Nonprofit Heart, Business Mindset

Are the words “nonprofit” and “business” completely at odds?

At first glance, they may appear to be opposites. One inspires images of volunteers hard at work, and the other evokes thoughts of corporate profits—painting two worlds that are seemingly diametrically opposed.

Yet the most effective nonprofit leaders don’t shy away from borrowing ideas and practices from the for-profit world. In fact, they champion them. They apply the best of the business world―operational excellence, risk management and innovation―in service of nonprofits’ mission. Put simply, they balance a nonprofit heart with a business mindset.

In our new three-part series, we outline the components, strategy and approaches that can help nonprofits harness the best of both worlds to ensure sustainability and maximize their impact.

Part I: The Business of Impact

What are the components of an efficient and effective organization? How nonprofits can harness the four systems of sustainability, from effective human resources to appropriate board governance, for sustained, long-term success?

Part II: Maximizing Good

Too often, in a quest to save the world, nonprofits fail themselves. These internal and external tactics for risk management, communications and due diligence can help ensure nonprofits are able to sustain and grow their impact, without sacrificing the wellbeing of their organization.

Part III: Mission-Driven Growth

The final piece of a Nonprofit Heart, Business Mindset will highlight a path for growth for nonprofits that combines mission with innovation and sets up organizations with a roadmap for success that includes guidance on strategic partnerships, M&A and next-generation donor relations.