5 Things Every Leader Should Do

So many pressures, problems, pratfalls. What’s a nonprofit leader to do?
During the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) Not-For-Profit Industry Conference, Susan Raymond of Changing Our World Inc., offered her views on What Every Sentient Nonprofit Should Do to face the oncoming changes.

  • Seize your future. Articulate a three-year goal for the organization. Be specific and measurable.
  • Deeply understand the resource implications. Traditional fundraising will always be important. Strengthen it, but realize it might be either sub-optimal or insufficient.
  • Tear down these walls. Close collaboration among financial officers, program officers, development officers and communications is essential to the ability to define opportunities and develop funding strategies. And, it has to happen from the beginning.
  • Measure, measure, measure. Do not wait for funders to say what they want to see. Nonprofit leaders will be deeply disturbed and also likely will be unable to produce it. Figure out what is viable. Set up systems to support it. Report publicly on it. Learn and adjust, learn and adjust, learn and adjust.
  • Do not stop. We are at the end of definitions. What is true today will almost certainly not be the whole truth tomorrow. The next generation of philanthropists is changing what is meant by the societal commons and how resources will flow onto it. Mistakes will abound. Failure will be everywhere. And they will keep on innovating, because it is what they know, and it is what they expect from you.