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Nonprofit Lifecycles: Stage-Based Wisdom For Nonprofit Capacity

Book Review

Sheronda Williams

on 30 October 2012

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Transcript of Nonprofit Lifecycles: Stage-Based Wisdom For Nonprofit Capacity

IDEA Nonprofit Lifecycles:
Stage-Based Wisdom for Nonprofit Capacity START-UP GROWTH MATURITY DECLINE TURNAROUND TERMINAL Book Review Presented by: Sheronda Williams Written by: Susan Kenny Stevens, Ph.D. Continuum of Organization Success Capacity Performance Effectiveness There is no formal organization in the Idea stage. Challenges The Idea Stage •Developing mission and vision
•Converting the idea into action •PROGRAMS: Not defined
•MANAGEMENT: Committed originators
•GOVERNANCE: No board exists.
•RESOURCES: Sweat-equity
•SYSTEMS: Lacking Diagnostic Characteristics During this phase, operations begin and energy is at its highest, but systems and resources lag behind. The Start-Up Stage Diagnostic Characteristics • PROGRAMS: Simple
• MANAGEMENT: Spark-plug/generalist
• GOVERNANCE: Members have personal connection to mission/founder.
• RESOURCES: Low budget
• SYSTEMS: Weak and outsourced • Sharing vision and roles with staff, board and constituencies.
• Hiring versatile staff
• Living within financial means. Challenges The Growth Stage In this stage, mission and programs have taken hold in the marketplace, but service demand exceeds current structural and resource capabilities. Diagnostic Characteristics •PROGRAMS: Distinct
•MANAGEMENT: Envision infinite potential for services.
•GOVERNANCE: Board recruits outside professionals to increase performance.
•RESOURCES: More sources of income.
•SYSTEMS: Improved to meet demand Challenges •Too much to do, too little time
•Creating a program that does not trap creativity and vision
•Formalizing organizational structure
•Diversifying revenues and managing cash flow The Mature Stage In this stage, the organization is well-established and has a solid reputation for providing high quality services. Diagnostic Characteristics •PROGRAMS: Well-organized
•MANAGEMENT: Staff is seasoned
•GOVERNANCE: Policy-oriented
•SYSTEMS: Sophisticated • Keeping staff motivated around the mission.
• Remaining client centered rather than policy bound
• Keeping financial footing with endowments and reserves. Challenges The Decline Stage In this stage, the organization’s services are no longer relevant to the marketplace. Due to status-quo decisions, programs census and operating income decline. Diagnostic Characteristics • PROGRAMS: Too rigid
• MANAGEMENT: Complacent
• GOVERNANCE: Board is unaware of problem.
• RESOURCES: Diminished.
• SYSTEMS: Antiquated. Challenges •Reconnecting with community need.
•Remembering not to substitute policies for creativity.
•Keeping board members engaged The Turnaround Stage At this critical juncture, the organization has reversed prior actions in favor of market relevance and organizational viability. Diagnostic Characteristics • PROGRAMS: Modified
• GOVERNANCE: Restoration
• RESOURCES: Cut expenses
• SYSTEMS: Simplified Challenges •Finding a turnaround leader.
•Establishing a turnaround culture.
•Committing to a consistently open dialogue with constituents, funders and community.
•Cutting expenses to reflect realistic income.
•Restoring eroded community credibility. In this final stage, the organization does not have the purpose, the will or the energy to continue. The Terminal Stage Diagnostic Characteristics • PROGRAMS: Unreliable and Underfunded
• MANAGEMENT: Dwindled
• GOVERNANCE: Drive is lost.
• RESOURCES: Depletion
• SYSTEMS: Abandoned D Challenges •Accepting responsibility for the organization’s termination.
•Resisting the urge to blame others for terminal situation.
•Communicating termination plans to clients.
•Closing up shop in an honorable manner. http://www.susankennystevens.com/ A Glimpse at Our Organization Our mission is to help low-income women achieve full economic and employment potential.
Although the organization was established 13 years ago, at least twelve other organizations in the city provide services similar to those of our organization.
Our programs are not result-oriented. We offer classes, but no job placement services, causing clients to forego our programs in favor of full-service organizations.
Resources have diminished. Our organization has outstanding bills and unable to meet expenses.
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