Jim Eischens

Civic & Community Involvement

How to Improve Productivity Within Your Nonprofit Organization

How to Improve Productivity Within Your Nonprofit Organization

A nonprofit organization’s success is measured in its productivity. Nonprofits that drag feet and fail to produce tangible results towards fulfilling their mission may struggle to fund their operations. There ways to improve productivity within a nonprofit, however, including the following.

Don’t Multitask

Multitasking may sound like an efficient way to complete tasks, but it usually backfires by lowering workers’ productivity levels. According to The New York Times, the brain is biologically wired to focus on a single task. When a nonprofit worker attempts to perform multiple tasks simultaneously, his or her concentration, memory retention and other cognitive skill markers plunge. To promote a productive working environment, nonprofit workers should avoid multitasking and, instead, focus on a single task at once.

Allow Breaks

Even if state laws don’t require it, nonprofit workers should be given regular breaks. Fatigue is one of the leading causes of low productivity in the workplace. According to Safety+Health Magazine, fatigued workers cost the business for whom they work nearly $2,000 in lost productivity. If a nonprofit has five fatigued workers, that’s $10,000 in lost productivity. While this report focuses on for-profit businesses, worker fatigue affects nonprofits in the same way.

Prioritize Tasks

It’s not uncommon for nonprofit owners and executives to juggle a half-dozen or more tasks each day. An executive director, for instance, may recruit workers, manage fundraising campaigns, reach out to local communities and ensure regulatory compliance. Rather than selecting a random task, though, nonprofit owners and executive should start with the most important first, after which they work on the second-most important task. Prioritizing tasks improves productivity by making the most of workers’ time.

Focus on Mission Statement

Nonprofits should invest the majority of their time and resources towards achieving their mission statement. After all, this is the fundamental purpose for which nonprofits are created. Organizations that divert valuable resources away from their mission statement will experience lower productivity levels and less success than their counterparts.

There’s no guarantee of success when running a nonprofit. Like for-profit businesses, some nonprofits will close their doors. However, owners and executives can increase their organization’s chances of success by fostering a productive working environment. From prioritizing tasks and not multitasking to allowing breaks and focusing on the mission statement, there are several ways for nonprofits to improve their productivity levels.

Four Local Charities in Minneapolis That Need Your Support

Four Local Charities in Minneapolis That Need Your Support

Minnesota has long been known for its strong sense of community and sense of responsibility toward its most vulnerable. The following four local Minneapolis charities are worthy organizations that could use more community support to keep up the tradition of lending a helping hand to neighbors and community members in times of need.

House of Charity

House of Charity’s motto is “Feed. House. Empower.” The organization provides food to the hungry, shelter to the homeless, and empowerment to those who endeavor to gain independence. House of Charity’s Food Centre feeds more than 350 people each day, and its Housing Program houses 116 adults struggling with homelessness. House of Charity also has programs providing treatment and support for the chronically ill who strive for self-sufficiency.

Open Arms of Minnesota

Open Arms of Minnesota works to feed people in Minneapolis and Saint Paul who have life-threatening illnesses. The organization cooks and delivers healthy and appetizing meals to patients as well as their caregivers and dependents. Open Arms also transforms vacant urban lots into community gardens that grow many of the vegetables and herbs used in the meals it serves in addition to helping the community reconnect with natural food resources.

People Serving People

People Serving People is Minnesota’s largest family-oriented homeless shelter. It is also Minnesota’s most comprehensive shelter, with programs that assist homeless and at-risk families with children to manage in times of crisis. People Serving People also provides guidance to help families build the strong foundations necessary for long-term stability and success with the goal that all children should not only survive, but also thrive.

Cookie Cart

Cookie Cart is a nonprofit bakery providing underprivileged teens with valuable job experience, life skills, leadership training and professional certifications to prepare them for a competitive job market. Teens aged 15 to 18 in both Minneapolis and Saint Paul receive instruction in financial literacy in addition to job training, leadership training, customer service training and job experience. Cookie Cart also provides assistance to teens aspiring to ServSafe or Digital Literacy certifications to further advance their careers.

These four local charities are a good place to start for anyone interested in giving back to the community. A strong community benefits all its members, and Minnesotans have a strong tradition of looking after each other.

4 Places in Minneapolis to Donate Used Clothing

4 Places in Minneapolis to Donate Used Clothing

As enjoyable as it is to own a bunch of material items, an abundance of the average person’s inventory is  going to waste or sitting around without use. This can applicable to just about anything, for instance, from the bicycle that’s been in the back of your shed for six years, to the pile of too-small clothing you told yourself you’d sell to a consignment store last summer.

But why not just donate all that unwearable clothing taking up space? This simple, servicing, and eco-friendly way of sharing your wealth will not only make someone else feel good, but it will also make you feel good. If you’re in the great city of Minneapolis like myself, you might be wondering where to go. Below outlines some of the best places to donate used clothing in the city area.

Savers is a standard that goes beyond the Minnesota borders, so if you’re reading this and not from Minneapolis, you might just find a store near you! For my neighbors living in the city, there’s a location at the Hi-Lake Shopping Center. They are always looking for more donations, and it’s also a great place to shop! A little bit on the higher end of thrift stores, Savers might not be your top pick after seeing more local options, but this place is a staple you can always depend on, no matter your location.  

Sharing & Caring Hands

This place is a Minneapolis favorite. Sharing & Caring Hands deeply cares about their mission and where your clothes go. In fact, Sharing & Caring Hands is very upfront about the whopping 91% of money they donate to the needs of the poor and the sparse and impressive small number of 9% that goes towards management and fundraising. At this place, you can be sure that your clothes are going to the right place and that you’re working with an organization really looking to uplift and better their community.

Ready for Success

This center has a more specific mission: providing low income individuals with clothing that is appropriate for interviews and business meetings. This organization strives to individualize the experience of each person who visits them for their services, assigning them a personal guide who helps pick out clothing and accessories that work best for them. If you find yourself getting rid of a lot of blazers and dress pants, this might be the place to pay a visit to.     

St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store

This place is a local favorite. With great deals, a large variety for selecting from, and a lovely surrounding neighborhood, St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store is a great place to donate (and even pick up!) some clothing. This strongly charity-driven organization is a great place to donate your goods and trust that they are going to a good place.  

With this guide, we hope the next time you start cleaning out your closet or even going as far as buying another shelving unit for all your clutter, think about the benefits donating your used clothing can provide for another individual. No act is too big or too small, and it’s never a bad day to be a little extra charitable.

About Jim Eischens

Jim Eischens is an accomplished real estate professional with over two decades of experience in property management and business development. His diverse portfolio includes single family homes, multifamily apartment buildings, hotels, charter schools, office complexes, and a resort business. He currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of his portfolio of management companies.

Outside of his professional endeavors, Jim Eischens is an active community member and committed philanthropist who cares deeply about giving back. He credits his commitment to civic service and the community to his desire to be a well-rounded individual and participant in society.

Jim Eischens understands the importance of supporting organizations that run on donations and volunteers so that they can continue to do the great work they do. Growing up, Eischens was involved in organizations, sports, and youth leadership programs, that were funded through fundraising and philanthropic efforts. Now, supporting these organizations helps give other children a chance to realize the same benefits that he had.

Youth Sports

As the father of three daughters, Jim Eischens has been a coach for their youth basketball and soccer teams for over a decade. An athlete himself, Eischens understands the importance of staying active and taking advantage of the outdoors. Most importantly, sports provide an opportunity to build friendships and teach important values, such as teamwork. Over the years, Eischens has enjoyed watching his daughters develop as athletes, but more importantly, as people. Not to mention, coaching has given Eischens the invaluable opportunity to bond with his daughters and develop a closer relationship with them.

Civic Involvement:

Jim Eischens recognizes the input his University fraternity has had on his life and now volunteers for the fraternity housing corporation to ensure the fraternity will continue to offer the same experiences and opportunities to young men at the University of Minnesota.

Eischens is heavily involved with the St. Odilia church and school, where his daughters have attended. He has developed projects such as an outdoor classroom which allows for the use of his skills as well as benefit the children for warm weather learning opportunities. He has also operated a game tent with his daughters for the annual church fundraiser. This fundraising opportunity is great for the students to socialize and is a welcomed bonding time with his daughters.  Eischens is also active in the St. Odilia’s Men’s Club which is dedicated to providing community service and youth sports support.

Jim has adopted a garden in the Marcy Holmes neighborhood through the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association, which strives to improve and enhance the quality of residential life in the neighborhood.

Community Involvement:

Jim Eischens is a member of The 49ers, a St-Paul-based men’s networking club. As a club, they try to incorporate business transactions between the members and offer support for one another. The members of the club engage in numerous social activities throughout the year as well.

Eischens also volunteers and supports the North Oaks James J. Hill farm society as well as the North Oaks Children Hospital guild.

Personal Interests:

In addition to his involvement in the community, Jim Eischens has a passion for classic cars and agriculture. Eischens attends a classic car show from time to time and enjoys taking his 1967 Chevy Impala convertible out for a drive any chance he gets. Furthermore, he loves everything related to farming and agriculture. Growing up, Eischens lived on a small farm in Southwest Minnesota. From an early age, he participated heavily in the youth organization 4H and in the local chapter of Future Farmers of America. These organizations offered countless opportunities and opened many doors in agriculture, leadership, and travel. His family still owns the farm, and Jim Eischens enjoys reconnecting with his roots when he travels back home.