New rules for non-profit organizations

This presentation was developed in response to mass closures of well-known non-profit organizations in South Africa. More and more I was finding that the old rules for success were no longer working. The organizations that were applying conventional wisdom appeared to be struggling. In contrast, those organizations that were thriving appeared to using a new playbook.

This presentation identifies some of these new rules and encourages non-profit organizations to shift their thinking before it is too late. (These rules were the foundation for my work on “Think like a Social Enterprise”).

I presented these new rules at a variety of industry events and AGMs during 2008.

The business model of nonprofit organizations is flawed

This letter was published in the Cape Times in May 2008 in response to a letter by Sheilagh Gastrow. It acknowledges that it is difficult for non-profit organizations to find the funding they need to fulfil their purpose, and to sustain their operations while complying with their donors’ requirements.

However, emphasizes that the business model embraced by traditional non-profit organizations has some fundamental flaws. It discusses these flaws and what non-profit organizations can do to overcome them.

What nonprofit organizations can learn from the closure of the Nonprofit Consortium

This letter of mine was published in the Cape Times in May 2008. It reflects on the sad irony of the closure of the Non-Profit Consortium – that an organization that worked so hard to create an environment where non-profit organizations can thrive and find the income they need, has itself not been able to find sufficient funds to enable it to continue to fulfil its own purpose. It discusses the lesson and opportunity for other non-profit organizations.

The coming recession: What does this mean for South African nonprofit organizations?

The global economy is on the brink of a downturn, possibly a recession. Turbulence and opportunity lie ahead; our currency is under pressure and may continue to devalue. What does this mean for South African non-profit organizations? How should they respond?

This article from March 2008 provides several recommendations for non-profit organizations to consider.

Calling all Nonprofit Organizations: It’s time to Wake Up or Become Obsolete!

It is time for traditional non-profit organizations to wake up and rethink their paradigm. Those that don’t are likely to become either obsolete or irrelevant. Those non-profit organizations that are able to adapt accordingly are likely to remain or become successful.

This article from November 2007 discusses seven main reasons why non-profit organizations need to put some time aside to rethink their paradigm. I believe that it is time for the traditional mind-set of the non-profit organization to expire.

CBOs need corporate support for grassroots success

Company support for community-based organisations (CBOs) has yielded mixed results and is a hotly debated development approach. I believe that CBOs play a crucial role on the development landscape and point to several strategies that will help ensure an appropriate social return on the investment.

This article was published in the Corporate Social Investment Handbook (2006) by Trialogue Publications.

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