The term “resilient nonprofit” has been widely used to describe organizations capable of adapting to significant challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Strong nonprofits build strategies for sustainability. They focus on resilience, ensuring their organizations can weather a storm while still being positioned for future growth.
With that in mind, Blackbaud has published an eBook entitled “Becoming a Resilient Nonprofit” that includes a round-up of sector resources and critical thinking on key strategies to ensure sustainability. Our goal is to empower nonprofit leaders to create their own “resilient nonprofit” strategies by providing a guidebook on areas of impact such as:
People: Your organization’s people – human capital – is your most precious resource. How you connect to people, from your staff to supporters to beneficiaries to your board, dramatically impacts your nonprofit’s stability and sustainability.
Revenue: Few nonprofit organizations have an extensive funding reserve to draw from in times of need. The Nonprofit Finance Fund’s annual sector-wide survey found that half of all nonprofits do not have at least three months of cash on hand. In times of uncertainty, diverse and predictable revenue streams are an organization’s path to success. But, before you can plan for the future, you must understand your current revenue position.
Mission + Operations: Optimizing organizational expenses is a vital step toward ensuring your organization’s continued success during a crisis. However, this cannot come at the complete cost of fulfilling your organization’s mission. Balancing those needs is an important part of your “resilient nonprofit” strategy.
Empowering Technology + Data: Adapting quickly to changing conditions requires digital tools that enable rather than distract from your business. Nonprofit missions grind to a halt without the automation and digital tools that technology brings to the table. Organizations that use technology strategically to support (rather than create) change have a distinctive advantage over those who either fear it or see it solely as a detrimental cost.
We know that times of uncertainty affect us all. While we cannot predict the future, we must prepare for it. Yes, the nonprofit sector is a resilient one. In fact, there are many success stories of organizations adapting positively to change. However, becoming a “resilient nonprofit” requires focus and readiness. Finding sustainability means focusing on your organization’s readiness to support your:
- Mission and Operations
It also includes a realization that the path forward includes a need for empowering technology and data: digital tools that enable rather than distract from your business.
We welcome you to participate in this conversation, to engage with the examples and thoughts within this eBook and support our sector by helping all organizations become “resilient nonprofits.”