Josh Bolinger: Can Non-Profits be More Effective?
In my career, I’ve worked with companies that were literally a couple of guys in a garage, and I’ve also worked with some of the largest companies on Earth. And there never seems to be a happy medium.
Small companies often founder because of a lack of risk-taking, they are penny wise and pound foolish, as the old saying goes. But, at large companies, I’ve seen budgets blown through the roof by people who are unaccountable for their spending and not made responsible for any kind of measurable results.
My time in non-profits has often been frustrating because in many cases, I can see the same models. We’ve talked elsewhere on this site about the need for non-profits to engage modern marketing and branding techniques, and this is a part of that, as well. The small groups with very worthy causes that never get noticed because they won’t market themselves. The large groups that have so much brand recognition, no one notices that more and more of their money is being siphoned off for executive compensation and paid to private support organizations that may or may not provide services with real value.
Of course, in a few – a very few – cases, I have dealt with non-profits that have good marketing and a solid donor base, but who run their organizations lean and mean, with minimum overhead and the highest percentage of donor money possible going to the cause itself.
I’ve seen it done, I know it’s possible. All it requires is the will to use every single dollar possible to advance the mission.