Treat your non-profit as much like a business as possible. Nonprofits that function to their full potential have adopted many best practices from businesses. Strong, well-run nonprofits understand the importance of thinking like a business. They realize businesses and nonprofits have two things in common; they solve problems, and create value. Always be organized, have a plan, invest wisely, stick to budgets and focus on whom you serve.
A business is built on a core purpose. A core that is built by strong values will remain fixed while business strategies and practices endlessly adapt to an every-changing economy. All organizations should preserve the core while managing continuity and change, a reason why major companies are able to succeed in the long run. Change is an ever-present component; the ability to manage change lays the groundwork for growth.
Change, if managed correctly can actually be quite beneficial. Managed transitions go more smoothly, regardless of what change entails. Ask yourself these three focus questions:
The needs, wants, and expectations of people are constantly evolving; they shift constantly, and they shift easily. “All organizations need the agility to change positions without disrupting the good systems they have in place. The most successful businesses, both large and small, know when and how to shift plans and pivot strategies.” (Mastering Change)
“For-profit companies have a collective sense of urgency to meet, or get in front of, those needs quickly. For-profit companies are forward thinkers constantly pushing the envelope of innovation. Where as nonprofits have a culture of taking a more measured approach to change; fully considering options, mitigating risk, and thoroughly vetting an idea before implementing.” (Change, Pace and Risk)
Change may come as an inconvenience- whether it is a change in your strategy or a change in the goals of the organization. In times of transition, all staff needs to respond as quickly as possible. Throw the phrase “ We have always done it this way” out the window. Change cannot be dwelled upon; it’s an opportunity to be ahead of the crowd. Start today by mastering change!