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  • Writer's pictureThe MSG Team


Love cupcakes? So do we . . . so don't get the wrong idea on our post. We are 100% PRO-Cupcakes. ๐Ÿ˜Š

However the message we do want to stress is that organizational culture is more than JUST cupcakes.

Although our focus is always on nonprofits, schools, government agencies, etc . . . it's fair to say that this message can relate to for profits as well. Someone joins the team? We buy cupcakes to welcome them. Someone is leaving? We buy lunch. Staff feel lack of motivation? We buy bagels the next morning. Middle of summer is here? Staff BBQ of BBQ of course.

Now do staff enjoy these things? Of course BUT providing these things does NOT define organizational culture for your staff. These things help but far too often leaders mistaking cupcake buying with CULTURE CREATION.

Culture is not just about buying cupcakes or lunch . . . it's also about all the things that go on in between those times. How do staff relate to each other? How is communication? Is everyone on the same page with mission? Are the right people on the bus and in the right seats? Do staff feel like they are getting trained and supported properly? Do staff know how to disagree in an appropriate fashion? These things and so much more is what makes up culture and there are not enough cupcakes in the world to equal that.

Here are a few things you can do to double check how your culture is:

- Do an anonymous survey with your staff to get feedback. Ask tough questions and don't be afraid of the answers. If it is in your budget, consider using Midwest Studies Group to do face to face interviews with your staff members, so you can get a great feel for what people were thinking.

- Have a staff culture committee? Consider having one. Find some staff members from different departments if your team. Have them come up with different ideas on how to keep staff members engaged.

- Have some brainstorming sessions with your staff. Get out those whiteboards and sticky pads . . . and start doing some interactive activities to encourage discussion on how to make your work culture better. Again, find staff members from different departments and levels, so everyone feels represented. Yes, we can help with that as well if you need support.

There are so many other ideas as well. If you need help thinking of ideas of getting your team to the next level culture wise, shoot us a note and we would be happy to help and give some more suggestions.

So remember, next time you buy cupcakes for your staff, be sure to not stop there.


Need more help figuring out how to connect with new potential donors? Would your team feel more comfortable working with qualified leads for donations, planned giving, or a capital campaign? Let Midwest Studies Group help. Visit us at to learn more.

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