I’ve come across some blog posts lately regarding nonprofits getting into politics. I’m interested in learning more about the proposed effects nonprofits donating or advocating in public policy have on the sector. However the post that inspired this post was about “Why Sector Blur is Bad for Those In Need” by Colleen Dilenschneider. I don’t think the blurred lines are inherently bad. I agree with one of commentator’s Alex (comment #3) regarding For-profit companies and nonprofits both having a “profit” except; For-profits are giving their “profit” to the Private sector. Whereas nonprofits still have “profit” it just goes to the Public.
When I say business principles I’m primarily talking about maximizing your resources, creating efficiencies. I’ve seen nonprofits coming up with Volunteer Job Descriptions. Now I like where that idea is going in theory, in practice well I’m waiting to see about that. I have been volunteering for a while now, every organization has their own way of going about things. Some places give me a ton of literature, I’m scheduled and committed to different events. I know exactly what I’m going to do when I arrive, even if it’s sitting at the coat check for two hours. (I’m prepared, I know to bring some reading material). Other places, I just keep asking what can I do to help, and hope I get in contact with the right person. If that’s the case; I’m in! Next thing you know in charge of managing an event or designing a PowerPoint or literature. Or I could just be standing around wondering why did I devote my Saturday to this disorganization.
Business principles doesn’t mean forget about the mission or limit your audience to those that are low risk. I’m actually asking WHAT can you do to reach more of your audience, HOW can we make the most out of this event, this day, this grant? It goes back to standardization, efficiencies, investing in employees, removing red tape, being innovative. Recruiting those young minds that might not need the lofty bonus checks, they’d take flexible schedule and working for good any day. Nonprofits using some business sense (not a business mission) could maximize their impact. I can’t think of anything that should take the back seat to a nonprofit mission statement, it should guide and lead your organization. I don’t see how improving processes is going to hurt the mission….