Often the people closest to us escape our notice. An old classmate of mine from the Harvard Business School recently surfaced with a simple but profound message that instantly clarified an issue I’ve been pondering all year - what motivates the dedicated people who toil tirelessly in the nonprofit world? The message was unusual coming from a business school graduate. After all, most of my Harvard classmates went on to become captains of industry focused on making money for themselves and their stockholders. And, for the most part, they were pretty good at it.
In this new dystopian world of negative and divisive political discourse, we find it refreshing to seek out and report on the positive, uniting energy of the mission-centric nonprofit “other-world” we inhabit with our colleagues across the country.
All governmental organizations and NGOs are founded by well-meaning actors with good intentions. However, corruption inevitably sets in as the “good intentions” are gradually eclipsed by the inevitable organizational impulse to survive and self-perpetuate. Institutions, like organisms, seek survival for themselves and their descendants. They survive, reproduce, replace, predate, evolve, alter, consume and grow. And when a sufficient number of institutions coexist, they function like an ecosystem.
We’ve already discussed how nonprofit software solutions make it possible for your organization to focus more of its time on the mission, but we’d like to take it a step further. Not only can the right software solution provide an organization with more time to focus on the mission, it can also help you manage relationships better.
Safeguarding your clients’ privacy is something that must be taken seriously, regardless of your industry. Ensuring your caseworkers receive the proper Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance training is necessary not only to protect the clients, but to protect your organization.
Last week we reported on the Ford Foundation’s $1 billion, five-year, Build program’s ongoing investment in the long-term capacity and sustainability of up to 300 social justice nonprofits. The Ford Foundation recognized that the popular donor trend of restricting funding to specific programs without accounting for infrastructure expenses was leading to a “nonprofit starvation cycle”, where charities cease to function because they can’t pay for overhead costs, such as administrative employees, computers and electric bills.