Would You Define Your Nonprofit’s Culture as High Performing?
High-performing nonprofit organizations have a culture of continuous improvement and strong executive and board leadership that believes the mission is best served when the organization becomes a continuous learning organization. High-performing nonprofit organizations are constantly open to learning new ideas and inquiring from others on the best practices and leadership competencies necessary to both sustain their mission and achieve their strategic vision. With the self-confidence that comes from the knowledge of national best practices, the entire organization’s sense of teamwork is enhanced and empowered. Everyone enjoys working together to provide a positive impact on those they serve.
The following are 10 characteristics of high-performing organizations:
- In collaboration with their CEO and board, they have created an inspiring strategic vision that encourages commitment and provides real measures of success.
- Board members feel a strong sense of ownership and partnership with the CEO and continually ask the right questions to continually refresh and renew the organization.
- The CEO is a visionary thinker and has a high level of emotional intelligence and trust and respect among their colleagues.
- The organization has established a positive and unique brand identity and communicates the achievements and positive results of the organization to internal and external stakeholders.
- The executive leadership team demonstrates a strong sense of entrepreneurial spirit and seeks investors and not just funders to generate new revenue streams.
- The organization continually seeks collaboration with similar mission-based organizations to serve their mission and does not always feel the need to “go it alone.”
- The board has a recruitment plan that identifies the gap in board competencies, like leadership, strategic thinker, change agent, etc., and not just skill sets when seeking new members.
- The CEO, board and chief development officer have created a positive culture of philanthropy where everyone works together to solicit and cultivate donors to invest in the success of your organization and the needs of those you serve.
- The organization regularly assesses the performance of each other’s strengths as well as identifies potential improvements to further sustain the mission.
- The organization rewards and recognizes the high-performing contributions of staff, board, volunteers and donors to celebrate the hard work of everyone involved.
High-performing organizations have increased demand for their services, high morale among staff and board, increased donors and dollars, and have a greater positive impact on those they serve.
Dennis C. Miller, the founder and chairman of DCM Associates Inc., is a nationally recognized expert in nonprofit leadership executive search, and board and leadership performance coaching with more than 35 years of experience working with nonprofit board leadership and chief executives across the country.
Dennis is an expert in board governance, leadership development, philanthropy and succession planning. He is the author of five books, including "A Guide to Recruiting Your Next CEO: The Executive Search Handbook for Nonprofit Boards."