Avoiding the Pitfalls of Running a Nonprofit

Failure and Success signs pointing opposite directions.It isn’t what we do but how we do it that determines the success of a nonprofit organization. Having the most important mission is not enough for your organization to get its feet off the ground, or last long enough to have an impact. This is especially true when dealing with organizations whose mission overlaps with yours.

It has been observed that successful organizations do not always use a traditional structure or leadership. Hence there is no 100% correct way to run a nonprofit. With that said, all decisions must be made with sustainability in mind. Relationships should be made with like-minded organizations so that when in need you have resources, other than monetary, to lean on potentially. This can include increasing visibility due to a partnership. Choosing experienced board members for your organization is of the utmost importance for everything from setting goals to achieving them.

Donors want to know that their dollars are being put to good use; in other words, prove to them the value of their contribution. Make sure to put effort into letting them know that they are the essential part of your organization that makes it work. Time spent doing this is important and your organization must do it. Donors should feel involved in everything your organization does. Funding can also be raised through your relationships with other organizations. Funds can be pooled to help individual organizations when money is running dry.

Employees often end up burned out as a result of too much being put on their plate. A way to diminish the workload of the individual is to set up a system of collective management.  People have less free time to volunteer due to increased time at work as well as fewer hours of leisure.

Key things to take away from this to keep in the back of your head are: sustainability, relationship building,  an experienced board, proving the impact of your donors, and setting up ways to help employees/volunteers.