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Partner News: Moving beyond the mission

Remaining relevant and sustainable is (or should be) a top priority for many not-for-profit (NFP) organisations. Government reform, advances in technology, stagnant or declining membership numbers, social media and fundraising pressures, are creating several challenges on this front.

The cycle of chronic underinvestment in systems and infrastructure to allocate more money to the mission, is now causing significant issues for many entities. Today, a differentiated approach to running an NFP is required.

Strategic planning cycles should be shortened, the power of technology (cloud computing and social media in particular) should be embraced and organisations should put the member and/or client at the centre of all it does and all it plans to do.

In this changing environment, greater consideration should be given to external influences (like competitors, peers and the market) over internal influences and traditions. Financial planning and robustness also need to be introduced to all new ventures and alliances with other NFPs.

Asking and seeking to answer telling key questions makes the aspiration of running a futureproofed organisation more realistic:

  • Who are our clients (current and future) and what are their needs (met and unmet)?
  • What are we seeking to achieve for our stakeholders?
  • What services will we offer and (importantly) what services will we choose not to offer?
  • What is our unique value proposition and how do we differentiate ourselves in a crowded and increasingly competitive marketplace?
  • How can we develop and incubate meaningful alliances and partnerships that strengthen our brand and increase the odds success in the long term?
  • Will our overall strategic choices enable us to achieve our growth aspirations?

A wait-and-see approach is not a strategy. Boards, CEOs and Executive Teams must be able to shut out the noise and act decisively in driving towards a future vision.

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