Sustaining Impact

In their book Forces for Good, Leslie R. Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant argue that high-impact nonprofits recognize that there are three critical elements needed to maintain and deepen their effect over time.

The authors wrote that these elements do not constitute a practice, but they are important for success. The three elements are:

  • People – Develop a people strategy and invest heavily in top performers. The authors surveyed 12 organizations that they consider successful, and every one cited staff as a critical success factor. Top-flight organizations have developed particular capacities for hiring, developing and retaining top talent.
  • Capital – Find the right sources of funding. None of the organizations could keep going without having one or more sustainable funding mechanisms. Their sources of support might vary, but successful organizations integrate fundraising with their strategy. And, they find ways to diversity these sources over time to reduce their financial risks.
  • Infrastructure – Invest in overhead, despite the pressure to look lean. All the groups reached a point in their growth at which they needed to invest heavily in information technology, buildings or management systems and build their own organizational capacity. They found creative ways to raise capital for these needs.

courtesy The NonProfit Times