Corner Office: A Pathway to Efficiency and Impact
Think of your partnership network as a collaborative, evolving process that generates resources beyond dollars. Be sure to continuously assess your current partnerships. If there is a particular type of organization you partner with frequently, ask what other potential partners you should connect with. If there is a partnership that is not mutually beneficial, create a plan for improving or dissolving the relationship. Collaboration is essential to create enduring change and impact on a systemic level.
Investing in Capacity
Investing in capacity focuses nonprofits' funding on their major assets—people, programs and physical space—to gain efficiencies in financial planning across departments. Investing in these three assets makes your organization more sustainable and relevant to its community, partners and donors. By focusing on investing in capacity, you have the ability to use funds flexibly and withstand shifts in funding streams, like inconsistent government spending and donor contributions.
Double down on raising unrestricted revenue, and use it to continually improve the operating systems and programs that support high efficiency, such as recruitment, staff training, marketing and fund development, information technology systems, and high-quality physical spaces. Use your budget as a policy and strategy guide, so resources are allocated and redirected based on seizing future opportunities, not maintaining systems and strategies that worked in the past. This will improve efficiencies in your financial planning, from which you can reap cost savings and reinvest in your organization's mission.
Measuring That Matters
No organization can improve its efficiency without measuring its performance and establishing a baseline. Measuring that matters helps identify trouble areas, what's working, and where to best spend time and money. This commitment also creates a performance management culture across all levels of an organization, where each staff member and volunteer sees how his or her work contributes to the execution of the organization's mission through monitored data. Research shows that employees who believe their work is meaningful are more engaged, have a strong commitment to achieving improvement, and work harder and more efficiently.