It is time for nonprofit leaders (and their boards) to be intentional about developing and implementing a public policy agenda alongside program and service delivery. It requires investment, commitment, systems thinking, and action. Nonprofit organizations in a leadership role recognize this and invest accordingly.
While I doubt that I would give nonprofit collaboration the highest marks possible, as a whole, the nonprofit leaders I know rise above the mediocrity that the capacity survey authors suggest is “universal.” Let’s stop promoting the mythology of mediocre nonprofits. Rather than haranguing on nonprofit deficits, I would like to suggest four investments related to collaboration that nonprofits can make in order to build even more effective at collaboration.
Nonprofits on the leading-edge and those making the greatest difference, are the ones who are constantly asking themselves “where do we need to invest to make a greater impact.” Investing in your management systems is often the difference between staying stuck where you are today and achieving more tomorrow.
Clearly it is not a lack of knowledge that leads to underperforming boards but it a lack of intentionality and investment in cultivating a high preforming board. To break the cycle, nonprofits need to make investments in developing the strength, performance, and contribution of their boards of directors.
Today, thinking and acting strategically, making investments, are the required attributes of high performing nonprofit organizations and this reality makes investing in building your workforce essential.
Nonprofits Need to Invest in Research and Development (R&D) As I continue my journey of helping nonprofits design and deliver strategies that help them achieve greater impact, I am increasingly convinced that nonprofit organizations need to intentionally invest in Research and Development (R&D). At the same time, I am surprised at how few nonprofits are […]
This is a third article of an informal series on nonprofit revenue development. So far, we overviewed how a nonprofit revenue strategy must be built upon your organizational strengths; how expanding review streams must be intentional rather than opportunistic; and, in this article, we will outline a practical approach to creating a revenue strategy.
For most nonprofit agencies, and many for profit businesses, the starting place for strategic conversations about revenues is to get very clear about the strength of your existing revenue model and the challenges of resourcing the development of new revenue streams. By balancing what you do well, with what you aspire to develop will set up a useful conversation about allocating scarce resources.
In thinking about revenue planning, forward thinking nonprofits begin with maximizing their strengths. They invest strategy, time, money, human resources, and build systems to support strength. So ask yourself where is the strength in your organization’s revenues. Are you investing in that strength? Can you invest more?
Faced with the reality of our small local philanthropy box that unevenly allocates resources, I believe that nonprofits are being pushed into thinking about developing an intentional revenue strategy. Leading edge nonprofits are doing just that. They are investing the time, money and people power to ensure that they have, and can implement, a revenue strategy. Having a grant strategy allows you to intentionally move outside of the local philanthropy box.