Some of the lessons we learned: 1. In the smallest organizations, capacity is in individuals and their institutional knowledge, not organizational systems. When inevitable transitions occur, built capacity can quickly be lost. Attention must be paid to building sustained people capacity somewhere in the network. Transitions often occur at a rate that prohibits capacity building. 2. Small groups need either a large organization with significant built capacity already on their team or they will need a much larger cash investment to buy what they lack.
7 Ways Fundraising Can Strengthen Your Programming 1. You get out the door and talk to your constituents — the best way to get feedback on the issues and concerns that matter to them. 2. You see the real life, real people impact of your work.
When I opened the folder to view the certificate, I immediately saw that my name was misspelled. My heart sank. While I tried to resist it, I couldn’t shake the feeling that the gift I was being given had been selected for someone else. Like the time I opened a present anticipating something very romantic and found a rice cooker instead.
At the end of the day, nonprofit collaborations, joint ventures, mergers, or whatever should produce a better result for their community than what any individual organization might achieve working alone.
“In the end, canceling or changing the event simply was a bigger risk. Our work depends on the money we raise.”
Nonprofits are valued for their prudence, commitment to service and fiscal restraint, yet are expected to produce significant community benefits.
In the for-profit world, business owners are rewarded for taking risks – usually with other people’s money (venture capital). Under-capitalization is warned against. And a personality like Donald Trump is lionized for his opulent lifestyle and forgiven for past business failures.
Not so in the nonprofit world. Here, individuals are expected to make sacrifices for the common good in the name of service. Making do with less is a familiar mantra. Pick up a business publication, and the virtuous charities are the ones with the lowest overhead.