Sustainability Doesn’t Recycle Bad Ideas

April 10, 2017       The NonProfit Times      

You recycle your aluminum cans and you write on the blank side of office memos to help sustain the environment, but what are you doing to improve the sustainability of your organization? Making your organization as healthy as possible is the key to continuing your mission for years to come.

    During a session at the Bridge to Integrated Marketing Conference in National Harbor, Md., Marshall H. Ginn, CFRE, Capital Development Strategies and Joe Callahan, CFRE, The Writer’s Center, gave a talk titled “Sustainability Success Factors.” In this talk, the duo provided key guidelines to creating sustainability and encouraged organizations to “grade” themselves with the criteria below:

  • Planning should consider strategic or long-range options to create a framework for right now and for years to come.
  • Forming clear objectives establishes what your organization is planning to do.
  • Action-oriented plans should address timelines, staff and volunteer responsibilities, and benchmark goals. These should be detailed for the current year but can be more generalized for future years.
  • Storytelling, messaging, and branding should all be part of the organization’s culture.
  • All resources should be in play – earned, in-kind, as well as philanthropic. Your resource plan should be strategic; everyone should understand it and be engaged in its success.
  • Providing staff with the resources they need to be successful helps to keep staff focused on their mission.
  • Your organization should not only have committed leadership, but itself act as a leader in the field.