Beyond Bigger and Faster: Redefine Success for Not-for-Profit Organisations

Not for Profit

Not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) and for-profit organisations have fundamentally different objectives. While for-profit organisations aim to generate revenue for their shareholders, NFPs are mission-driven and focused on creating social change. However, despite these differences, NFPs often find themselves imitating for-profit organisations in various aspects, such as organisational structure, goals, and measurement of success.

One of the ways in which NFPs mimic for-profit organisations is by adopting the mindset of “bigger is better.” Just like for-profit organisations, NFPs tend to believe that more revenue, staff, and facilities are always positive outcomes. This mentality often leads NFPs to pursue growth at the cost of their mission.

Similarly, NFPs tend to measure their success by the speed at which they deliver their services. Any improvement in the speed of delivery is considered a positive outcome. However, this narrow focus on speed is only one dimension out of many.

So, what can NFPs do to break out of this cycle of imitation and pursue their mission more effectively? The answer lies in reflecting on their overall mission and vision. Instead of chasing growth for growth’s sake or speed for speed’s sake, NFPs must focus on the change they want to bring about in the world.

The mission and vision of an NFP organisation are unlikely to be centred around the idea of bigger, more, or faster. Instead, they are likely to be focused on creating meaningful social change. Therefore, the question that NFPs need to ask themselves is: what are we doing to bring about that change?

To truly embrace their mission and vision, NFPs may need to fundamentally change the way they think about their organisations. This might involve reevaluating their goals, rethinking their organisational structure, and adopting new approaches to measuring success.

In conclusion, it is time for NFPs to stop imitating for-profit organisations and start focusing on what truly matters: creating social change. By reflecting on their mission and vision and making necessary changes, NFPs can pivot towards a more effective approach that delivers long-lasting impact.

It is the time to redefine success for Not-for-Profit Organisations.

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