Like any organization attempting to work toward a difficult goal in a complex environment, nonprofits face the fundamental challenges of creating alignment and teamwork among their board. While getting any group of people to work together as a team is hard, the level of difficulty increases dramatically in a nonprofit, where these individuals are volunteers, the work sparks passion and …
Finding money for your nonprofit is complicated. Whereas for-profit businesses have fairly clear models on how to raise capital and earn money (there are entire degree programs dedicated to the undertaking), a nonprofit has multiple capital sources and six different revenue domains, each requiring discrete, sophisticated strategy, and the most effective strategies are largely unknown (and not taught in universities). …
Unfortunately, many (most?) of the 1.5 million nonprofits in the U.S. live a hard life and struggle just to keep their doors open. Staff suffer from low pay, high stress, and burnout; technology is underutilized; board members and other volunteers are disengaged and misaligned. Even for larger organizations, programs are often under-resourced, pay isn’t competitive, and fundraising is onerous, expensive, …
Many of the entrepreneurial and organizational practices and frameworks found most frequently in the business world are finding increased adoption in the social sector…
Writing in 1924, the brilliant British author Virginia Woolf made her now famous observation about rapid changes in human society during the early 20th century:
The highest-performing impact organizations—those with products or services that make a profound difference in the world, be it in health, human services, arts, the education, or the environment—possess two discrete characteristics:
Most small to mid-sized non-profits have important, high-potential programs and skilled, dedicated staff, but the vast majority are in moderate to severe financial distress.
These are six books are essential “must reads” for anyone leading nonprofits:
Time to tell the hard truth: fewer than 1% of nonprofit development offices measure the right things. And their orgs are suffering serious opportunity costs as a result.
Does your nonprofit have what it takes to change the world for the better? Find out with this short, 15-question survey.
A board member for one of our clients told us a great story…
Are you a nonprofit gearing up for your holiday gift appeal? Before you hit the send button on your e-appeal, read this first.
Don’t think “what can we do with what we have.” That is letting your limited budget drive your planning process. Instead, flip it around.
At first glance, Hip-Hop and saving historic buildings might not sound like a natural match. Yet, in Seattle, two organizations were able to think outside the box to create a winning situation for both.
We are delighted to share the process that we’ve developed over a decade or practice with hundreds of nonprofits around the world
I had lunch the other day with a brilliant woman who recently left her job as a finance VP at a major corporation to join a medium-sized non-profit as the new CFO. She was tired of the corporate grind and wanted more meaningful work, but things were quickly going south.
Too often, the business and non-profit communities point out each other’s flaws. What they should be doing is learning from each other.
There’s lots of talk out there about how to tell a non-profit performer from a pretender. And for good reason. The lack of transparency and accountability in this $1.5 trillion dollar sector– 10% of our economy– has reached crisis proportions.
Having trouble with fundraising? Is your organization stuck, revenue-wise? If you look to ideas like development, strategic planning, capital campaigns, auctions, appeal letters and the like, your odds of getting off your bread-and-water diet are very low. These tools are old.
Do you have a “strategic plan?” If you aren’t very careful, this document could be an illusion. It talks about what you do, but will it guide your choices and the behavior of your team?
Auctions. Galas. Raffles. Car washes. Bake sales. Walk-a-thons. If you do them to raise money, you are, as the saying goes, “stepping over a dollar to pick up a dime.” Here’s why:
After working with hundreds of nonprofits over a couple of decades, helpful patterns emerge.
Hiring a Development Director is risky indeed.