The nonprofit universe is vast and varied. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations are registered in the U.S. This number includes public charities, private foundations and a wide array of other nonprofit organizations like civic leagues, fraternal organizations and even local chambers of commerce. Because we work every day with a variety of nonprofits all across the country, it is important for us at Global Vision Technologies to have a clear picture of the nonprofit universe in order to gain insight into the challenges nonprofits face. Here is the nonprofit big picture.
My research analyst asked me a simple question the other day that led to some amazing revelations about the nonprofit world, “What is the largest nonprofit in the world?”
Increasingly, nonprofits face growing competition from their for-profit counterparts. These for-profit companies can often deliver services at a lower cost or offer higher financial returns to cities, thanks to their capacity and ability to raise investment capital as business entities. This leaves the non-profit social infrastructure in communities at a competitive disadvantage and requires a more thoughtful approach to determining the value of contract bids beyond simply financial criteria.
A Cultural Collapse
A comprehensive study of newspapers in the United States found that 516 rural newspapers closed or merged from 2004 to 2018. In metropolitan areas, 1,294 newspapers were shuttered during the period, making a national total of 1,810 papers that ceased publication.
One of our nonprofit clients recently found themselves on the horns of this dilemma:
A long-term faithful donor had been indicted for bank fraud. Should the nonprofit return his most recent donation, and should they take his name off the scholarship he had been funding to educate young girls from Malawi out of the circle of poverty?
The Military Model
Most industrial corporations are organized on the military model that emerged after World War II. This “top-down”, “pyramid”, “span-of-control” model of authoritarian decision making was thought to be the most efficient, effective, and disciplined form for complex, sprawling organizations. It was all about the rank and file executing the will of the top decision makers and not roaming “off the reservation” with ideas of their own. It was a model of discipline and efficiency designed for execution.
Your nonprofit organization has been growing and helping more people on a regular basis. You have good case workers who care about their clients and making a difference. Have you reached the point where investing in the right case management software could propel your organization to a new level, while making your case workers more effective at their jobs? Here are some tips to see if you’re ready to take that next step.
As a nonprofit case worker or administrator, you have a lot of decisions to make every week. And unlike some other jobs, the decisions you make can have a huge impact, not only on your organization, but on the lives of the people in your care. Having the right nonprofit software solutions can make those decisions easier and gives you the information needed to make the best decisions for everyone involved.
Topics: Nonpropfit Accounting, Nonprofit General, case worker stress relief, nonprofit software solutions, nonprofit funding, nonprofit, caseworkers, case load, case worker supervision, better decisions
Remember taking film to the drugstore to get it developed? Or hustling over to Blockbuster on a Friday night to rent films for the weekend? How about “looking up” facts for your homework papers in the Encyclopedia Britannica? Or spending rainy Saturdays in the library writing your thesis?
Ahhh…the good old days. Whatever happened to books printed on paper and bound between covers with printer’s glue? The world has gone digital and library collections are gradually becoming obsolete. How long has it been since you visited a library?
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.