Building organizational capacity is about putting the pieces in place for a non-profit organization to successfully design and implement a development plan for sustainable revenue. Most non-profits have many of these pieces already in place, but either need help with improving where necessary, or completely designing or overhauling entire segments of their foundation. The NNPRC can help the following services:
Mission and Vision Statements
Do your board members know your mission well enough to share it with their friends and colleagues, and then have their friends and colleagues repeat that mission statement to their friends and colleagues? If your mission is not concise, memorable, and motivating, you cannot expect your board to effectively share your message with others and grow your organization through extended relationships. At your next board meeting, ask a board member (not the president or a past president) to share your mission statement, then wait to see if you get blank stares or stammering monologues.
The NNPRC helps non-profit organizations develop mission and vision statements, and understands their importance in having board members and organizations share their mission with a wider audience, which will help you grow your donors and attract new ones.
Most non-profit organizations are based on a solid idea that is visibly identified with a program or service provided by that non-profit. At times, however, even these non-profit organizations need to adapt to changing needs within their communities and take advantage of new opportunities whenever they arise. Then there are the non-profit organizations whose concept is admirable, but whose programs are not fully developed. Is there a clear and demonstrable need for the programs you provide? Do you have measurable results? Can you unequivocally state to donors, “Your support of $X will help Y number of (children, youth, adults, animals) with Z?” How do your programs differ from other non-profit organizations that offer similar programs? Are you in partnership with other non-profits?
We help identify programs that can fit within your core mission, and identify ways in which your programs can prove their worth to donors, foundations, and key stakeholders. The NNPRC can assist with research and demonstration of need, as well as how to create programs, demonstrate their benefits, and market them to potential partners and donors.
Board Member Recruiting and Development
If you are like most non-profit organizations, 20% of your board is doing 80% of the work, and you would like to say that you have 100% board participation in fundraising, but honestly that would include some whose support is spotty or limited to buying a ticket to an annual event. What are the best practices for board members? Do you have regular board self-evaluations? Have all board members signed a letter of commitment, or do they even have job descriptions? Do you have productive sub-committees that split the work of the board fairly? How is your attendance?
The NNPRC puts best practices in place for boards of directors, shares self-evaluation tools, and provides training and direction for boards to become more effective and successful in supporting their non-profit organizations. Weather you need to recruit and build a board from the ground up, or simply need help with “tweaking,” we can help your board be a greater asset to your organization than it is already.
Organizational Partnership Development
When foundations receive 100+ applications from organizations all doing the same thing, one element that distinguishes an application from all of the rest is how you’re partnering with other community organizations in tackling the same problem. But this approach is beneficial for more reasons than simply increasing grant income. When your non-profit builds stronger connections with community partners, you naturally broaden the level of support and services you provide to your target audience.
The NNPRC helps with identifying and connecting with other community partners. Let’s face it, there is a lot of skepticism and suspicion in our non-profit community when it comes to working with others. When another non-profit tries to connect with you, there are questions as to “Whose really in charge of this?” and “Does this benefit us or not?” We not only know how to identify strong partnerships, but we can help you market successfully to create new partnerships.
Do you have business partners that regular support your programs? All too often, we find that these business connections are either because of a board member’s relationship with an area business, or through other circumstances not easily replicable. Certainly, every situation is different, but you can’t simply leave business partnership development to chance. Do you have a plan in place for expanding your business ties?
This might seem like such a simple, common element of non-profit management. However, far too frequently when working with start-up non-profits or organizations needing an overhaul, this simple element is either missing or in great need of revision. Do you know the elements of a budget that foundations require when seeking grants? Does your board understand their role in raising funds to meet budgeted revenue?
Apply for NP Support
If you are a non-profit that needs to build capacity in order to become more successful – mission and vision writing, board development, program development, partnership development, business development, and/or budget preparation – then you may qualify for support for organizational capacity building. Click here for an application. (Link not created yet.) Our board of directors meets monthly to consider new applications, and there is no deadline.