Great Stories, Leadership, Philanthropy

What does a National Office do?

Years ago when I was an Inter-Varsity staff member working at Ontario Pioneer Camp I had little contact with our National Office staff. I confess I saw them as administrative pencil pushers and policy cops who neither understood nor added much to the “real” work I was doing.   How wrong I was.   The thing is, my sentiments were common then, and they still are. Many organizations, especially those with staff and programs that are scattered across a region, nation, or the planet, have some level of tension and confusion over the role of Head Office. Field staff find them irrelevant or irritating, donors don’t see the value in supporting work that is removed from the frontlines, and even the office team can struggle to see how their efforts fit into the grand vision being accomplished “out there”.   Yesterday I was at a lunch event with Youth For Christ Canada and they showed this video:     How good is that?!?   In less than three and a half minutes they’ve captured the crucial connection the national office plays in supporting the field staff and expressed it in a way that affirms both roles, tying them directly into the reason the organization exists.   If I worked for YFC Canada this would be a huge encouragement to me. I’ve already passed it on to some other organizations as an example of what can be done to show the relevance and value of supporting what some people ignorantly dismiss as overhead. Well done YFC! I hope other organizations will affirm their office staff as well as you have done here.