Existing resources within an organization are found in many forms. Many organizations (and businesses) have a better sense of their financial and capital assets then their human ones. NGOs value people resources above all, but are often reluctant to take a hard look at the specific resources and skills available through these people and to identify ones that may be in short supply.
MIAG has some very valuable resources:
– Long term retention of core staff and volunteers who continue to support the organization.
– A network of community organizations and contacts that evolves to match the diversity of the Peel Region community.
– Credibility with political representatives at all levels of government.
– A history of successful struggle for sustainability.
– An ability to reflect, plan and act.
Inevitably, the demand will exceed available resources. Two general solutions to this situation are: (1) prioritize the areas of demand and select those that are the best fit with the unique values of MIAG (see below) and match the available resources. (2) Expand available resources through additional volunteers, funding, or improvements in productivity (doing more with the same resources by working smarter and more efficiently).
Some questions to consider in resourcing are:
– What are the skills of our current people? (Staff, Board and volunteers.)
– Who are the organizations most important to our sustainability? (It is likely that 80% of financial support comes from 20% of all funding sources.)
– Which community groups and clients really appreciate our assistance? (Some of these may become partners / collaborators / volunteers.)
Some more difficult questions to consider are:
– What can we stop doing without causing serious, long-term damage to the organization or the people involved?
– How capable are our financial, information and communication systems?
More specific questions about diversity include:
– Who in our community understands diversity?
– Who is in urgent need of understanding diversity?
– What have we learned about diversity in our community as it applies to newcomers? to refugees? to first generation immigrants in Canada for 10 years or more? to the second and third generation of these? What appears to remain relatively similar over time? What is unique to this time or to specific ethno-cultural groups?
– What does diversity mean to the current economic, social and political structures in our community? What is it likely to mean in 5 yrs? in 10 yrs?
– What can MIAG do better than any or most other organizations in Peel Region in these areas?
I believe that one of the priorities is that we need to find ways to maximize our existing resources. The demand is growing rapidly. Looking a how to assist organizations to understand diversity issues and initiate proper organizational changes to complement the things we are already doing I am considering:
how effective we can be when we are asked to participate in so many different areas? how to keep growing and at the same time building proper support networks?
develop a train of training basic curriculum or manual which could be used by new volunteers once they complete they training.
staff, leadership, media group and board members will make use of this guide to influence other organizations, groups, or key individuals.
I considering to use this idea to develop a funding proposal as currently the entire staff is too much stretch out; I may need someone with the expertise of Simon Consulting to facilitate it and put it together. [MIAG Director]