The Most Important Factor in Nonprofit Sustainability
Last week I spoke about 5 areas of nonprofit sustainability. These are areas that nonprofits should target when planning for the endurance of their organizational success.
- Financial Strength and Security
- Great Leadership
- Solid Programming
- Technology and Resources
- Monitoring and Adaptive Capacity
This week I will prioritize the list and pinpoint the key factor of nonprofit sustainability. As per The Foundation Center’s Grant Space training (moderated by Peter York of the TCC Group) titled Adaptability: The Key to Long Term Sustainability, adaptability is the key!
Mr. York speaks about the success of organizations that are continuously learning to remain effective at fulfilling their mission and vision. The research connects ‘continuous learning’ with effective leadership to guide the organization through change, adapting and improving as needed. Adaptability is associated with nonprofit effectiveness. He states that their research has revealed four core capacities regarding nonprofit effectiveness.
As per the TCC Group, the four core capacities are:
- Leadership Capacity– the ability to inspire, model, create and sustain a vision, make decisions, innovate and prioritize in an effort to meet the organizational mission. Good leadership surrounds decision making. It’s about inspiring people to give you their money and their time and then to make good on your promise to them and the community.
- Adaptive Capacity –the ability to continuously use information and data to learn about your organization and the community.
- Management Capacity – the ability to ensure the effective and efficient use of resources. Not enough management capacity can cause problems, too much can be a hindrance.
- Technical Capacity – the ability to secure and utilize the resources needed to run the organization. This includes skills, knowledge and tools such as donor software to monitor your outcomes, someone who can run the reports/data, etc.
Not only is it important to continuously monitor and support these areas within our nonprofit organizations, but we must regularly use the information that we gain to improve our organizations where they need it. Nonprofits are created to make positive changes in people and animals’ lives, in communities and in the world; these areas ensure that nonprofits are making the changes necessary to continue to survive and thrive.
Photo credit to: Microsoft Office Clip Art