All nonprofits want to do good.

Helping their constituents and driving impactful, positive change in communities is what propels their mission forward. Whether they’re on a quest to combat social injustice, poverty or climate change, nonprofits play a vital role in keeping our society moving forward.

Nevertheless, while the desire to do good is laudable, it’s not enough. Nonprofits may have the best intentions in the world, but if they don’t learn how to maximize that good, they won’t be effective. Noble-sounding programs may appear great on paper, but organizations have a responsibility to ensure that they’re actually fulfilling their intended goals and evolving in a way that moves their mission forward.

So, how can nonprofits successfully maximize good? The answer can be borrowed from a classic adage: “Charity begins at home.”

Just as a doctor cannot take care of others if he himself is ill, organizations cannot help their constituents if they’re unable to manage their own operations effectively and sustainably. As mentioned in our first insight, “The Business of Impact,” nonprofits must balance good intentions with a business mindset.

To maximize the good they do externally, they must make sure their own infrastructure is solid, and set up to evolve with the times.

This begins with learning how to balance external and internal needs. Too often, nonprofits, in a quest to save the world, fail to save themselves. They fall into the “starvation cycle”—a phenomenon in which organizations dig themselves into the red by prioritizing high programmatic spending over fundamental operational investments.

Read the full article about maximizing good at BDO USA.