Why Nonprofits Must Innovate


But innovation is just as critical for nonprofits—especially as they face growing pressures to serve more people in need and to deliver measurable results. With less public funding available—and the need for social services growing—nonprofit organizations struggle to pick up the slack. But not every nonprofit has the processes, capabilities, and leadership commitment needed to improve its operations and to compete for increasingly scarce philanthropic dollars.

Nonprofit Rescue: The Pitch

The Nonprofit Consultant

We all have dreams for the nonprofit sector: increased individual giving, more effective boards, simplified government grant applications, better trained staff. Well, one of my dreams for the sector is greater public understanding of the nuts and bolts of how nonprofits operate, and I've got an idea for implementing it: a reality TV show. So far the only time real, community, grass-roots nonprofits have been seen on reality TV is on shows like the Secret Millionaire.


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Nonprofits as the Equalizing Force

The Nonprofit Consultant

As I searched around for a particular subject to write on, it hit me that I could not narrow it down to a single aspect of inequality that I could relate to work in the nonprofit sector. For each of these issues there is a nonprofit connection, with agencies and activists working tirelessly to right these wrongs. But I also realized that virtually all nonprofits are addressing some sort of injustice or inequality. BAD14 Blog Action Day hope inequality justice Nonprofit vote

So You Want to Start a Nonprofit?

The Nonprofit Consultant

Are nonprofits not "playing nice in the sandbox"? The responses I got back all seemed to agree with Mr. Anderson: "There are too many nonprofits!" But not, apparently, in the nonprofit sector. In the nonprofit sector, however, we're supposed to build a better mousetrap and then turn our plans over to the current leading mousetrap provider. He wants people with new ideas to get together with existing nonprofit organizations and "play nice in the sandbox."

Continuous Improvement for Nonprofits

The Nonprofit Consultant

Every operation is and will remain a collection of regularly repeated processes. Tags: continuous improvement processes Nonprofit management efficiency From Guest Blogger: Brian Leitten. Mr. Leitten is an experienced non-profit leader and consultant, chief executive and attorney. He provides consulting services nationally to non-profit leaders from his office in Port Orange, Florida. He can be reached at Leitten Consulting - consulting.leitten.com.

Using Design Thinking to Help Nonprofits Fundraise

Harvard Business

Far too many great ideas for solving pressing social problems are not being applied at the scale they deserve, because thousands of nonprofit organizations are teetering on the brink of collapse. Of the 300,000 nonprofits in the United States, two-thirds have an annual budget of $500,000 or below, which does not allow them to expand their operations or scale their solutions. Caiaimage/Chris Ryan/Getty Images.

Our Latest Mission: Rebranding a Nonprofit to Win

Women in Consulting

By: Jennifer LeBlanc Over the summer, we’ve been secretly working on a great project … we’re doing a pro bono brand relaunch for Operation Freedom Paws. The operation is headed up by Mary Cortani , a 2012 CNN Hero. The program Mary runs at Operation Freedom Paws teaches the vets to train their own dogs over a 32-week period, giving them confidence and strengthening the human-canine bond.

Nonprofit Website Mistakes: Lack of Transparency

The Nonprofit Consultant

When people talk about mistakes nonprofits make with their websites, the first thing that comes to mind is usually either no direct donate button from the front page, or an unclear mission statement. as openly, honestly, and fully about your operations as is practical and legal to do so. Because that's what a nonprofit is: A public trust. Lack of trust in nonprofits leads to lack of donations, and restrictions on what we can ultimately accomplish.

Elevate Your Board Governance for 2021 - with Terry Clark

Strategic Planning and Management Insights

Before starting Real Board Solutions, Terry was both an accountant and an operations/sales manager. podcast nonprofit Board governance

What the Nonprofit Sector Needs to Reach Its Full Potential

Harvard Business

The nonprofit sector has limbs. It doesn’t have one center of organization and imagination looking out at the far horizon to inspire and guide all of the component parts to get to a place together that none operating independently could ever get to on its own. When I say, “the nonprofit sector” here, I really mean what the public thinks of as “charities.”

How One Nonprofit Is Expanding Health Care for the Uninsured

Harvard Business

a cataract operation can cost $200 or less, compared with $3,500 in the U.S. The answer is yes, as we found in the example of Ascension , the largest nonprofit health system in the United States. Ascension saved 10%–15% a year by aggregating all of those contracts and negotiating from the strength of the combined operation. Ascension centralized functions such as human resources, payroll, travel services, and finance, thereby streamlining operations and saving costs.

Nonprofit Mergers & Alliances: An interview with Thomas A. McLaughlin (part one)

The Nonprofit Consultant

Regular readers of this blog know that I've been involved in two successful nonprofit mergers, as well as a third attempt that was never consummated, and I've written several blog posts on my feelings about nonprofit mergers. So, when I received a message asking if I was interested in speaking with Tom McLaughlin, author of Nonprofit Mergers & Alliances , I jumped at the chance. And I think that is one of the least understood models in the nonprofit sector.

Will Your Nonprofit Lose Charity Status on May 15?

The Nonprofit Consultant

Up to 25% of the nation's officially recognized 501(c)3 Nonprofit Organizations have never filed an IRS form 990; the nonprofit tax return. While smaller groups may still not required to file on an annual basis, a provision of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 included a requirement that the Internal Revenue Service revoke the nonprofit status of organizations that fail to file for three years in a row. Tags: charity Nonprofit 990 taxes accounting

Transferring Assets Between Nonprofits

The Nonprofit Consultant

Here's a question that I received by email this week: What are the rules for giving part of your profits from a fundraiser to another nonprofit? If you are asking about IRS rules for transferring assets to another nonprofit, I don't think it's very difficult at all, although you should consult with your accountant to make sure it's done properly. As a nonprofit, these remaining assets cannot be taken as profits; they must remain with a 501(c)(3) (or similar) organization.

Too Many Nonprofits?

The Nonprofit Consultant

I read the posting with great interest and agreed with most everything being said, until the last paragraph, which opened with, "Mergers may be the best solution to the excessive number of nonprofit organizations." It was just given as a fact: there are too many nonprofits. I have also had to shut down a bankrupt nonprofit as part of my consulting practice. Tags: nonprofit , mergers , charities , management , grassroots , human services

Small Nonprofits and Sharing IT

The Nonprofit Consultant

If you've been reading this blog regularly, you know that I like small nonprofits, and am wary of merger-fever. Deborah Elizabeth Finn seems to agree with me, and has written specifically about the technology needs of small nonprofits. In Consolidate or die: Will it come to that, for small nonprofit organizations? she writes that "An amazing number of nonprofit projects are run by one noble soul, working with great dedication from the coffee table in his or her living room.

Nonprofit Fights Poverty With Poverty

The Nonprofit Consultant

It also had an operating budget of $18,280, putting it below the federally mandated poverty threshold for a family of four." Does this sound like your nonprofit organization? Why do nonprofit leaders feel guilty when they sit in a new chair? Tags: nonprofit , poverty , satire

S-Corp Owners: Is Your Salary Reasonable?|Women In Consulting.

Women in Consulting

Backed by award-winning services and support teams, Blackbaud’s comprehensive set of Internet solutions, featuring Blackbaud NetCommunity and Blackbaud Sphere eMarketing along with our industry leading peer-to-peer and event fundraising solution, Friends Asking Friends , is designed to meet the evolving needs of nonprofits. Nonprofit Management. Management System (Nonprofit CRM) CRM Charity Software (UK). Nonprofit Internet Solutions.

Can Khan Academy Scale to Educate Anyone, Anywhere?

Harvard Business

Khan Academy is an online global education nonprofit launched by Sal Khan with the audacious mission to “provide a free world-class education for anyone, anywhere.” Leadership & Managing people Operations Strategy Audio” Harvard Business School professor Bill Sahlman discusses his case study of the company after Ginny Lee joins to help balance Khan’s aspirational vision with the short-term need for greater focus and prioritization.

I'm Back

The Nonprofit Consultant

After four years of working as a "permanent" full-time Executive Director, launching a start-up nonprofit, and only taking a few short-term consulting gigs from existing clients, I am once again available for new opportunities. When I arrived, the Cafe had only been operating for about one year, and was only open three days each week, and serving four meals. Not to forget operating programs at a different location while managing the construction at home base.

Health Systems Need to Completely Reassess How They Manage Costs

Harvard Business

hospitals and health systems experienced an average 39% reduction in their operating margins from 2015 to 2017. Cost reduction requires an honest and thorough reassessment of everything the health system does and ultimately, a change in the organization’s operating culture. Here are some examples of what will be required to change the operating culture: Contract rationalization. In some larger nonprofit hospitals, there may be six. PM Images/Getty Images.

The Rational Aspect of Irrational Philanthropy

The Nonprofit Consultant

As part of the whole, "nonprofits need to operate more like businesses" meme, the means for analysis are primarily market-driven tools for evaluating programs that exist because of market failures. Anti-poverty programs are a direct response to the realization that the operation of a free market society will always create a certain number of citizens who fall between the cracks - who are not economically viable. culture donors evaluation giving Nonprofit philanthropy

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Welcome to the Library's Blogs! - Free Management Library

Consulting and Organizational Management

Development is hard pressed to interface with operations. Yet it is extremely important that this interface be workable because developments are not relevant until they find their way into operations. An operation is charted to preserve the status quo, the current thinking and methods. Operations assumes this status quo as a “given” and works within current procedures to improve them and “operationalize” them with a high degree of efficiency. Library. Translate This.

About Interim Executive Director Services

The Nonprofit Consultant

There are many times in the life cycle of a nonprofit organization when it is appropriate to hire an interim CEO (or executive director) instead of bringing in permanent leadership: The loss of a long-term leader or founder, A change in strategic direction, Time to review long-term strategy, A financial or other management crisis that requires special skills, Consideration or negotiation of a merger. services interim CEO Nonprofit executive director consulting

How Many Board Members?

The Nonprofit Consultant

This is a question that came up in a conversation last week, and from time to time; "What is the appropriate size for a nonprofit board of directors?" The generally accepted number for most small- to mid-sized nonprofits is 9-14 members. Many larger nonprofits do have large, 30-member boards, but upon closer examination, they're not typically the true governing body. And, seriously, how many times has your nonprofit board been stuck in a tied vote on an important issue?

Don't Blame Haiti

The Nonprofit Consultant

So why have some nonprofits flourished while others have floundered? They've given concrete examples of specific cuts, and then demonstrated their strengths and ability to operate, despite challenges. Tags: donors Nonprofit message communications

Why Organizational Relevance Matters When Managing Human Resources

Emerson Consulting Group

Recognizing this fundamental aspect of the paradigm in which we all operate signals us that our jobs as human resource leaders is to continually identify opportunities that deliver greater value to all stakeholders. With our highest value resources, greater value comes from operating as a human resource development exemplar. Significant research is performed to obtain original components, finishes and operating specifications, creating a flawless finished product.

The soul of philanthropy: when giving becomes receiving

The Nonprofit Consultant

I will add to that the charge that this hyper-vigilant accountability is killing the ability of small, local, and grassroots nonprofits to operate at all. As Mr. Wyland states, the IRS, and all the various nonprofit watch-dog groups that analyze our IRS filings, all base their evaluations on data that is "overwhelmingly financial in nature. The same funders who will then use that nonprofits' high administrative expenses as a reason to discontinue funding them.

How to Figure Out Your Consulting Bill Rate

Successful Independent Consulting

Government and nonprofits are used to paying much less than corporations. Professionalism (branding, marketing, positioning) — People who market themselves as an independent professional and who operate as a small business are able to charge more. Your billing rate has to cover business insurance, operating expenses (internet, phone, website/email hosting, bookkeeping), and most importantly, self-employment tax (the employer's half of Social Security and Medicare taxes).

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Latest Projects & More on Mergers

The Nonprofit Consultant

Although this is my third time going through merger negotiations as an IED, I'm not one who is a default cheerleader for mergers, or who would ever say anything like, "There's too many nonprofits." On the contrary, I love having a vital marketplace of nonprofits, large and small, competing to make our communities better places to live. The reality is, of those nonprofits that begin merger discussions, only 30% result in successful mergers.

The Secret History of Agile Innovation

Harvard Business

Borrowing many of the HBR article’s key ideas and filling in specific operational practices, Sutherland created a new way of developing software; honoring the rugby imagery, he dubbed his approach “scrum.” Later in the meeting, and continuing over the next few months, they developed 12 operating principles, called “Principles Behind the Agile Manifesto.” Innovation Project management Operations management Product development Digital Article

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From Vertical to Horizontal - Free Management Library

Consulting and Organizational Management

The design is similar to creating and operating a “marching organization.” Fundraising for Nonprofits. Nonprofit Capacity Building. Library. Translate This. Home. Share » Connect » Blog: Consulting and Organizational Development. Library Blogs Home. This Blogs Home. Guest Writer Submissions. Policies. To Subscribe to a Blog. About. Feedback. From Vertical to Horizontal By Jim Smith on May 10, 2010.

To partner or to merge.

The Nonprofit Consultant

If you've been working in nonprofit management for any amount of time, you should already be fairly adept at recognizing good partnership opportunities. Nor am I one who talks about there being "too many nonprofits." But, the reality is that it is increasingly difficult for small organizations (budgets under $750,000) to operate successfully, and create sustainable funding. The list above is just a place to start your discussions and soul searching within your nonprofit.

Why the Future of E-Commerce Depends on Better Roads

Harvard Business

Down the line, automation will allow buses to operate like virtually linked trains at a fraction of the cost of rail. The current strategy is to create what Charles Marohn of the nonprofit Strong Towns calls “stroads.” Transportation Policy Operations management Digital Article

Consultants Blog, Stardate: September 2017

The Nonprofit Consultant

Fellow nonprofit blogger, Gayle Roberts , has suggested that I look into my crystal ball and give you a posting from ten years in the future. Back when all the 'experts' were warning of the coming nonprofit leadership shortage? There certainly were far less people able and willing to head nonprofit agencies after about 2010, but it was never a problem. The trend of nonprofit mergers and bankruptcies more than kept pace with the loss of baby boomer leadership.

Return to blogging

The Nonprofit Consultant

The assignment began as a simple "caretaker" role, keeping daily operations running smoothly while we negotiated a merger. As the merger talks dragged on, more leadership was required as the normal course of things brought about staff changes and all the other crises that come at nonprofit organizations on a regular basis. Tags: interim Nonprofit mergers leadership consulting

5 Steps to Strategically Positioning Your Consulting

Consulting Matters

I was super excited, and I had this opportunity to be an internal consultant for a nonprofit organization. When I was working at Disney, I worked on projects like the Imagineers and the operators and getting them to work together and a strategic partnering project.

The Consultant's Role: How to Position Yourself for Maximum Influence

Consulting Matters

I was super excited, and I had this opportunity to be an internal consultant for a nonprofit organization. When I was working at Disney, I worked on projects like the Imagineers and the operators and getting them to work together and a strategic partnering project.

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Resisting the Pressure to Merger

The Nonprofit Consultant

In that posting, I wrote that the reality is that it is increasingly difficult for small organizations (budgets under $750,000) to operate successfully, and create sustainable funding. Tags: Nonprofit mergers partnerships economy A couple of years ago, I wrote a post here about when it makes sense to take an existing partnership and explore a merger.

At the Carnival & A New Blog

The Nonprofit Consultant

The first edition of the Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants has been posted over at writing911.com. Many articles were submitted, and the seven best have been selected - including one of mine: Too Many Nonprofits? Also, I've just learned of a new resource blog: the Nonprofit Management and Operations Blog from Aspiration, a nonprofit software solutions company. Tags: nonprofit , blogs , blog carnivals , resources