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For Non-Profits: Best Practices to Become More Successful

Develop a Mission, Vision and Core Values to help focus your organization:

- Provides a filter for selecting and prioritizing key strategies:

  • Does the strategy support your mission?
  • Will the strategy help you achieve your vision?

- Helps you determine how you should operate:

  • Is what you are doing consistent with your desired level of quality?
  • Are you treating your stakeholders consistent with your values?

- Helps get all employees and supporters going in the same direction.

Take advantage of marketing tools to understand what your “customers” value most about you and your services to build on your strengths:

- Research: Ask your stakeholders – recipients, employees, supporters:

  • What is most important about what you do?
  • What do you do well? What do you need to improve?

- Environmental scan:

  • What do other non-profits in your field do that works/does not work?
  • What do for-profit firms or non-profits do well that might work for you?

- Demographics:

  • How might demographics affect your organization?

- Creating a “brand” (a name and attributes/benefits that you promise to deliver):

  • A “brand” gives you something to promote and provides stakeholders a reason to use or support your services.
  • The risk of a “brand” is that you need to deliver what you promise.

Understand what things cost to help you make decisions about priorities and generate support for your mission:

- For the highest priorities, what minimum resources do you need to deliver them?
- For “proactive” priorities, what are the costs versus the benefits?
- For fundraising, is the person or activity more than offset by additional funds
- For other sources of revenue besides donations, what do you need to charge and
  what participation/purchase rate is required to outweigh costs?
- Identifying how contributions specifically support the mission helps raise funds.

Create a three-year implementation plan to focus your resources to deliver more of your mission:

- Allocate your resources on the highest priorities.
- Show how costs, revenues and deliverables progress over the years to help your
  supporters understand how your “loss” will change over time.
- Identify additional priorities to deliver more of your mission in case you have a surplus.
- Track results against your plan to:

  • give you indications of how programs are working and adjustments needed.
  • provide credibility that you are delivering what you promise.

Contact us for more information on best practices that can help your non-profit more effectively deliver your mission and other ways Van Allen Associates can help your non-profit grow.

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