Giving Compass' Take:

• BoardSource discusses three must-have components for organizations that are looking to make a big impact, and they include stocking the board with members who have strong entrepreneurial backgrounds.

• Boards will also need a detailed plan to scale, with infrastructure that mimics many private businesses. It's worth taking a look at your own board to see how well-equipped it is to handle revenue streams and strategic investments.

• Another secret to success: Recruit board members with purpose and process.

An exciting, grand historical evolution of American society is taking place: 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. How do board members engage as transformational leaders and growth and performance catalysts? How can they be effective as volunteers with a limited view to the organization and even more limited bandwidth? How can they do more than just nibble at the edges of change?

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.

Nonprofit board members should seek rapid growth of capital — success, not survival. And that means looking past ineffective models around philanthropy, capital campaigns, fundraising events, and the like. Stay tuned on for more to come on specific strategies and solutions around this critical success factor.

  • 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

It’s difficult to talk about how sector-based thinking is killing millions of vulnerable people and poisoning our ecosystem without being labeled Dougie Downer. But going back to the more powerful problem-solution-proof framework, let us understand that sector-specific thinking truly is a dangerous and destructive problem. We are, in fact, burning up the planet and using the proceeds to band-aid over the damage. Luckily, there is an exciting and powerful solution; one that is rising from the confluence of the sectors and the emergence of a “people, planet, profit” mindset; one that can encompass every organization, from corporate to agency to nonprofit.

Read the full article about three must-haves for boards seeking impact and scale by Donald Summers at Board Source.