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How a Nonprofit Organization Can Grow from Good to Great

By University Alliance
How a Nonprofit Organization Can Grow from Good to Great

Teamwork, determination and discipline are the keys for nonprofits that want to not only work for the common good but achieve greatness as well., a website dedicated to helping nonprofits thrive, outlines three steps that will help charities reach that goal while satisfying the expectations of both its donors and its volunteers.

First, a nonprofit must assemble the right team in order to advance. Many charities have one person in charge who lives and breathes its mission, but it takes more than one person to move the organization forward. Nonprofit leaders must carefully choose their team’s key members and then assign them specific tasks to ensure that work progresses diligently and thoughtfully.

Next, while acknowledging any mission’s realities, the nonprofit must ensure that nothing deters it from making significant strides toward success. Great nonprofits know what they do best, what they are most passionate about and how best to apply its resources, while still considering new strategies and innovations.

Finally, by gathering together disciplined people and applying disciplined thought to the nonprofit’s efforts, charities can engage in disciplined action that brings results. By allowing people to work in harmony toward a shared goal while still fostering creativity and maintaining accountability, a nonprofit can harness its energy and apply it to new ideas that help build long-term success. In the end, it’s all about finding the best way to fulfill the mission while growing the agency’s partnership base and adjusting as needed to the changing demands and needs of the nonprofit’s target recipients.

Thankfully, nonprofits aren’t forced to simply guess whether the work they are doing is making an impact. There are many key performance indicators, or KPIs, that help organizations measure success, according to a March 2015 report on

By carefully tracking such verifiable statistics such as Donor Growth, Donation Growth and Average Gift Size Growth, nonprofits can see increases and identify areas where more attention is needed. Donor Retention Rates and Pledge Fulfillment Percentages also help the organization see those people who are most committed to the cause. The internet also provides an excellent barometer for gauging how effective the nonprofit is at sharing its message and mission online and tracking how much the organization is making through online donations.

The Center for Nonprofit Management has a handy guide for helping charitable organizations maximize innovative practices to make the switch from good to great.

According to a two-year study of the nonprofits making the biggest impact, these six factors can make a huge difference in how effective an organization can be:

  • Advocate and Serve: Great nonprofits both advocate for their constituency while serving their needs. It’s not enough to do one or the other.
  • Make Markets Work: Private businesses are a core component to any nonprofit’s mission, often helping them reach a larger audience by influencing practices and developing earned income opportunities.
  • Inspire Evangelists: The most vocal proponents of a nonprofit’s mission are those people who spread the word about the organization’s efforts the loudest and reach the widest audience to build support.
  • Nurture Nonprofit Networks: Work with other organizations that focus on similar goals or help a shared constituency to help both find success.
  • Master the Art of Adaptation: Everything changes, including the needs of a nonprofit’s core demographic, and by changing to meet those needs, modifying strategies and adapting to new demands, the organization can stay relevant.
  • Share Leadership: Leadership starts at the top, but it shouldn’t end there. Key team members also should be leaders for their particular areas of expertise, thereby allowing more people to feel engaged and responsible for the nonprofit’s success. 



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Category: Nonprofit Leadership