Keeping the informal spirit of community organizations

In the last decade the financial situation has been critical for industrialized countries. Facing crises, most of the governments have chosen to cut in their budget and to restructure their economy toward internal and global performance in order to ensure a substantial growth in GDP. This results in many limitations for economic actors such as enterprises, universities, organizations and individuals. In the sector of community services, the main resources, consisting of grant from state institutions, has been reduced stressing and urging a new model of managing and working in these organizations (Non-for-profit, NGOs, charitable institution etc.).

The challenge is to maintain a certain level of revenue to continue to serve the community by diversifying the sources income with different paying activities and events. The dilemma here is to still report to funders to justify the use of the given money that decreases while, in the meantime, develop a “for profit” strategy to reach an ideal financial independence and sustainability. To achieve this transition or conversion, it is important to enhance the production in the organization. That means to rely and invest in the workforce to obtain the results described in the action plans. It takes a great management ability to choose the right way to deal with these three factors (budget, workforce and results) and position oneself.

The formal way will use laws and rules and will fit with administrations where the services are performant when it is standardized. The formal way uses systems as reference of order and control. In another hand, the informal spirit will invite the manager to show leadership and charisma in order to federate, motivate and bring together the workforce to goals (even unrealistic). The informal spirit is about attitude as medium of strength and drive. Team building activities are necessary to create and nurture a certain culture and cohesion.

Community organizations aims to support their members in the different areas of their needs. The genuine humanism, compassion and altruism of the workforce is the priceless capital that is involved to show empathy and solve so much field problems within marginalized neighborhoods or citizens. That’s why it is important to keep the informal spirit of community organizations and not devolve in killing administrative processes, induced by financial restrictions, or that’s might foster managerial tyrannies.

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