Nonprofit organizations rarely give much thought to the interior design of their offices.
But they should.
An article by the Journal of Public Affairs (which studied the relationship of office design on bank employees) found that office design does impact the productivity level of employees. Recognizing this, companies like Google and Cisco have given their offices a makeover to meet the needs of a mobile workforce.
Unfortunately, many nonprofit organizations fall prey to cluttered, dirty, and unorganized offices. Many nonprofits believe they don’t have the money or resources to do any better. Some even believe having too nice of an office will discourage potential donors (arguing that if they appear to have money, no one will want to give them any).
To the contrary, having an ugly office doesn’t make me, the visitor, want to donate to your cause. It makes me want to run.
Having an unorganized mess for your office makes me think your nonprofit is an unorganized mess. I start to worry you don’t have a good volunteer system in place, so I never sign up to get involved.
Having an outdated look makes me think your organization doesn’t have a future. They were effective once, I think, but is there any longevity to this organization? Do I really want to invest my time and money in something that might not be here tomorrow?
Improve the effectiveness of recruiting and retaining volunteers/donors by improving the look and feel of your office. Below, I provide some ideas on HOW to do this.
**Note: It’s absolutely true that nonprofit organizations have little funds to work with. Instead of pulling from funds that should be used to further your cause, get creative. Ask local furniture stores to donate clearance items. Seek out striving artists and ask to hang some of their work in your office. Go to the local college and ask photography students to come capture your volunteers in action. It’ll add to their portfolio, and you can always ask for copies of the images to display. Google ideas to re-purpose old pieces of furniture and do-it-yourself projects to save money. It’s not about envying what you don’t have…it’s about bettering what you do have.
Five Ways to Re-Think the Office Design of Your Nonprofit
1. Use interior design to encourage employees and volunteers to collaborate.
Think open floor plans, bright colors, and comfy lounging. (Ditch the cubicles, cold metal appliances, and bland colors.)
2. Don’t be intimidated by small spaces or spaces that need some fixin’ up.
Nonprofits are often overwhelmed finding an office space, much less decorating one. For information on securing an office location for your nonprofit organization and dealing with lease negotations, read Setting Up a Nonprofit Office. Once you’ve found a location, learn to love what you have…and work with it. Just check out what one small business owner was able to accomplish with an industrial office.
3. Optimize your front desk!
Your front desk area is often the first interior area guests see. Foremost, it should be inviting. Make your welcome desk easy to access, clearly identifiable, and…well…welcoming. Keep the desk area organized and free of clutter. This will assure your guests that you have a well-run organization–one they can rely on. Consider adding a comfy seating area for any guests that are waiting. And don’t forget that lighting is one of the most effective design secrets!
4. Use design to inspire.
Your office should be a reflection of your cause and your goals. Cleverly placed wall quotes and inspiration photos do the trick nicely!
5. Promote, promote, promote!
Use every opportunity you find to attract more volunteers and donors. Splattering advertisements across all of your office walls may be a little extreme, but the visitor clearly gets the message. For a more subtle approach, never underestimate the effectiveness of well-placed volunteer brochures, framed accolades, and photos of your work.
Whatever design elements you choose to incorporate, remember to keep it simple. Clean lines, organized materials, and consistent color choices are essential to streamlining your nonprofit’s office. By making these changes, you’ll be sending a clear message to your guests (and employees) that you’re a nonprofit they can trust.
What are some of the best…and worst…designed nonprofit organizations you’ve seen? Did it affect your impression of the organization?
Office - wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 1 history. 1.1 middle ages; 1.2 emergence of the modern office; 1.3 20th century; 2 office spaces. 2.1 work spaces; 2.2 meeting spaces; 2.3 support spaces; 3 office. Home | office of student accounting, billing, and cashiering, The office of student accounting, billing, and cashiering provides access to your online term bill, processes refunds, administers payment plans, coordinates exit. Minnesota office of the secretary of state : home, What's new: • the state canvassing board will meet to certify the 2014 election results at 1 p.m., tuesday, november 25, in room 10 of the state office building in.
Home | national council of nonprofits, The national council of nonprofits is a trusted resource and advocate for america’s charitable nonprofits. through our powerful network of state associations and. Guidestar nonprofit reports and forms 990 for donors, Need more detailed info on nonprofits? register now for free and gain immediate access to the following: complete address, phone, website, and contact. Got your 6 | bridging the civilian-military divide, Got your 6 storytellers showcases the exemplary talents of our country’s best and brightest veterans. join us in celebrating their accomplishments this veterans day..
Court assistance office | state of idaho judicial branch, Contact us. note: all services are through the local county offices. click below to find your local contact info. find your local office. Designboom magazine | your first source for architecture, Designboom is building the future of architecture & design: jumpstarting emerging talent and giving creatives the breaking news they need to know, everyday.. Other important information - ucla financial aid office, Myucla provides access to your financial aid information and applications. • provisional award letters (entering students) • financial aid notifications.