Dateline 3-19-20: The next few weeks are going to test us all and will require very challenging decisions we would never dream of having to make under normal circumstances. For many nonprofits the initial instinct for survival may mean minimizing unnecessary costs, no matter how unpleasant such decisions may be. On the other hand, this may be a time to critically review programs, assess resilience and sustainability, and envision new ways to achieve your mission. As many people have time on their hands and are captive audiences as they wait out Covid 19, it may even be the time to test […]
Part one of this blog attempted to make the case for nonprofit resiliency. Here Steve Stanton shares a diagnostic model for organizational resilience based on seven core elements. A Clear Organizational Identity: Are we aligned as to who we are? Do we have continuous and aligned focus and flexibility on core issues? Relevant Mission: Is it clear why we are here and what our core purpose is? Vision: Can we articulate what our eventual success will look like? Strategic Plan: Do we know what the organization’s critical goals, actions, and measures are? Is the plan continuously renewed? Do we know […]
Some nonprofits need to improve their marketing, and others have to focus on building up their boards, but ALL nonprofits need to improve their resiliency. Resiliency means the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. This ability extends beyond flexibility and encompasses far more than “capacity building”. A resilient organization is able to find ways to succeed in all types of conditions and to bounce back whenever problems arise. To quote a cliché, resilience is the ability to “keep calm and carry on” in all types of situations, to extend success in good times and to recover quickly in troubled times. […]
As 2019 year comes to a close, we thought we would highlight some recent leadership transitions that Interim Executive Solutions team members have helped organizations navigate. The Board of the Landing School, a 2-year boat-building college in Maine, was concerned about excessive deficits, low enrollment and low morale. IES conducted an organizational assessment after which the President decided not to renew his contract. An IES team member then stepped in as acting President and replaced the Director of Admissions, mapped out a new admissions process, upgraded the educational leadership team and the teaching staff paving the way for reaccreditation, and […]
Every nonprofit we encounter has different strengths and weaknesses but there are a few common challenges and blind spots that many of them share. Here are just a few: The first rule of a nonprofit is that you actually have to make a profit or a surplus (what you call it doesn’t matter but you cannot run a nonprofit sustainably at a deficit). Mission achievement is often used to justify deficits and while they may be okay in the short term they cannot be allowed to last. Profit is not a dirty word. Objective program assessment: each program an organization […]
Prepared for the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments by Interim Executive Solutions, LLC. Executive Summary This gap analysis brings together two “big data” sources— Connecticut Economic Resource Center (CERC) town profiles and United Way’s 211CT data—alongside interviews with municipal officials and nonprofits to identify gaps in service delivery in southeastern Connecticut. We use demographic and financial data by municipality and region to offer a socio-economic backdrop to the regional human services ecosystem. We then explore unmet human services needs by municipality and the region overall. Finally, we offer perspectives on patterns of unmet need, assessments of the information available, and […]
A Crowded Field The National Center for Charitable Statistics’ website reports that Massachusetts has 19,037 nonprofits who reported financial information to the IRS in 2008, 34.4 nonprofit organizations for every 10,000 residents. Rhode Island, surprisingly, had almost a quarter as many – 4349 or 47.4 per 10,000 population. Neither of these rates compares favorably with large conservative states like Texas (20.3) or even other, larger liberal states like New York (28.4) or California (22.6). New England seems to grow nonprofits almost twice as fast as everybody else.If there are too many organizations chasing too few donor dollars, then the nonprofit […]
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