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Nonprofits and the Long Haul

A strong mission, passionate staff and a big vision are critical for a nonprofit to succeed. But what is it that makes the difference between long-term survival and a short-term burst of success?

M.L. Donnellan writes in “20 Strategies for Building Long-Term Nonprofit Sustainability” (NonProfit Pro) that the difference goes far beyond money.

Donnellan, a consultant and former nonprofit CEO, highlighted some critical strategies that nonprofits should consider regarding long-term survival. Among these included:

  • Programs and fundraising are not the only priorities. A sustainable nonprofit pays continual attention to other factors as well including the Board, volunteers and administration, community connections and marketing.
  • Measure success in all areas — not only in programs, but also in operations and systems. There should be measurable objectives and frequent review. Technology should be considered as well.
  • Think about the future. Making succession plans for staff, boards and volunteers prevents big hiccups during transitions. Regular training helps keep things running smoothly as well.
  • Make sure the organization’s value is clear. Regularly review the mission and vision to ensure that they still reflect the work. Show the community why the organization’s work is needed.

To read the full list of strategies, visit NonProfit Pro.

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