- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (November 9, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0470598298
- ISBN-13: 978-0470598290
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 36 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Nonprofit Sustainability: Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Viability 1st Edition
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About the Author
Jan Masaoka (San Francisco, CA) is a leading nonprofit thinker, writer, and editor of Blue Avocado, a bimonthly online magazine (50,000 subscribers) that features Jan's signature column Board Cafe (from which her book Best of the Board Café (Fieldstone, 2003, 2009) was compiled. As the former executive director of CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, she was named Executive Director of the Year in 2002 by Nonprofit Times, and California Community Leader of the Year in 2005 by Leadership California. She served on the Governance & Fiduciary Responsibility Committee of the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector, convened by Independent Sector to advise the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.
Steve Zimmerman, (Milwaukee, WI) M.B.A., C.P.A., is principal at Spectrum Nonprofit Services, a multi-service consulting firm specializing in business planning, strategy and financial analysis for nonprofits and foundations. An MBA and CPA, Zimmerman's previous work includes Projects Director at CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, Associate Director for Earth Island Institute, and CFO and Development Director for other community-based nonprofit organizations. In addition to his consulting and training, he writes for Blue Avocado as well as The Nonprofit Quarterly and BoardSource.
Jeanne Bell (San Francisco, CA) is CEO of CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, a leading consulting, research and training firm for nonprofits. Based on her own CFO and COO experiences along with extensive consulting work, Jeanne coauthored Finance Leadership for Nonprofits (Fieldstone, 2005), and her published research work includes numerous nonprofit-oriented studies. The former Advisory Board Chair for the Institute for Nonprofit Organization Management at USF, she serves on the Alliance for Nonprofit Management board.
Top customer reviews
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--One of my favorite profs, especially gifted in one-liners (and magic tricks), often chuckled, "We're nonprofit, but we didn't plan it that way."
--"Nonprofit is a tax designation, not a management philosophy."
--I've listened to thousands of staff members whine: "Yeah, but are we a ministry or a business?" (Their answer is in their question and the way they intone that nasty B-word.)
My response: that's the wrong question. The Bible doesn't create the negative dichotomy between business and ministry. The better question is: "Whatever tax code we use to serve others, will we be sustainable and God-honoring over the long-term?"
--Jesus taught us in Luke 14:28-30, "Is there anyone here who, planning to build a new house, doesn't first sit down and figure the cost so you'll know if you can complete it? If you only get the foundation laid and then run out of money, you're going to look pretty foolish. Everyone passing by will poke fun at you: `He started something he couldn't finish.'" (The Message)
So with that introduction, I was delighted to find this resource-rich book, Nonprofit Sustainability: Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Viability. The three co-authors deliver the perfect PowerPoint slide on page 25--and then build their case across all 173 pages. It's part Nonprofit 101 and part Harvard Business School.
Getting to nonprofit sustainability involves three steps:
--The Matrix Map Analysis
--The Sustainable Nonprofit Business Model
"The Dual Bottom Line" matrix map addresses mission impact and financial sustainability--with four easy-to-remember icons:
Stars: High Mission Impact, High Profitability
Hearts: High Mission Impact, Low Profitability
Money Tree: Low Mission Impact, High Profitability
Stop Sign: Low Mission Impact, Low Profitability
Pop Quiz! Assemble your team and draw the Dual Bottom Line Matrix Map on your flipchart or whiteboard--and then plot every program, service and product you provide into one of the four quadrants.
Stars: If you have an abundance of stars, way to go!
Hearts: Here you're leading with your heart--and that may be appropriate--but if you're too heavy here, you'll need more oomph in the Money Tree quadrant.
Money Tree: If you have some "cash cows" (to mix metaphors), terrific. Maybe you can make adjustments and increase mission impact.
Stop Sign: This is a no-brainer. Fix these programs or stop doing them.
As I often prod leaders, delegate your reading. Several people on your staff and your board must read this book--and review it at your next staff or board meeting. It will be on my year-end Top-10 list. Here are a couple of questions you might ask:
--Many organizations put inappropriate time and budget into lagging programs and services, rather than using the authors' "invest and grow" strategy for "Stars." Are we investing and growing in our Stars--or trying to resuscitate one or more dead horses?
--When is the last time we held up a "Stop Sign" to a program, product or service. If it were up to you, what would we stop doing immediately--and cut our mounting losses? To help, I often pass along this insight:
"Dakota tribal wisdom says that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount."