So how are you leveraging your resources? 

Leveraging resources might sound like a fancy business strategy, but really it is all about getting the most out of available resources and taking advantage of strengths. While it might sound like an abstract concept, you can use concrete strategies to get the most out of what you already have. 

Know your strengths.

What is your organization good at? Let’s dig a little deeper. What is your department good at? How about we refine it even more? How about specific members of your team or volunteers? What about you? What are YOU good at? 

Know what works, know your competencies, and lean into those to solve problems. Is one of your teammates an excellent networker? Use her connections. Is someone great at art or likes to dabble in graphics? Use their skills. 

Communicate strengths with your squad. Your people might not realize they have extraordinary skills. Something that might be obvious to you may not be apparent to the one who possesses the talent. Sometimes high-achievers don’t recognize a strength. Use encouragement to let people know where they shine.  

Rethink what (or who) your resources are.

Many leaders get trapped in the mentality of not enough. “We don’t have enough money.” “I don’t have enough people.” “There is not enough time.” While you might have limitations, your net is more extensive than you think. Remember, one of your most significant resources is PEOPLE. Need to solve a problem? Reach out to your connections for advice or help. You might not currently know someone to help you accomplish your goal, but one of your links could introduce you. Take some time to rethink what (and who) you have available. You may be able to accomplish goals with much less than you think. Spend time before the project to figure out what and who you already have in your circle. And get the job done. 

Lean into the data. 

When discussing more abstract ideas like culture, team engagement, or even leveraging resources, it can be challenging to nail down hard data. But to make the most of your resources, you’ll have to take stock of what you have. Use data to your advantage. Knowing your weaknesses or pain points is just as vital as understanding your strengths. Do you only have two weeks to complete a project? Figure out how many hours of manpower it will take to accomplish the job. Using hard data (measurable, factual, indisputable) can bring abstract concepts into a firmer reality. Which can then help you come up with winning strategies. 

Work smarter, not harder. 

While it seems obvious, it is easy to get caught up in the daily grind and miss out on this advice. We often hear leaders say, “But we’ve always done it this way.” or, “I know for sure this works. I don’t want to try something new that might fail.” Just because your organization has always done things a certain way doesn’t mean it is the best or most effective way to get it done. Think through current processes. Are these working at their most efficient level? Are there cheaper, faster, or easier ways to do things? We’re not talking about cutting corners or doing things shabbily. But there may be tasks that you can streamline if you take the time to think them through. Before you begin a project, ask yourself why you are doing it. Ask if you are doing it the best way. And brainstorm other options that might be better. 


We’ll be taking a break for the holiday season. You can expect more Volunteer U Articles delivered to your inbox in January. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! See you in 2023! 

We recently released our new book: VOL U 101: Introduction to Volunteering. It may sound like an introductory course in volunteer management, but don’t let the title fool you. The book covers everything from volunteer recruitment to retention and everything in between. It’s a fantastic resource for anyone who leads teams. Get your copy HERE

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