Non-profits can learn a lot from our peers in the business world. Not everything is applicable – but a whole lot is!
Here are five ways non-profits can learn from the corporate sector:
- Think Big
The corporate sector pushes for bigger and better constantly, while many non-profits do the same thing they’ve always done – they call their donors, they send newsletters, and they put on the same event every year. You have to ask yourself, “Am I going to reach lots of people by doing the same thing over and over again?” Thinking BIG and having a vision for more than what your non-profit is presently doing is the only way you will grow.
- Good Office-Relations are Vital
Big corporate entities have HRs. Human Resources are needed in the business world because successful companies know they need their staff to be allies… they need a strong team to get the job done. Non-profits are no different. Internal politics can make or break your organization.
- Keeping a Strong Base
Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. How do these companies stay afloat? – By having a returning customer base. For non-profits, a core group who believe in the organization and in the cause is the equivalent to a customer base. Investing in finding these people is essential. This group of people will take action and support you more than investing time into applying for grants, doing cold-calls, and building flashy websites.
There is another way to say this: Set better boundaries.
No corporate business gives a employee 10 jobs. Accepting human limits makes businesses and non-profits more productive and efficient. Non-profit fundraisers want to do it all. But there is only so much that manpower can accomplish. Knowing your staff’s capabilities and limitations is the only way to accomplish events and processes with excellence. Too many non-profits have three or fewer development staff workers who were asked to accomplish 10 things when they could only accomplish 5 things. The outcome is 10 things accomplished… but accomplished poorly.
- BE an entrepreneur
What does this mean? An entrepreneur sets big goals . . . and then takes responsibility for making sure that they reach their goals. No matter what role of leadership you have in your organization, this mindset is needed in all levels of a nonprofit. An entrepreneur knows that no one will reach your goals for them. If they want something, they do it. If you want a successful nonprofit, have an entrepreneur spirit: Give yourself a deadline, take responsibility, and get it done.