There’s a big hidden cost that nonprofits often ignore: the opportunity cost of decisions. Failure to consider this can result in poor decisions and/or allocation of resources. Fortunately, there are clear methods to incorporate opportunity cost into strategic decision-making and planning.

We are, collectively speeding toward a cliff, the emerging environmental crisis. But we’re not too bothered by it and our society shows little inclination to make major changes. Why is that? More importantly, how can we change this catastrophic trend? Public Interest Management Group proposes a ground-up approach focusing on refreshing the environmental movement via community-based organizations. Read more about how this can work…

Public Interest Management Group and the Nonprofit Association of Oregon partnered on a research study on best management practices. We wanted to find out how practitioners felt about the study’s findings. So, we set up a series of six focus groups in diverse geographies across Oregon. Several important themes emerged from these discussions.

PIMG conducted applied research on management practices employed by 43 nonprofits. The best practices - those most closely associated with success - might surprise you. They concern organizational strategy with several specific characteristics. These practices outshine most others in clearly distinguishing successful from unsuccessful nonprofits.

Restricted funding is a complex revenue source unique to the nonprofit sector. Many nonprofits receive restricted funding, and it brings challenges and risks. It can feel like a shell game. I offer 6 practical suggestions for playing - and winning - the restricted funding game.

McDonald's Corporation is prototypical of a business that scaled-up effectively. Great operating systems are part of this story. But CEO Ray Kroc's story gives some valuable lessons beyond that. He started out on a path toward disaster because he failed to do basic business planning and financial analysis. He succeeded after he recalibrated his business model and stuck to it. This story offers important lessons for nonprofit management and strategic decision-making.

The general perception of what’s “best” evolves over time. It’s also subject to varying opinions and interpretations. In some fields of work there’s no official endorsement of best practices, and a shortage of hard data to judge “bestness.” Nonprofit management is such a profession. While this leaves lots of space for creativity, it also carries a dark side: conventional wisdom can pump up practices that may not actually work.

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AuthorScott Schaffer
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