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Company culture isn’t just for startups and businesses; it’s a fundamental part of every nonprofit’s DNA. Your culture helps to define your brand and, in part, determine the type of people who should be part of your organization.
And to be clear, every organization does have a culture. The question is, did you help to define and build it, or did it just evolve?
Ideally, you want your nonprofit’s culture to be purposefully built. It’s important for every nonprofit to have a set of values and beliefs that define how people do things in the organization. Some people think that company culture refers to workplace perks and benefits—and yes, those things are a part of it. But culture runs deeper than fun holiday parties and free pizza on Fridays. In many ways, your culture is the foundation of your organization. It can impact everything from your nonprofit’s overall effectiveness to the passion and commitment with which your team works.
Most importantly, it protects and demonstrates the core values you maintain.
If you’ve wondered how to make your culture more focused and in line with what you stand for, here are some steps to take:
The first thing your organization needs to do is develop a set of core values that you can both manage and hire to. Do you want to have a culture of teamwork? Then your executive team must truly function as a team. If you want “fun” to describe your culture, then your leaders will need to embrace that value as well. You can’t build an authentic company culture if your leadership doesn’t buy into the model you’re trying to create. It will feel like you’re fighting a losing battle, and that’s not fun for anyone.