Donors are placing nonprofits on the hot seat to measure social performance. Problem is, there is little agreement on what those metrics should be. Professor Alnoor Ebrahim on how nonprofit managers should respond.
Recent studies raise an uncharitable question: Is nonprofit accounting off track?
Nonprofit managers who develop social purpose ventures to generate revenues to support a social mission have limited opportunities to share their experiences with others in the field or to learn from the experiences of others. Many nonprofit managers also have modest business backgrounds. Yet, despite these challenges, the movement toward income generation by nonprofits continues to grow. Some of these ventures succeed, yet many more … [ Read more ]
Corporations aren’t alone in focusing on governance; rigorous oversight of management and performance is increasingly important for nonprofits too.
We have business and we have government. For too many intents and purposes, we have nothing in between. This distinction has framed the great social debate for more than a century: capitalism versus socialism, markets versus controls, individualism versus collectivism, privatization versus nationalization, “free enterprise” versus “democracy of the proletariat.” The debate features no cooperatives, no NGOs, no not-for-profits, no volunteer organizations, not because they … [ Read more ]
Business plan competitions are a powerful way to help nonprofits turn ideas into sustainable commercial ventures.
The federation structure remains a viable model for nonprofit organizations – if managements transform themselves and affiliates collaborate more closely.
Corporations could learn a lot from the intensity of nonprofits. Are they willing to listen?
Teach For America learned the importance of building organizational capacity the hard way.
Former HBS professor Jeff Bradach shares practical advice on how nonprofits can improve their strategy and produce measurable results for their cause and donors.
This report provides decision-makers in business and environmental nonprofits with the practical tools required to launch or improve effective partnerships. Designed as a compendium of best practices and key learnings, this report targets practitioners who recognize the enormous potential of nonprofit-industry partnerships but need a framework for approaching structured collaboration and a compact, handy reference to aid implementation. Our objective is to outline critical success … [ Read more ]
Are you working for a nonprofit or promoting a social cause? Many of the for-profit rules about marketing strategy apply there, too.
Nonprofits are wasting billions through inefficient business practices. A Harvard Business Review excerpt co-authored by former senator Bill Bradley offers fixes.
Editor’s Note: This article doesn’t offer a detailed prescription and I found some of the logic to suffer from excessive enthusiasm and theory but the concept addressed is an important one and the facts given are useful and interesting.
As the nonprofit sector grows and organizations become increasingly complex, more and more executives are being invited to lend their skills as board members. Here are eight principles for effective governance that can help a broad range of nonprofit groups be more successful.
Multi-site nonprofit organizations shouldn’t be run like companies that make money, say HBS professors Allen Grossman and V. Kasturi Rangan. The key for nonprofit managers is to embrace a balance between affiliation and autonomy.
Nonprofit organizations should consider creating wealth rather than merely redistributing it.
The problem: Find a way to get more bang for the buck out of charitable donations. The strategy: Adopt techniques that worked well for venture capital firms in the 1990s – greater interaction between giver and recipient, and an emphasis on measurable results. The upshot: The birth of the movement variously called “venture philanthropy,” “social entrepreneurism,” “strategic philanthropy,” and “e-philanthropy.” But is it really a … [ Read more ]
Nonprofit organizations should focus on building a lasting organization and on developing effective performance metrics. To make this possible, donors must change their approach to philanthropy.
Americans expect results from their business, government, and nonprofit organizations. We also expect information about the performance of those institutions: Who’s in charge? How is money spent? And what have they accomplished? In the business world, the demands imposed by lenders and investors — and, of course, the Securities and Exchange Commission — force companies to disclose precise details of their operations — earnings, expenses, … [ Read more ]
Every nonprofit organization should measure its progress in fulfilling its mission, its success in mobilizing its resources, and its staff’s effectiveness on the job.