For-profit and nonprofit domains are converging. Many of the entrepreneurial and organizational practices and frameworks found most frequently in the business world are finding increased adoption in the social sector, just as generating positive social benefit is becoming a more common bottom-line concern in the world of business. In this new era, all organizations, regardless of tax status, must do good and perform well.
This gives rise to many fascinating and difficult practical questions for nonprofit board members who want to see their organizations adopt for-profit business practices and reach the scale and growth demanded by the size and urgency of the social challenges they are chartered to address.
While it’s not easy, the good news is that we know how to do this — we understand the pathway to achieving rapid and effective nonprofit growth and impact. But this pathway is not for the timid. Scaling anything — for-profit or nonprofit — is difficult. There are 27 million for-profit businesses in the United States, but only a few percent of these have grown to more than 20 employees or $1 million in annual revenue. This is what management expert Jim Collins calls ‘brutal reality.’
If you are a board member who is ambitious for your organization and ready for outside-the-box solutions that promise to transform nonprofits into scalable enterprises, this and subsequent posts will explore the necessities, the “gotta haves” that enable organizations to enter and thrive in this new, sector-agnostic world of high performance, growth, and social impact.
- Gotta-Have #1: Board members with proven entrepreneurial and growth expertise who demand and support high-performing executive teams
- Gotta-Have #2: Strong planning and execution architecture
- Gotta-Have #3: Strong Culture
Read the full article about what nonprofit boards need for impact and scale by Donald Summers at BoardSource
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