Sustainability Success Factors to Maximize Your Organization’s Full Potential
“Sustainability success factors are the essential components that enable any organization to move forward. With these seven factors in place, organizations large or small are positioned to transform planning into impact, enabling them to reach their full potential.”
During a program held in August at Foundation Center Washington, DC, Marshall H. Ginn, Managing Director of Capital Development Strategies LLC, shared seven sustainability success factors that can help maximize a nonprofit’s full potential:
1. Thoughtful Planning—an essential first step
A strong plan creates a solid foundation for all subsequent sustainability work. It includes strategic or long-range planning and provides direction while avoiding vagueness.
2. Clear Objectives—what has to happen
Clear organizational and programmatic objectives are outlined in ways that promote broad understanding and buy-in by all stakeholders—staff, donors, partners, and volunteers.
3. Action-Oriented Plans—to make it work
Objectives become real when they are driven by detailed plans that include clear timelines, responsibilities, and benchmarks. Plans must be focused on results and impact concerning programs, communications, fundraising, or other aspects of the organization’s operations.
4. Consistent Messages—telling the story
Sound communication tactics should be supported by a thoughtful strategy that coincides with the organization’s overall goals. Strong messaging and effective communications inspire stakeholders and strengthen an organization’s brand.
5. Diverse Resources—a sound financial plan
A fundraising plan must be diversified to guard against an overreliance on any one strategy. The plan must be strategic and based on an understanding of what it takes to accomplish the mission.
6. Dedicated Staff—the right team in place
Programs and plans are executed most effectively by individuals who are trained and equipped to succeed.
7. Committed Leadership—the driving force
A culture of leadership, in place at all levels of the organization, creates an environment in which everyone can play a part in the organization’s success.
Marshall also shared several “big picture” concepts that all nonprofits should understand in order to be successful:
- Financial resources are critical, but they are just the means to an end
- Nonprofit organizations are complex and all parts must be in working order
- Nonprofits should spend time, resources, and energy addressing all the ways that make things works
- Don’t focus too much time on any one factor while ignoring the others
At the end of the session, Marshall distributed a detailed checklist and a newly created scorecard--a tool to assist a nonprofit organization in rating how well it’s currently doing when it comes to the seven sustainability success factors and to recognize areas that may need improvement.
The handout from this program, including the checklist and scorecard, and several other resources are at Capital Development Strategies LLC's website.
About the Speaker:
Marshall H. Ginn, CFRE is a consultant with nearly 30 years of experience working with local, regional and national organizations. He is the managing director of Capital Development Strategies LLC, a consulting firm founded in 2000 and based in the Washington, DC area.
JANICE ROSENBERG is Senior Librarian at Foundation Center-Washington, DC.
Subscribe to the Blog
You Might Also Like
- January 2018
- December 2017
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016
- September 2016
- August 2016
- July 2016
- June 2016
- May 2016
- April 2016
- March 2016
- February 2016
- January 2016
- December 2015
- November 2015
- October 2015
- September 2015
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014