"It's the double bottom line, baby! ESPECIALLY if you are in non-profit leadership today."
I just heard Jeanne Bell, CEO and author of NonProfit Sustainability talk honestly about the double bottom line in her own business as well as in her consulting engagements. Her fresh, tested perspective rings true.
In a nutshell:
...in the mythic past it was possible to think first about strategic impact goals, and then about how to raise the money. ...today...you can't talk about what you're going to do without talking about how to get the money. And, you can't talk about how to get money without talking about what you're going to do. _______________________
Cultivate direction, identify sacred cows. Name it. CHANGE it. _______________________ Here are some gems from her presentation today in Flint, Michigan as well as a great Scooped article by her. Flint is an appropriate setting; it's a place that has seen hard times and where the BEST Funders Collaborative brings in stellar talent to keep non-profits doing what they do best. Declare change as constant. Model change by turning down money not headed in the right direction. We have some agency over this – don’t have to jump to funders. " Cultivate direction, identify sacred cows. Name it. CHANGE it. Use good tools, frameworks. DO NOT confuse strategy and planning. _______________________
What is sustainable today may be unsustainable tomorrow. _______________________ Excerpted gems from the article: If the financial goal in a for-profit company is to maximize profit, should our goal as a nonprofit be to have $0 profit? Or should the goal be to grow an endowment of $10 million, or to have a surplus of 5%, or a deficit of no more than $50,000? The financial goal of a nonprofit is to ensure that it has adequate working capital; that is, its financial goal is to have enough money to do its work over the long term. Today we often use the term sustainability... What is sustainable today may be unsustainable tomorrow. ...We never arrive at a mix of programs and revenue streams that can be described as permanently sustainable. But we can always be heading in the right direction. Photo above: Jeanne Bell, Steve Zimmerman and Jan Masaoka (left to right in photo) are all former nonprofit CFOs and they all appreciate the environmental aspects of sustainability as well. Jeanne is now CEO of CompassPoint Nonprofit Services. Read more here. Now I'm hearing Paul Saginaw, co-founder of the very successful Zingermans community of businesses in Ann Arbor talk about founding Food Gatherers, feeding the hungry in Ann Arbor. Quite the point.
Via Deb Nystrom, REVELN