Well-run philanthropies are driven to achieve their mission. Productivity should be encouraged amongst their employees. If you’re looking for ideas to improve productivity, here are some.


Prioritize Tasks

Your employees need to understand how to prioritize. Some people might find it helpful to divide tasks into important and those that are not. Also, some tasks are urgent while others aren’t.

Many people find that starting with the most important or urgent tasks first is the best method.

For example, email can be a complete-time sink. Every email doesn’t have to be replied to right away. Less important emails can be responded to when more important tasks are done. Proper prioritization is part of what makes a good employee.


Be Hands-On

Some employees prefer to be hands-on. In many nonprofits, it’s the volunteers that are hands-on while the employees are behind the scenes.

You might want to have employees occasionally volunteer. For example, if you manage a soup kitchen, a few times a month employees could spend time serving lunch. This will keep people motivated because they will feel more aligned with your organization’s goals. They’ll be reminded of the mission.


Stop Multi-tasking

The science is well-established. Multi-tasking leads to awful productivity. Our brains simply aren’t well designed for managing multiple tasks at once. It finds it too mentally draining.

Make sure employees are well organized. Teach them how to use a to-do list.



Your employees might be concerned with helping others. However, make sure they’re taking care of themselves. Proper sleep is critical to functioning well. Our brains need 8 hours and they benefit greatly from a stable sleep cycle.

Exercise is big. You might even want to allow for extended lunch breaks so people can go to the gym.

Nutrition is important as well. A properly balanced diet is critical for productivity.

If your employees are rarely taking breaks, eating lunch at their desks while taking calls, and emailing (or even not eating lunch), a disaster is waiting to happen. The current situation is simply not sustainable in the long run. Not only will people not be performing their best, but it will probably lead to burnout.

Organizations want the best from their employees. There are many ways to encourage productivity at your philanthropy.