May 28, 2011
Effective communication is a skill that is learned through practice.
- Listening – the most important part of communication is learning to listen with a purpose. Focus on the individual speaking to you and don’t allow other people or things to distract you while listening. Listen for the real meaning or main point of what the person speaking is saying. Make sure your body language is accepting. Don’t prejudge.
- Body Language – This is the non-verbal way we communicate. Body language can tell feelings that may not be said verbally.
- Understanding – Confirm what the person has said in your words to make certain you understand what they are saying. Ask questions if you don’t understand or need further clarification.
- Empathy – Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and try to understand how they feel.
- Responding – only after you have listened attentively and understand what the other person is communicating should you respond. When responding do not become emotional, and don’t try to control or manipulate the person. Look at it as an opportunity to learn. Be careful of your own body language. Look the person in the eye and assure that you have their attention. Keep an even calming tone in your voice. Begin by clarifying your understanding of their situation, ask questions that may help them to deal with the situation and when offering advice, make it constructive and not degrading.
May 25, 2011
NPO leaders probably know best how long it takes to form strong, mutual relationships with donor groups, and how quickly those relationships can dissolve. Well imagine how quickly these relationships could be destroyed if donors, volunteers, clients, or sponsors discovered that their nonpublic information was compromised from a breach that originated from within your NPO. This breach can result in identity theft, which is America’s fastest growing white-collar crime. And with today’s ever-changing technology, including online access to the global marketplace and personal data files, this is becoming a concern and even greater risk.
The following are some ways Kimberly Woods, a twenty-year development professional, discusses how an NPO can experience a devastating breach of security:
- An employee is reviewing the giving history of a large contributor, but leaves their desk to pick up data from a printer down the hall.
- The fiscal year has ended and it’s time to toss old files in the dumpster outside the building.
- Copies of donor’s contribution check were left behind on the copy machine.
- An employee left your organization two weeks ago, but they still have password access to online data and their building security card was never turned in.
- The receptionist has slips of paper on her desk containing donor credit card information.
- Nonpublic information and data was mistakenly made available on the website.
- A company laptop was stolen from a locked car or left unattended in public “just for a moment.”
- The flash drive was left behind on the key chain of the company vehicle while being serviced.
- Information was faxed or given over the phone to unauthorized recipients.
It is important to remember to take extra precautions when handling people’s nonpublic and personal data, especially with today’s technological advances.
Reference: “Identity Theft—the Perfect Storm: How Safe is your Organization’s Nonpublic Information” By Kimberly Woods