In Nonprofits, it Feels Like Everything Has to Be Done at Once!

3 dice with words manage, your, and risk

That’s certainly the reaction we get when working with executive directors of early stage nonprofits. A mission statement, incorporating, IRS 1023, by-laws, forming the board, marketing, networking, fundraising. All of them seem to have to run concurrently to create the beginnings of stability for the organization.

Of course it is not so different with well established nonprofits. There is always some sort of compliance to maintain certification, and board recruitment is continuous, and fundraising NEVER stops.

But, of course it goes much further than that…

I recently read a blog post by John MacIntosh, Partner and board member of SeaChange Capital Partners. His company had released a study some time ago called Risk Management for Nonprofits.

So what about the big picture? The study does a great job of pointing out what needs to be done to keep your organization from the edge, and this message is not just for staff. In fact, it is frequently noted that the board that needs to be more appreciative of the difficult environment nonprofits engage in, and perhaps be more attentive to what is going on in between board meetings.  I recommend this study to any nonprofit client of ours.

The study had a lot of feedback with some saying financial health was paramount, while others embraced programmatic impact as the priority. Additional comments emphasized passion, motivation and mission orientation as essential.

SeaChange maintains that there is no single issue that is most important. Running a nonprofit requires you solving the three items below simultaneously:

  • Viability: Revenues are greater than expenses
  • Effectiveness: Programs are making an impact
  • Worth: Things are being done the right way

We highly recommend you read both the study as well as John’s recent follow-up post, which can be found here. It could very well change your day.

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