There are no easy answers, but I was recently reminded by a colleague in Fort Wayne of a really interesting tool developed by Ian MacMillan of the Wharton School of Business. It asks you to identify four primary factors about each of your programs and then provides a framework to “plug them in”. Based on where each program falls, it offers guidance for how you might proceed. Take a look, try it with a program. What if funders took off a cycle from requesting logic models and ask you to submit a McMillan Matrix for all of your programs – what would you and your board learn?
The Four Factors Are:
High or Low Mission and Expertise Fit - Is it a great fit or poor fit with your mission and abilities?
Attractiveness to Supporters - Is it easy or difficult to get funded, attract volunteers, build buzz on an
Competitive Position Within your Service Area - Are clients and supporters loyal, are you getting great outcomes, do people associate you with this work?
Alternative Providers in your Service Area - Are you the only provider of this type of program or do people have many alternatives?
Here is a link to a nice two-page summary of the tool.