Charity Culture: The Transformational Change Tool

Your role as a leader in shaping your charity's culture and the importance of being values-driven.
jumping over a lake

Charity Culture: The Transformational Change Tool

Your role as a leader in shaping your charity’s culture and the importance of being values-driven.
Contents

Do you want to create meaningful and lasting change in your organisation? It all starts with embedding vision and values within your culture. When everyone in your team shares a common purpose and identity, you’ll have a more engaged and motivated workforce focused on achieving your charity’s mission.

As a leader, you play a vital role in shaping your charity’s culture.

As a leader, you play a vital role in shaping your charity’s culture. You can create a values-driven culture by leading by example, clearly communicating your organisation’s values, and empowering your team to live them daily. It’s an ongoing process that requires effort and commitment, and it’s important to regularly review your values, assess how well they are embedded within your organisation’s culture, and adjust as needed.

Culture shapes how people behave and work together

Culture shapes how people behave and work together within an organisation and significantly impacts its success in achieving its goals. While a strategy may provide a direction, the culture determines whether the organisation can execute the strategy effectively.
 
At our organisation, we’ve started to create culture change by encouraging the team to think about the values and behaviours we want to see and celebrate those moments. We create a workplace that focuses on important cultural changes by reinforcing the behaviours we want to accelerate. But culture changes also require difficult conversations. You have to discipline based on values, calling out anything that goes against whom we are trying to be. Values can’t just be a few nice words on the wall; they must be lived out, celebrated, seen, and heard.

Embedding values within your organisation’s culture can create transformational change.

Embedding values within your organisation’s culture can create transformational change. A team can go from not wanting to engage in any change project to be overwhelmingly positive and self-driven to achieve the changes needed. Anyone who engages with your organisation should be able to instantly recognise the alignment between the natural behaviour of the team and the core values. If your team can’t remember the vision and values on the spot, how can they prioritise the right things and conduct their work correctly?

One of our values is generosity.

One of our values is generosity. Generosity is so much more than just donating money; but a way of living. We encourage our team to be generous with their time. Simple things such as a call handler being freed to converse with a caller about something like the weather or a recent event means our recipients experience generosity. Our partners come to meetings and will be greeted generously through hospitality. Candidates who travel for interviews are offered expenses, irrespective of the outcome. We live out generosity in every way we possibly can. It leads us to great partnerships and huge growth, creating a team spirit that retains top talent.

Culture as a transformational toolkit boils down to:

  • Having a clear and understandable vision, mission and values
  • Be the chief reminding officer – communicate vision and values daily, weekly, monthly, and annually in every way possible
  • Champion small shifts in culture – celebrate the wins
  • Example, example, example – live out your values, and encourage others to do the same.
  • Enjoy the process!

Creating a values-based culture is an ongoing process that requires effort and commitment, but it’s worth it for its lasting impact on your organisation’s success.

As a CEO, I’ve seen first-hand the benefits of focusing on culture change and embedding values within our organisation’s culture. The journey requires dedication and persistence, but the rewards are worth it. Remember, it is as simple as asking your team, ‘Where have you seen the values lived out this week?’

Grant Forrest

Grant Forrest is CEO of Parish Giving Scheme, a way for churches to receive donations easily and securely.

Join 400+ charity leaders in receiving our monthly e-magazine

By submitting this form you agree to our privacy policy

Receive the monthly publication

“The monthly emails are informative, useful and down to earth, they help me support my charity more effectively” Richard W., CEO @ Honorary Treasurers Forum

By signing up you agree to our privacy policy.