Nonprofits are some of the scrappiest organizations you'll ever experience. In many respects, they resemble start-ups. Think about it. Small groups (generally) of highly dedicated, focused believers coming together to achieve something greater than they could ever achieve on their own. They're often cash-strapped, moving faster than their infrastructures can keep up with, and frequently learning and adapting as quickly as they can. The majority of nonprofit staff are able to do so much good with so few resources. The general public has come to expect nonprofits to behave this way. But one thing I've noticed is that unlike the corporate sector, there is little in the way of generally accepted "best practices" across the nonprofit sector. This results in organizations that serially make mistakes -- often resulting in detrimental impacts to their staff, their donors, their revenue, and ultimately to the achievement of their mission.
In 101 Biggest Mistakes Nonprofits Make and How You Can Avoid Them, you'll hear directly from industry veterans who have over 300 years of combined experience inside nonprofit organizations and leading consulting firms serving nonprofits. They are experts in strategic planning, government relations, leadership, finance and administration, program development, marketing, and philanthropy.
Contrary to what the title might suggest, this book is NOT an admonishment of the nonprofit sector and those who make their career within it. Far from it. I know that one of the least-funded areas in the nonprofit sector is staff training and development. That is at the core of what brought me to envision this book, to assemble this group of expert contributors, and to bring this work to market. Everyone makes mistakes, whether you work in the nonprofit sector, the commercial sector, or anywhere in between. In the corporate sector there are entire industries designed to provide coaching and teaching at all levels of an organization, even customized to market niches. These industries help teach leaders how to improve and do their jobs at the highest possible levels. There are also plenty of works outlining best practices in strategy, design, staffing, leadership, management, finance, etc. Roadmaps, if you will, to help corporate executives, leaders, and individual contributors avoid costly mistakes and maximize impact for their customers and businesses. The same can't yet be said for the nonprofit sector.
In this book I've compiled the 101 biggest mistakes that cost nonprofits the most, and given you expert recommendations to help you avoid making these mistakes yourself.