Today, non-profits face the challenge of how they can continue to grow and add value to their communities all while managing operational costs. This cycle (investments to grow) among the non-profit community is not always followed and can leave a non-profit financially ‘starved’, impacting the way they serve their community. It can begin with challenges like the expectation of how much it actually costs to run a non-profit organization – i.e. their infrastructure, the right long term solutions and technology platforms. Getting the right alignment in expectations around non-profit infrastructure and technology costs is a key factor propelling the right growth rate needed to make a difference in the communities they serve.
In a study conducted by the Urban Institute’s National Center for Charitable Statistics, it was found organizations working with non-functioning computers, staff members who hadn’t had any training for their job position and office furniture that was so worn down it couldn’t be moved to a different location. The effects of limited overhead costs are felt beyond the office – without proper hardware, the organization’s software won’t run properly, or at all, and will affect the outcome of tracking and reporting. Without proper staff training they won’t be nearly as effective and efficient at their job, limiting the successes they could bring to the organization, effecting performance and future fundraising ability.
Not spending enough on overhead costs may result in an inability for non-profits to fulfill their missions.
So the non-profit starvation cycle begins.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be posting blogs for each of these 5 steps discussing them in detail. Read Part two next here.