Many nonprofit organizations provide great services every day. Counselors get glowing reviews on client satisfaction surveys. Parents write teachers thank you letters on behalf of their three year olds. But ever so often a program participant has a complaint to express. Sometimes it is as minor as a leaky bathroom faucet. Major complaints such as complaints of harassment from another client or employee, also occur. Nonprofits that have procedures to address complaints from program participants will be more prepared to cope with these situations. Grievance procedures allow organizations to receive and resolve complaints in a timely manner, before major problems occur. Formal procedures also decrease the likelihood that problems will be ignored because there is a possibility that upper management or the board of directors will become involved.
Did you know? The Standards for Excellence® program’s educational resource packet, “Program Service” includes a sample grievance procedure for addressing complaints from program participants. The packet is free and available to Standards for Excellence Institute® members. It is available through the members only section of the Standards for Excellence Institute® website. Hard copies are also available upon request.