Where is Your Organization in the Nonprofit Lifecycle? Why All Nonprofits Need This Crucial Piece of the Puzzle

  • It Sets Realistic Expectations — Assessing the phase of each of your organization’s systems within the nonprofit lifecycle will allow you to identify whether the organization has the required resources to execute its strategy. Misalignment occurs when systems are in dissimilar phases of growth. For example, your programs might be in a growth phase while your finances are in start-up (which means that in the short-term, your reach might exceed your grasp). An organization best accomplishes its goals when it allocates resources to bring systems in line with each other.
  • It Anticipates and Prepares for Challenges — Phases of the nonprofit lifecycle are also associated with somewhat predictable challenges for which organizations can prepare. For example, more mature nonprofit organizations often face decline by neglecting program relevance or becoming risk-averse. To guard against complacency, nonprofits should proactively institute systems and become learning organizations to ensure innovation, curb decline and keep themselves fresh.
  • It Determines the Best Leadership Fit — The capabilities of leadership must adjust as nonprofit organizations move from one phase in the lifecycle to the next. The nonprofit lifecycle can be a useful tool for a board in determining the qualities it should seek in Executive Director or leadership hires. For example, where Founders typically must be passionate and relational to spread the word about the cause in the idea phase, leaders must possess some degree of business acumen to build the organization’s systems as it transforms from the idea into the start-up phase.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Social TrendSpotter

Social TrendSpotter

Features bite-size posts providing the latest trends and ideas within social sector. Place to be inspired, cross-pollinate, and provoke new thinking.