7 Characteristics Of A Successful Nonprofit Organization

by | Jul 17, 2020

successful nonprofit

One of the best business ventures that one can embark upon is creating a nonprofit. This is a type of business that can truly make a change in someone’s life. But how do you run a successful nonprofit?

You want to make sure that if you enter this exciting venture, that you do it right and that you are able to run it efficiently.

We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to show you how to succeed at running a nonprofit.

The Guide on How to Run a Successful Nonprofit

You want to run a nonprofit because you want to make a difference in your community. But you must also make sure you do this correctly so that your nonprofit can grow and succeed in its endeavors.

Here’s what you need to know.

1. Invest Your Funds

Just because you are running a profit, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think like an ardent capitalist. Investing your company’s profits early on means that you’ll have greater reserves of funds for future initiatives.

You should start budgeting and tracking your proceeds from the get-go. You should set a goal for how much you wish to allocate to each of your projects. Your initial investments should be focused on raising money for these different goals.

2. Start with a Small Team

As your nonprofit grows, you may have to increase your staff size ten-fold. However, you should always try to be conservative with how many people you hire. When you start your nonprofit organization, you should start with a small team.

With a small team, you can focus more on the work of the nonprofit rather than having to manage employees and pay their salaries. When you have too many team members, it also slows down with decision-making.

Particularly for the Board of Directors or whatever is the department where the decisions are made, these should be as small as possible so that decisions are made quickly and efficiently. 

You should also know how to hire an employee for a nonprofit organization.

3. Ensure That the Donations Go to the Project

One of the main criticisms of nonprofits is that the majority of each donation goes toward administration rather than the project or goal. 

You can either do this by making every position voluntary so that 100% of the donations go toward the projects and goals that the nonprofits have. If you do have to pay your employees, you want them to understand that working in a nonprofit will not make them a millionaire – and that the majority of donations should go toward the project rather than paying employees or toward administration. When starting to hire, focus on hiring employees that are working directly with your program to drive up your financial ratios.

You will also have to make sure that you work with major donors who are committed to your nonprofit. You’ll have to make sure that your team members are greatly committed to your nonprofit and the initiatives that you strive for.

4. Less is More

No matter how big your nonprofit grows, you always want to go with the doctrine that ‘less is more.’ Essentially, this means that you should run your organization like a startup.

Your staff, as previously mentioned, should consist of a few highly-talented individuals. You want staff who are willing to step outside of their comfort zone and are dedicated to the mission of your nonprofit.

You want an exciting environment where everyone has to wear multiple hats to achieve multiple goals. Less is more means that with a handful of people, you can accomplish several goals and impact far more than a handful of people with your efforts.

5. Use the Best Software and Web Applications

You should definitely utilize different software programs to make your work far more efficient. This can range from using customer relationship management (CRM) software to interact best with your donors and manage your goals and tasks toward them.

You should also use bookkeeping software to properly keep track of your budget and your cash flow. You can use this software to learn about how much money is coming in and how much is going toward your goals.

You should also master different web applications such as Asana for collaboration tools and Slack for remotely interacting with your team. You should also have your marketing team be well-versed with social media platforms which are the best way to promote your cause.

6. Finding a Few Generous Donors

To truly make your nonprofit successful, you should aim to find a few generous donors. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t solicit donors from elsewhere, but your main focus should be on an exclusive club of a few generous donors.

When you focus on a few generous donors, then you’ll have a group of folks who are committed to your vision. These generous donors can regularly provide donations to help your nonprofit with its goals.

If any of these donors are well-known figures, you can ask them if it’s okay to advertise their patronage of your nonprofit. Doing so can encourage others to donate to your organization. In a way, a well-known figure who donates to a nonprofit is almost the same as a celebrity endorsement of a popular brand.

You can also encourage your few donors to speak at events that your nonprofit hosts. You can also request them to promote the nonprofit and its causes on their communication channels (websites, social media, network, etc.)

7. Have Fundraising Events

Finally, you should host fundraising events for your nonprofit. These can range from workshops to talks to parties to even a fair!

These events not only will serve as an opportunity to fundraise for the nonprofit but is also a great way to celebrate the achievements and pay respect to donors and to your staff. 

It’s also a great marketing tool. Hosting big events will let your community know more about your nonprofit and its goals.

Grow Your Non Profit

Now that you know the characteristics of a successful nonprofit, you are ready to start your nonprofit and watch it grow tremendously. We wish you all the best!

And to know more about how to run your nonprofit you should check out how to run fundraising events!


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