The first of these are clear, concise values, vision and mission statements. These organizations know what they’re all about, why they’re here, and who they serve. These are critical things, because they help guide everything that the organization does, and keep everyone on track.
The second key feature is what we call transformational leaders. In short, these are people that build other leaders. They delegate effectively, they train and groom people to be better at what they do. They set a vision, and create parameters for success. And bring out the best in other people by having them tap into their strengths, and work to their strengths. And these are folks that are visionary, innovative, create the playing field for people to succeed, and make sure that they have the tools that they need to get better at what they do.
The third feature’s, what we call a culture of shared responsibility and accountability. One person does not an organization make. When things go wrong, it’s not a personal failure for one person, but a team failure. And the organization as a whole rises with the success of its individual members. Everybody shares in that, because there’s a vision in the world, that the people in that organization want to see come about. Only through group efforts can that come about.
The fourth feature is clarity around the operating environment. They know who else, at what organizations, other organizations are working in the field. And then the space that they’re working in. They know what makes them unique, and why their solution to the problems that we face is different and special, when compared to other organizations. They look to do things that other organizations can’t do.
The fourth thing is that they have what we call a detail inventory. They know what their assets are. That’s not just material things, but it’s people. People, money, all sorts of things go into your asset base. The good will, the people who support you, the people who work for you. These organization inventory serve ways for people to measure what they’re good at. These nonprofits know what their strengths are, and what their opportunities for growth are.
They also know that they can partner with other people, who have complimentary skill sets. And they are aware of who these particular players are, and they make effort to reach out to these people. They understand that they can’t do everything themselves. And that the way can deliver supreme service is by working strictly from their strengths, partnering with others, or outsourcing. To make sure that all of the services that they render are balanced, and very good for everyone around them.
The sixth feature of a successful nonprofit is a solid fundraising plan, one that’s comprehensive. Planning for the monies that you need to invest, is very important. If you don’t understand what your revenues and your expenses are, you can’t deliver services as effectively and efficiently as you may like to. These organizations understand what it costs to deliver the impact that they want to deliver, to move the people they serve from where they are, to where they ultimately want them to be.
The final, seventh feature is engagement with people that they touch. And what do we mean by engagement? Well, it’s the way they relate to everybody. It’s the way they relate to people, and the experience they create for all of the people who work with them and who get services from them. Engagement is simply about relationships. And there are things that are important to all of the people that you touch. And it’s being clear what those things are, and why it matters to them. So that you can relate to them in that way. And this is how you grow your support base, and increase the size of your support base.
So again, this is Russel Dennis. I want to thank you for listening to the seven key building blocks that all successful nonprofits have. And we cover all of these things in my course, Four Steps to Building a High Performance Nonprofit. But let’s have a conversation too. You can click on the link below to get onto my calendar. Let’s have a 30 minute discovery session, and talk about the ways that you embody these seven qualities. And how you can embody them more, and attract more support to your cause. Bring more people on board, by creating an even better experience than you’re already delivering.
This is your Nonprofit Possibility Engineer, Russell Dennis, signing off for now, and I will see you soon.4 Steps to Building a High Performance Nonprofit