High-Impact Nonprofits

Posted by: Diane Brady on September 13, 2007

Non-profits often operate on the principle that delivering great service or putting together a great board are the only real barometers of success. Some of them are trying to adopt the rigors of the for-profit world. But many still struggle to just survive.

Now there’s a book that looks at the practices of highly successful nonprofits, called Forces for Good. Authors Leslie Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant interview leaders at a dozen high-impact groups. Their findings:

—Advocate and serve (the best organizations devote some energy and resources to working for policy reform or more resources from government)
—They treat business as an ally, not a foe, and look to harness market forces
—They turn outsiders into evangelists and build larger communities
—They nurture networks, collaborating with other organizations
—They constantly adapt and modify their tactics, trying to encourage disciplined innovation
—They share power

Wise words. Among the groups they use as case studies: Environmental Defense, The Heritage Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, and Teach for America.

Reader Comments

alex

January 8, 2008 7:35 PM

I want to mention that there is a mind map on Mappio related to the original article. Easy to grasp content in 30 seconds. http://mappio.com/mindmap/alexu/creating-high-impact-nonprofits-by-heather-mcleod-grant-leslie-r-crutchfield

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