Benefits of OKR framework for Nonprofit Organization

OKR (Objective and Key Results) methodology has been adopted successfully across many for-profit organizations for more than two decades, and recently nonprofits are also starting to adopt this goal setting and strategy execution framework. OKR is a simple, intuitive and agile methodology that can benefit nonprofits to achieve their desired outcomes better and faster.

OKRs create alignment within the organization, putting everyone on the same path while providing a framework for tracking progress. OKR framework can benefit nonprofits evenmore as they face many unique challenges such as keeping focus on the mission, measuring success clearly, working with volunteers, engaging external funding or government agencies.

OKR is a simple, lightweight framework that can be used by both nonprofit and for-profit organizations with great benefits. The OKR framework can provide a great deal of benefits to nonprofits as nonprofit organizations face different challenges than the for-profit organizations. Most for-profit organizations have clearly defined leadership structures but nonprofit organizations structure could be a lot more complex with a large board of directors, donors and government grants having major influence in setting strategy and direction. Other than quite a few nonprofit organizations also depend heavily on volunteer time which adds additional complexity as there is a need for nonprofits to provide meaningful and sustainable purposes that will convince volunteers to contribute their valuable time.

Here are some of the benefits that nonprofit organizations can get by adopting the OKR framework for goal setting and strategy execution.

Focus on what matters

As we already described, a nonprofit can be influenced by different stakeholders and it is important to keep focusing its activities on the main objectives or mission of the organization without distraction. OKR framework allows team and individual goals to be aligned to the organization strategic goals ensuring everyone is focussed on the main strategic mission of the organization and efforts are not wasted on other non-strategic activities.

Set Strategy and Communicate

Nonprofits need to clearly communicate their mission and strategy to everyone involved including stakeholders, employees and volunteers. OKRs are simple and easy to understand, nonprofits can set clear strategic goals with company level OKRs which will clearly communicate the organization’s strategic goals to everyone involved.

Set clear measurable OKRs

Measuring success for a nonprofit organization is not as clear as it is for a for-profit organization. OKRs will help nonprofits clearly measure the success without any ambiguity as OKRs has Objectives which provide simple, clear qualitative description of the goal and Key Results which will be measurable and help to measure the success of the objective.

Qualitative but measurable

Nonprofit organizations are mission based organizations and too much data based processes could prohibit the benefits the organization can bring. The OKR framework provides the ability for nonprofit organizations to create qualitative objectives and still measure meaningfully with measurable key results.

Set clear employee expectations

OKRs help nonprofit organizations set clear strategic organization level OKRs that leaders can filter down to clearly communicate the organization objectives to everyone involved in the organization. These organization level OKRs provide focus and allow teams and individuals to set their own OKRs that are aligned to the strategic organization goals.

Having too many OKRs

OKR is all about focussed execution so everyone is focussed on executing the strategy. So it is important to not set too many OKRs at all levels, from strategic company level OKRs to team and individual OKRs it is important to focus on the outcomes that are critical for the business. We highly recommend having 5 to 8 strategic organization level OKRs and 3 to 5 team or individual level OKRs, this will provide for the ability to focus on what really matters.

Please contact us at [email protected] we provide free OKR training for Nonprofit organizations and would love to help you get the benefit from this simple, flexible goal setting framework.

Be Ambitious and set stretch goals

OKR is a simple and helpful framework for nonprofit organizations as it encourages to create aspiration objectives which can be tracked with measurable key results.

Encourage engagement

Employees of nonprofit organizations are motivated by the purpose and the meaning of the work they do. The OKR framework with goal alignment across the organization provides the ability for employees to understand how they are contributing to the overall mission of the company thus improving employee engagement and productivity.

Build a culture of pride and accountability

OKR framework provides the opportunity for teams and individuals to set aligned objectives transparently across the organization. A big part of a nonprofit organization is to celebrate the success of others, OKR makes it easier by setting transparent goals and building a collaborative culture of provide and accountability.
Software tools such as OKRify can help successful adoption of the OKR framework for a nonprofit organization. OKRify can help Salesforce nonprofit customers by offering many of the below benefits along with the ones we discussed above

  • Align strategy with Salesforce data
  • Improve adoption of Salesforce across the organization improving the accuracy of the data especially activities employees are performing
  • Set clear expectations for employees
  • Automatically update objective progress with Salesforce data
  • Have OKRs in the same platform where employees perform their business function tremendously increasing the success of OKR adoption