Non profits are organized in ways that don’t make sense to most external audiences.

Do your supporters care that you have:

  • A communications team;
  • A development team;
  • An advocacy team;
  • A programs team; and
  • An operations team?

Or do they care that you are the best equipped organization to tackle the issues that matter most to them?

My bet is on the latter choice.

Still non profits stubbornly hold onto internal organizational chart silos that seep into everything organizations communicate externally. Each team has their own specific and unique goals. They operate and communicate independently. And they respond/react to whatever issues are most important to that team at that time.

In my experience, during the rare moments that multidisciplinary teams do come together, they do so in order to achieve their specific goals (press hits for media, $ raised for development, actions taken for advocacy etc…).

During these moments, the best question integrated teams can ask themselves is, “What is our shared mountain to climb?”

Finding a shared and clearly articulated goal can help frame a project so each team understands their role in achieving that goal.

It’s the first step to making “Silo-ville” a ghost town.