The heart of any nonprofit organization is its ability to provide services for a cause that is important to the people who work there. The keystone in this ability is the efficiency and reliability of the people doing the work.
Efficiency is important for all organizations, but it can be especially critical for nonprofits. That’s because many nonprofits are understaffed and/or underfunded. The more efficient they are with their time and money, the more they can help people in need.
As with so many other elements of managing a nonprofit, efficiency and reliability are closely connected. A reliable organization is one that runs smoothly, without problems or roadblocks getting in the way of progress.
Reliability can be associated with three key things:
Quality assurance. If you’re putting out a product or service, people will expect it to work as expected, every time. This is especially true if people are relying on your organization because they have no other place to turn for help.
Transparency. People need to know they can trust you — not just because you’ll do the right thing, but also because you won’t try to hide anything that might put your credibility in question.
Accountability. Nonprofits depend heavily on volunteers and donors who expect their efforts and money to be spent wisely and in a way that matches their values as much as possible. You should be able to explain where every dollar goes (and what doesn’t work).