A Personal Journey to Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership and Management Part 5 of 8: Mission-Based Management
Guess what? I’m getting a Certificate of Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership and Management by the Society for Nonprofits and Michigan State University. What is more exciting? I’m sharing my top learnings with you!
My fifth course was on mission-based management, which is using standard business techniques and practices to get more out of existing resources in today’s environment.
Here are the top four lessons I learned:
- Nonprofits can make money. It may seem like an oxymoron, but a true successful nonprofit makes a profit to become and remain debt free. But also, to invest in new markets and establish endowments as a means of putting money aside. To be successful though, nonprofits must have a viable mission, businesslike board, strong staff, tight financial controls, marketing bias, financial empowerment, vision, social entrepreneurship and flexibility.
- But, Stay Focused on the Mission. It’s the reason your nonprofit exists, and must be your mantra. Your manta for management, recruitment, fundraising and beyond. (It also helps to be in compliance with the IRS. ?) Something we do here at JPA, and a few of our clients recently embraced, is having all employees create their own mantra aligned with the organization’s mission and their personal goals – their “why.” My “why” – to help people live healthier and happier lives.
- Empower Your Organization, Financially. How do you know if your organization is financially empowered? You’re in luck – there are eight tips to know if you’re on the right track: profitable seven of 10 years; cash reserve of more than 90 days; five percent of income from endowment; non-traditional revenue stream; share financial information; appropriately leveraged funds; mission reserve; and, financially flexible.
- Start from the Bottom Up. To get the most out of your resources is dependent on having an effective staff. To build a strong staff, take a bottom-up management approach – treat management as a support function, value direct service staff, push decisions and train, train, train.
As communicators, we know what it takes to empower audiences. As nonprofit managers, we need those same skills to empower successful operations and management of our organization – both our people and financials.
Next, we’re going to become pioneers – my next course is on social entrepreneurship.
Please be sure to read about each step of my Personal Journey to Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership and Management:
Melissa Zuckerman is an Account Director at JPA Health