How to Tell if Your Favorite Nonprofit is Set Up to Win or Lose

In early 2016, the Concord Leadership Group surveyed more than a thousand nonprofit leaders, staff members, board members, and volunteers about the operations of their organizations. The results might surprise you.

Some of the key findings were a lack of basic organizational leadership systems:

  • 1 in 4 nonprofits say they don’t have a vision compelling enough to unify the board, staff, and donors and facilitate decision-making
  • 49 out of 100 nonprofits are operating without a strategic plan
  • 1 in 5 of the largest nonprofits (over $5m annually) are running without a written plan
  • 10,000 baby boomers reach retirement age everyday, but 77% of nonprofits have no succession plan or leadership development program
  • 65% are not intentionally using multi-generational teams to ensure leadership continuity on their staff or on their boards.

Why is a strategic plan important? Strategic plans are significant to the operation of a nonprofit because of these findings:, those with a written strategic plan were more likely to collaborate with other nonprofits (83% vs 76%); more likely to have boards open to taking calculated risks (65% vs 51%); more likely to have their CEOs or Executive Directors undergo an annual performance review (36% vs 21%); and more likely to have a formal process for measuring leadership effectiveness across the organization (75% vs 50%).

Why is succession planning important? Do you want all of the hard work of the organization to fall by the wayside if a key leader leaves?

So, what can you do? If you’re the leader of a nonprofit, encourage the investment of resources into putting these basic organizational leadership systems in place. Some things to think through is how relevant your product, service, or business model is and will continue to be. (A business model for a nonprofit? Yes. There is a growing desire for nonprofits to be ran efficiently and to reduce waste. Millenials, in particular, will not contribute to your cause if they think their investment is not being wisely spent).

What is your frame of reference for making business decisions, the past and present experience, or the knowledge of the future? Historic data may not help you plan for the future nor can you predict the future accurately with the current pace of change. But we believe you can plan for the next five years from where you are today.

Does any of this sound familiar? We find most business leaders like yourself are connected in some way, shape or form to local non-profit organizations. We are extending an opportunity for you to nominate one organization for our Non-Profit Scholarship. To make a nomination, please email with your contact information for your organization and why you think they should join us. 

Registration as a whole for the series is limited to 25 participants and to one participant/ company per industry on a first come, first served basis. (We’ll have one real estate company, one construction company, one construction supplier, etc.). 

Read more about Next 5 Years- Where Will You Be? 

Register Your Business to Participate in the Next 5 Years Discussion Series

Download the free 2016 Nonprofit Leadership Report by Concord Leadership Group

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