In spite of trying economic times, conventional wisdom indicates not all is doom and gloom for nonprofits.  Sure, times are challenging, as Ken Berger of the Charity Navigator writes earlier this month.  Of course, one of his “upside” arguments doesn’t bode well for everyone— that we”ll have a shakeout where poorly managed nonprofits will close and others will merge. 

But as he writes, well-managed organizations can thrive.

“As agencies go through retrenchment, the smaller and less financially efficient charities will not be able to cut back enough to survive. This will leave more room for other, well prepared organizations to step in. These organizations should be able to expand their services, since there will be less competition for their donations. It is also conceivable that similar minded organizations will consider merging their operations, thereby cutting down on overhead costs and creating more efficient and leaner organizations.”

 With that in mind, nonprofits (and small businesses) can get ahead by:

  • looking for their core competencies and leveraging them into competitive advantages that allow them to thrive and
  • taking full advantage of current resources to strengthen their position.

Although we talk in business marketing and strategic planning lingo, we know in the end a strengthened organization can better serve its constituency and fulfill its mission.   That’s the ulimate goal.