In today’s world, nonprofit organizations are continuously coping with challenges such as changes in social service needs and competition for funding. Nonprofit leadership must utilize four main principals for success: balance, innovation, leadership, and communication.
Balance is used when several needs have to be met with limited resources. Innovation comes from the manager who makes this balance work for those being served by the organization. Leadership guides staff, board, volunteers, and community toward fulfilling the organization’s mission. And communication leads to better services and awareness of the nonprofit’s work.
A nonprofit organization is, of course, a mission-based business. While fundraising efforts provide money for the organization, they also allow donors to "purchase" services for others. When donations are approached as a purchase, it makes it more important than ever that the organizations provide a return on investment-or, rather, measurable outcomes. To do this, the use of modern business practices must be used to further the mission, manage staff and finances, raise funds, and market the organization to the community-both the public and the private sectors.
Often, nonprofit organizations and human service agencies lack a process for soliciting the community’s input and for sharing their collaborative needs with each other. In today’s marketplace, the demands for innovation ensure the best use of available funding is collaboration-a strategy used in both for-profit and nonprofit industries. The practice ensures the successful provision of services to clients while allowing clients to receive services in an easier and timelier fashion. This type consolidation, in turn, saves money for other needs.
Immediate ways to collaborate include sharing resources, professional staff, consolidating services and programs, creating joint curriculums, sharing transportation, utilizing central facilities, and purchasing general supplies.
Organizations can increase their effectiveness and turn their mission into one of power and impact by incorporating basic business principles into their operations. Nonprofit doesn’t have to mean "no profit," and collaborative efforts can begin a process that leads to success. IBI