Corner Office: A Pathway to Efficiency and Impact
The economic, political and cultural climate faced by human-serving nonprofits continues to challenge efficiency amid shrinking resources, increased demand and higher expectations of demonstrating return on investment. And while there is an urgency to achieve efficiency, there is even more urgency to achieve impact―in that "sweet spot" where operational excellence and mission alignment converge.
Impact is not about what you do as an organization, how many people you serve, how long you've been in existence or how far your service area reaches. It's about the positive change you achieve and whether or not it lasts. Organizations that achieve impact are advocates for systemic and attitudinal changes that benefit individuals, families and communities.
Achieving optimal efficiency is a necessary foundation for achieving greater impact. Strategy and execution can no longer be sequential. They must be concurrent. But nonprofits cannot lead through the current volatile operating environment haphazardly.
The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, America's largest network of human-serving organizations, helps nonprofits address challenges and recognize areas for efficiencies with its signature Commitments of High-Impact Nonprofit Organizations. The commitments are a comprehensive, evidence-based framework of values and practices that provide a pathway to organizational impact. The following 10 commitment areas help nonprofit organizations maximize their comprehensive capacities and meet community need:
- Leading with vision
- Governing for the future
- Executing on mission
- Partnering with purpose
- Investing in capacity
- Measuring that matters
- Co-creating with community
- Innovating with enterprise
- Engaging all voices
- Advancing equity
The commitments were identified through an extensive literature review, the Alliance's Strategy Counts initiative, member engagement/feedback and the Alliance's more than 100 years of experience working with the sector. To achieve organizational efficiencies, the commitments offer a deep and integrated system of resources for evaluation, learning and change.
Together, the commitment areas form a common culture and language for engagement. They help organizational departments attain a collective philosophy, knock down silos, promote collaborative work, and in turn, foster cohesion and efficiency.