euphoria provoked by the music and the revelry; photos can capture the heart and mission of your non-profit.

This is visual communication. It is an integral tool in the storytelling toolkit that NGO’s need to master.

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Social interaction with online audiences has evolved from basic text and now greatly relies on visual content as seen in image-rich platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest. These channels have provided a different dimension in which to tell your NGO’s story to create a deeper more emotional connection, both better and faster than words can.

Here are some tips and tricks for utilizing photographs to tell the story you want your audience to know and understand.

Tell the Behind the Scenes Story

Showing your audience the dedication and sacrifice required behind the scenes to achieve your social mission can ignite a clearer understanding and more compassion for the work of your NGO.

Mix things Up

  • Use a variety of illustrations to capture the emotions that your NGO can evoke such as happiness and inspiration.
  • Experiment with photo angles, filters, and lighting as a change in these details can alter the mood of your story altogether.
  • Choose the most compelling photo for the album cover to capture the interest of the audience.
  • Avoid redundant photos. Try to frame each photo to effectively tell its own story.

Caption photos appropriately

Ensure that your caption is in alignment with your photo by clearly establishing the message you want to convey. Captions can range from thought-provoking questions to provocative statements, and even one-word phrases. However, there are some photos that may need more background information than others.

Make a Human Connection

Show your volunteers, donors, and supporters your NGO’s ‘How’ and ‘Why’ by capturing and celebrating the communities that you are impacting, the lives that you are touching and your inspiration for doing it all!

PS- These aspects must be captured using good quality photos. This means that your NGO needs to utilize high-resolution photos by investing in a decent camera. Don’t worry the Return on Investment is high!

So tell us, has your NGO or CBO maximized on visual content sharing to promote your social mission? Share your journey and photos with us and other NGO’s in the comment section below.

Storytelling for NGO’s- Part One

PLAN YOUR NGO’S STORY

Your story is powerful. Tell it!

Civil society organizations all have a powerful tool in the stories that they are able to tell about their journey to achieving their social mission. But just how do you tell a compelling story to rally people around your cause?

Storytelling is an art. It takes careful consideration and creativity to be able to relate a story in a way that tugs at the heartstrings of supporters or on the pockets of donors. Before you type one word or post a picture, you must develop a detailed plan to outline your NGO’s storytelling strategy. This principal step will ensure your efforts are effective, consistent, and successful.

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Begin planning your story by asking and answering the following questions:

What story do I want to tell?

There are endless stories about your NGO that you can choose from. NGO’s can share stories about their humble beginnings, volunteer contributions or even a story about the current challenges that you may be facing.

Who is telling the story?

Your NGO’s story can be told from various perspectives. It can be told by management or staff, volunteers and even from the perspective of those you have helped.

Why is the story being told?

Decide what you want to gain from sharing your story. Is it that you want more supporters, are you looking to attract more donors or is it just to increase your advocacy efforts?

How do I want people to feel after viewing my NGO’s story?

The way you want people to feel will drive your script, pictures, videos, and scenes being used in your story. If you want people to feel inspired, outraged, sad or empowered by your story use media that would do just that.

What do I want people to do after seeing my NGO’s story?

Be action-oriented. The choice of your call to action will depend on the goal of your NGO. Some examples of common call to actions include Donate, Volunteer, Advocate, Become a Member or Subscribe.

Who are the people in the story?

Characters are a great way to relate to your audience. Therefore, the people being featured in your story must be relatable and effectively reinforce the above-identified elements.

Now that you have a grasp of the storytelling basics be sure to share your storytelling planning experience with us in the comment section below. Look out for Part 2 of this topic in our next blog post.