Tuesday, March 8, 2011

8 Rules to Help Nonprofit Leaders Navigate the New Economy

by Rebecca Sive, an advocacy strategist

Again, if you aren't subscribing to the Chronicle of Philanthropy www.Philanthropy.com , you really should be asking your self why. Here is a quick lists to get you thinking (and maybe buying the Feb 10 edition of the Chronicle).

Emerging from the recession and with a generation of social change agents on the verge of retirement, Ms Sive offers some new rules for creating social change, building on the classic community organizing writing of Saul Alinsky:

1) Unless you are willing and able to turn on a dime, find another job
2) Ambiguity creates opportunity
3) Consistency of message is everything
4) Thinking like an entrepreneur is the only fruitful way to proceed - take calculated risks, quickly
5) Get in on the ground floor with young and new types of donors
6) Your board members should be risk takers - By their nature, boards slow things down and try to avoid risk.
7) Staff members should be young and hungry
8) Consensus is not the optimal decision making approach for these times - There isn't always time to get everyone on board and everyone will likely not be in agreement on critical actions.

Tell us what you think, what rules you would add on our blog.


Anonymous said...

Under #7, old people can be hungry as well. Don't throw out the baby with the bath water. It's not the age, but the heart that matters.

Anonymous said...

Really? Staff members should be young? Experience is an asset, not a problem. If a person, no matter the age, enjoys what they do they'll always be hungry.

Stan Denski said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I've worked with enough young, hungry, entrepreneurial risk takers to know that they can run an organization off the cliff just as effectively and quickly as they can grow an organization. I agree that boards can at times slow things down too much. But maybe Boards move slowly because they are tired of running after the young leaders who have lead them down too many dead end streets due to their impulsiveness and inexperience.

Anonymous said...

As a young professional, I just want my opinion to be heard and not thrown out automatically with a, "this is the way we've always done it" or "we tried it once and it didn't work."

Anonymous said...

There are both young and old who say things such as "We tried that once and it didn't work." Generalizing about any age group, ethnic group, gender group, etc. is closed-minded and should be avoided. A work environment where generalizations are the rule is an environment where creativity and innovation will be crushed and where people will not collaborate well. I, and most others I know, hate being "put into a box."

Patrick Woods said...

Connecting with YPs is a huge and often overlooked opportunity for nonprofits. Those with decades of experience need to focus on building leadership capacity among YPs both for the immediate impact of energy and enthusiasm, but also because current leaders won't be around forever and thus should prioritize building a sustainable leadership organization.

Great thoughts!