Back to Basics


I'm always working with nonprofit executives and community leaders to advance important community causes. I'm hearing a universal theme--that each organization is stretched, with too much to do and not enough time to do it. From my perspective, I see a need to go "back to the basics" from an organizational standpoint. Nonprofits face a competitive environment for money, public attention and volunteer resources, with ever-increasing demands for programming. I advise our clients to cut through the fog of distractions and focus on their unique mission and the main functions of carrying out that mission:

• Programming - What critical service to the community are you offering, and to whom?
• Communications - How do you let people know?
• Fund development - How do you involve and engage your volunteers, donors and prospective donors in a way that will sustain your mission?

Finally, to compete for community resources, organizations must continuously undergird these core functions with extraordinary administration and management.

People sometimes lose sight of these basic, yet critical, functions of a successful nonprofit. Being able to define these functions, and communicate them to external audiences, will lead to success. Best wishes as you go back to the basics!