5 Strategies to Steal from For-Profit Business Playbooks

5 Strategies to Steal from For-Profit Business Playbooks

Nonprofits need to practice solid business strategies too. Check out this article by Bruce Eckfeld on www.inc.com that outlines five strategies nonprofits can (and should) steal from their for-profit counterparts. As Eckfeld explains, “Nonprofits don't have that same Darwinian force at play. A poorly run nonprofit can limp along for years based on the good intentions of its managers and the hopeful support of its funders. However, while nonprofits don't have the same money motive and financial goals, they can still benefit from adopting many for-profit best practices.”

1. Clarify your organization’s focus and desired outcome. This will help others understand your organization’s mission, and it will help your staff to prioritize projects internally.

2. Paint a vivid picture of the future you are striving for. People are more likely to connect with your organization’s mission through storytelling. Try to communicate with narratives, not numbers, whenever possible.

3. Create measurable outcomes and objective definitions of success.As Eckfeld says, “By finding ways to benchmark our efforts and outcomes, we can begin to keep track of our progress and success. Only then can we know if we're getting closer to our goals and desired outcomes.”

4. Measure and track all program costs and impact.This will allow you to keep track of the way you are spending the money, and see where you are getting the most value. You will be able to measure the return on investment for different programs.

5. Balance core programs and investing in future innovation. Make sure that you invest in your staff, harbor innovation, but keep money set-aside for your core programs that have proven to be successful.

by Michaela Flatley