Does your nonprofit have what it takes to change the world for the better? Find out with this short, 15-question survey.
For each question, give yourself points as follows:
65-75 points: You are one of the highest performing nonprofits in the world—the top 1 percent. It’s very likely you are a major research university or sophisticated cultural or scientific institution. There’s no confusion anywhere in your organization between your tax status and your business model. As a result, you maximize the good you deliver to the world. Thank you for being you.
50-64 points: Very good job—your performance places you are among the top 3-5% of nonprofits worldwide. It’s likely you are posting strong results, but somewhere you’ve got an unresolved pain point or an “unknown unknown” that’s holding back your growth and impact.
35-49 points: Don’t worry-- you are still among the top 75% in nonprofit performance, and it’s quite probable that, while your business performance isn’t stellar, you have a terrific program and great people. But realize that, at best, you are achieving about half of your organization’s potential to do good in the world. It’s likely your revenue and/or impact measures year-to-year are mostly flat, and you have significant pain points in important places like staffing, operations, governance or strategy. Your homework: read Good to Great, Great by Choice, and The Four Disciplines of Execution; write a business plan; reboot your revenue strategy and staffing; build a dashboard; and then execute with focus and discipline.
<35 points: About 75% of all nonprofits fall in this range, so you are not alone. It’s highly likely that you are suffering from pain points in many aspects of your organization, from annual growth to program evaluation to governance. As a result, you are achieving only a fraction of the good you could be delivering to the world. But there's good news: you have tremendous opportunity to transform your organization and dramatically increase your impact. But it will involve shifting your mindset. Start by reflecting on this basic truth: the tools of business leadership and finance capitalism are not immoral. They are amoral. Learn them and use their power to generate good. Without them, it’s next to impossible to change the world for the better.
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