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Nonprofit Finance for Hard Times: Leadership Strategies When Economies Falter

ISBN: 978-0-470-49010-5
195 pages
December 2009
Nonprofit Finance for Hard Times: Leadership Strategies When Economies Falter (0470490101) cover image
How to make strategic plan to help your nonprofit navigate turbulent financial waters and achieve strengthened revenues

During this time of upheaval and instability with the country's financial markets and economy, you might be wondering how your nonprofit can emerge stronger from this unprecedented turmoil and prepare for future economic cycles. Practical and timely, Nonprofit Finance for Hard Times: Leadership Strategies When Economies Falter helps your nonproft get strategic in the weak economy.

Nonprofit Finance for Hard Times shows you how surviving the current economic conditions means dedicating yourself to understanding the details of the current financial crisis and identifying those Board members and other leaders who can give you deep analysis on the crisis and act as your analysts of the winners and losers in real time.

  • Emphasizes that the core of all strategy is engagement
  • Helps you reassess your nonprofit's communications tools for both messages and markets
  • Asserts that the operative need is for strategy, not panic
  • Revisits all assumptions
  • Explains how to sort and cull past supporters for those who will emerge from the turmoil first and strongest
  • Reveals how to identify new audiences

Providing the guidance your nonprofit needs-not to just hang on for the white-knuckle ride, but to plan their best strategy to survive and succeed-Nonprofit Finance for Hard Times equips you with the tools you need to get started.

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List of Exhibits xi

List of Cases and Commentary xv

Preface xix

Acknowledgments xxi

About the Author xxiii

CHAPTER 1 Beginning at the Beginning: Public Charities on the Economic Landscape 1

The Present Departs from the Past 2

A Complex and Poorly Documented Sector 4

An Economic Engine 7

Nonprofits as Masters of Their Own Fate in Economic Turmoil 8

CHAPTER 2 Setting the Larger Stage: A Philosophy of Philanthropy 11

A Fundamental Question 12

Engagement as Differentiator 13

Passion and Leadership 14

CHAPTER 3 Philanthropy within Financial Structures: Defining Overall Nonprofit Revenue 17

Sectoral Distinctions and Revenue Structure 19

Size Distinctions and Revenue Structure 29

Summary: The Prerequisite for Strategy Refinement in Hard Times 31

CHAPTER 4 Emerging Nonprofit Revenue Parameters: Accommodating Change in the Interests of Stability 35

The Definition of a "Nonprofit" 36

Globalization of Economies, Leadership, and Philanthropy 40

Technology: The Emergence of Social Networking 41

Demographics as Destiny 45

Summary 57

CHAPTER 5 Institutions Blaze New Trails: Innovations in Philanthropic Financial Support Strategies 61

Traditional Foundation Giving 62

New Strategies for Supporting Societal Missions 65

Cause-Related Marketing 74

Capitalizing on Innovation: The Prerequisite of Planning 77

CHAPTER 6 Does the Economy Matter? The Complexity of Economic Cycles and Nonprofit Revenues 81

The Opportunity of Cycles 82

Nonprofits and Economic Change: Treating Mission as a Sail, Not an Anchor 82

The Past Record of Private Contributions and the Economy 84

Disaggregating Data for Deeper Relationships 88

Disaggregating to the Level of State Economies 90

A Note on Government Roles 95

Five Insights to Guide Strategic Directions 95

CHAPTER 7 A Systems Approach to Revenue Strategy 103

The Imperative of Letting Go: Paradigmatic Shifts 104

The Shifting Basis for Strategy 107

The Context of an Analytic Framework for Strategy 109

Proposed Analytic Framework to Organize Strategy 114

Populating the Framework 118

CHAPTER 8 Common Principles for Robust Strategy 121

A Note on Mission 122

Strategic Principle One: Value the People 123

Strategic Principle Two: Innovate 126

Strategic Principle Three: Expect and Accept Nothing Less than Excellence 129

Strategic Principle Four: Passion Matters but So Do Skills 132

Strategic Principle Five: Know Yourself 133

CHAPTER 9 Getting Down to Specifics: Strategy for Complexity 135

Understanding Movement within the Analytic Framework 135

Expressive Philanthropy: Strategy Base = Communicating Shared Values 137

Rising Expectations: Strategy Base = Evidence and Interest Alignment 143

Quasi-Markets: Strategy Base = Competitive Self-Reliance 151

Pure Markets: Strategy Base = Linking to Outside Commercial Success 157

Crossing the Strategy Area Boundaries 161

CHAPTER 10 Prevent Where Possible, Cure Where Necessary: Strategic Steps to Prepare for and Respond to Economic Crisis 165

Steps to Prevent Organizational Crisis in Economic Hard Times 166

Steps to Cure the Effects of Organizational Crisis in Economic Hard Times 172

Final Comments: A Call to Leadership 175

CHAPTER 11 Reprise on Philanthropy: Why Bother? 177

CHAPTER 12 Making a Difference in the World by Aligning Yourself with the Poor 181

Index 191

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SUSAN U. RAYMOND, Ph.D., is Executive Vice President for Research, Evaluation, and Strategic Planning at Changing Our World, Inc. She has extensive experience in research, analysis, and planning, most recently with the prestigious New York Academy of Sciences. Prior to this, she was a project officer at the World Bank and a consultant to the U.S. State Department and to various private organizations, including the Carnegie Corporation, specializing in health care and international eco-nomic research. Susan serves as Chief Analyst for OnPhilanthropy.com, a global resource for nonprofit professionals. She has written for many publications, particularly in the areas of economics, health care, and corporate responsibility, and is the author of two books with Wiley.
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