I've noticed that the success of many of these startups has come through the implementation of three crucial lessons: establishing a multidisciplinary team, leveraging awards and differentiating a brand from competitors. My time working in for-profits taught me these core lessons, and they have also helped me successfully launch and manage my own nonprofit. I think nonprofits should follow these same strategies to help them achieve rapid growth and long-term sustainability.

  1. Understand the importance of a multidisciplinary team. When building a team, nonprofit leaders must understand how passionate individuals with various talents can elevate the company to achieve success. When reaching out to people you deem "out of your league," be grateful, tenacious and able to describe your value proposition clearly.
  2. Leverage awards. Nonprofits should leverage any awards they earn. For example, CAI’s website proudly displays awards and recognition from various organizations.
  3. Brand identity is key. To maximize an organization's success, identify an area of focus for your nonprofit, and ensure all branding reflects that focus.

By following the strategies employed by for-profit companies, such as building a passionate, multidisciplinary team, leveraging the power of awards and differentiating themselves from competitors, nonprofits can be sustainable and successful long term.

Read the full article about for-profit strategies for nonprofits by Rosemarie Truman, at Forbes.