Vistas: Geri Stengel’s Blog: Nonprofit growth

Developing A Growth Business Plan: Financial, Risk Assessment, and Contingency Plan

Editor’s Note: This is the sixth of a 7-part series on Developing A Growth Business Plan. The series is based on presentations made at the Social Impact Exchange Symposium on Scaling Impact held June 14 and on the experiences of nonprofits that participated in the business plan competition. Financial Plan, Risk Assessment, and Contingency Plan was presented by Summer Spencer, director of Community Wealth Ventures.

Financial plan
Be realistic. About every single thing that you might have to spend money on in order to grow, from real estate to paper clips, from staff training to the phone bill. Some of those costs will have to be covered before you get your first dollar of new funding. Can you do it? How? Where will the money come from to plan your growth nonprofit’s growth and cover costs if funding lags?

Business Plan for Nonprofit Growth: Organization and Infrastructure

Editor’s Note: This is the fifth of a 7-part series on Developing A Growth Business Plan. The series is based on presentations made at the Social Impact Exchange Symposium on Scaling Impact held June 14 and on the experiences of nonprofits that participated in the business plan competition.Organization and Infrastructure was presented by Mike Burns, partner in BWB Solutions.

Before you scale, be sure the structure of your organization can support growth. You’ll need to assess your nonprofit’s management team, governance, and staffing.

Business Plan For Nonprofit Growth: Evaluation and Knowledge Dissemination

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth of a 7-part series on Developing A Growth Business Plan. The series is based on presentations made at the Social Impact Exchange Symposium on Scaling Impact held June 14 and on the experiences of nonprofits that participated in the business plan competition. Evaluation and Sharing Knowledge was presented by Geri Stengel.

“Evaluation” and “measurement” bring shivers of apprehension to some, with visions of a mound of data collected for external reports that have no bearing on anyone’s job but do affect whether the organization gets funding.

Get rid of that mindset and you get rid of “data angst.”

Business Plan For Nonprofit Growth: Industry and Market Analysis

Editor’s Note: This is the second of a 7-part series on Developing A Growth Business Plan. The series is based on presentations made at the Social Impact Exchange Symposium on Scaling Impact held June 14 and on the experiences of nonprofits that participated in the business plan competition. Industry and Market Analysis was presented by Summer Spencer, director of Community Wealth Ventures.

“Know your consumer,” “Assess the competition,” and “Anaylze the marketplace” don’t sound like mantras from the nonprofit sector. But they should be.

Nonprofits aiming to scale, and the funders who support them, are realizing that industry and market analysis and using business principles lay a solid groundwork for scaling.

The Challenge Ahead: Unlocking Growth Capital for Nonprofits

Unlocking growth capital, now there’s a challenge, one addressed by a knowledgeable panel at the 2011 Social Impact Exchange’s Conference On Scaling Impact.

Foundations don’t invest enough for nonprofits to succeed, according to Kelly Fitzsimmons, chief program and strategy office for the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation. The missing links:

  • money to experiment and learn,
  • money for capacity-building.

It’s a point made at last year’s conference as well but one well worth repeating.

Learn From Micro-credit Mistakes: Grow Wisely

With the Social Impact Exchange Conference coming soon, I want to keep the focus on scaling well rather than just getting bigger. As I wrote before, the micro-credit industry provides examples of the good and the bad of growth and private-sector investment in nonprofits as well as a fine example of sharing lessons learned.

Going to Scale: the Next Frontier

Nonprofits need to grow because social problems come in large numbers, says Gordon Berlin of MDRC. Now that's the truth!

But nonprofits are just beginning to learn how to grow, and their partners – funders – are changing the rules. 

Another truth.

Conference Starts With Reality Check: We Need Growth Capital System

Nonprofits spend too much money to raise money, according to Robert Steel, chairman of The Aspen Institute. It costs nonprofits 3 to 4 times as much to raise money than it costs for-profits. Steel, who advocates a pragmatic approach to problem-solving, was the keynote speaker of the Social Impact Exchange Conference on Scaling.



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