6 Key Elements to Running a Successful Nonprofit in 2023

Author: | Posted in Job Advice No comments

Nonprofits play a crucial role in the U.S. economy. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, the nonprofit industry contributed $1.047.2 trillion in 2016, which is 5.6% of its GDP (gross domestic product).

Given this essential role, it’s natural for community leaders to create a successful nonprofit in 2023. When running a successful nonprofit, there are various aspects to consider.

If you’re wondering what key elements go into a successful nonprofit, use this guide to help you get started.

1. Clearly Defined Mission and Purpose

The most fundamental element of an effective nonprofit is a clearly defined mission. You must understand what it needs to accomplish and why it exists. 

Successful nonprofits communicate their mission clearly to their stakeholders. That way, everyone understands your goals and works toward a shared purpose. Consider how you can align your programs and operations to advance the mission.

You can accomplish this by documenting a need for your services and the value it adds to your audiences and their community. 

2. Dedicated Leaders

Successful nonprofits have dedicated leaders by determining who is responsible for leading their mission. In your organization, decide who will be the most effective at getting your program running and who will lead it on an ongoing basis. 

You can get started by asking yourself these questions:

  • What will the leadership strategy look like?
  • How many people will you need to lead your program?

Knowing your designated leaders will spearhead your organization and allow them to focus on growing it effortlessly.

3. Internal Controls to Prevent Fraud

Approximately 9% of organizations were the victims of fraud cases in 2020. Unfortunately, this can occur for any organization, no matter the size of your nonprofit. 

If your nonprofit wants to succeed in 2023, you need to have a strong hold on your finances to reduce this risk. 

One way to detect and prevent fraud is to design new policies and procedures. These include surprise audits, inventory counts, vendor list reviews and billing statements. It would help if you also considered establishing an employee outside your accounting department to reconcile your bank and credit card statements. 

In addition, you should have a rigid policy on collecting receipts for every transaction. You’ll need to review your statements monthly for accuracy.

4. Nonprofit Networks

While many nonprofits foster collaboration, some see others as competition. However, organizations succeed by helping each other, building networks of allies and devoting time to advance their fields.

In addition, they’re open to sharing wealth, talent, expertise and power with other nonprofits. To achieve this goal, think of your nonprofit not only as an organization but also as a movement. Using this strategy can help you grow a vast network of other organizations at a higher level. 

You can also help the leaders of these organizations raise money and share your donor list with them. You could even help cultivate talent for these groups by offering internships and job-placement services. 

With a growing network of relevant organizations, it serves as a critical connection to building a much larger movement.

5. Adaptive Tactics

A successful nonprofit means you must be exceptionally adaptive, switching your tactics to increase success. Many organizations respond to changing circumstances through innovation. 

While you might make some mistakes along the way, this will also help you master your ability to discover new approaches and modify them.

Essentially, adaptive tactics allow you to sustain a high impact by reimagining your organization. 

Many nonprofits can be highly innovative. However, they can’t implement new ideas. Yet when you combine creative thinking with disciplinary systems for evaluation and execution, you’ll be able to adapt new ideas over time. 

6. A Comprehensive Marketing Strategy

Effectively communicating your nonprofit’s benefits is crucial in bringing attention and focus to your organization.

Therefore, you need a strong marketing strategy to get your message across various channels. First, define your target audience and focus on crafting a core message that resonates.

Starting with this builds the foundation for a marketing strategy to attract more members to your organization. Consider distributing your message through various channels and incorporate it into one plan. 

Email, social media, websites and display advertising are a few examples of promotional channels you can use to market your organization.

Sustain High Success in the New Year

Consider these key elements to building a successful nonprofit organization in 2023. Remember, making a change will take strategic planning and considerable investment. However, the relationships and strategies you create will be invaluable.

Eleanor Hecks is the founder and managing editor of Designerly Magazine. She’s also a web design consultant with a focus on customer experience and user interface. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dogs, Bear and Lucy. Connect with her about marketing, design and/or tea on LinkedIn.