Author: Maree Perfrement
Earlier this week I attended the Good Foundations breakfast workshop on what makes a NFP organisation ‘well-run’. Being in the midst of grant writing and critiquing for the 2016 Perpetual Funding Round I’m regularly reminded of how important it is to be able to demonstrate that your organisation is ‘well-run’ but it is in fact essential to securing funding from all donors.
Earlier this year, Good Foundations with assistance from PwC and People for Purpose surveyed over 250 NFP leaders, employees and donors about what they thought constitutes a ‘well-run ’ NFP. The full report can be found here.
The survey found that the two keys aspects NFPs’ must focus on to be ‘well-run’ are:
1. Being crystal clear on your purpose, vision and direction
2. Having great people, with a particular focus on great leadership
Good Foundations suggests a third and we would agree:
3. Measuring and Demonstrating Impact
Interestingly participants did not rank measuring and demonstrating impact highly but it is essential. Perhaps as Good Foundations concluded, this may be due to the difficulty so many NFP organisations have in measuring outcomes and impact.
Organisations must find ways to measure impact over the short to long term. One suggestion offered to counter the difficulty was to speak to others in your sector about how they measure their impact. It sounds simple but collaboration could be the start you need to develop your own impact measuring framework.
If you don’t measure the impact of your programs against your organisation’s purpose or mission, it will be difficult to satisfy funders that your organisation is ‘well-run’; the information needed to improve your programs will not be available and your staff may well become disillusioned that their efforts are worthwhile.
It was great to connect with people like Stephen Penny from Good Foundations and Rachael McLennan from People for Purpose who make a real difference in the sector. They recognise that “it’s all about people, purpose and impact” and can assist NFP’s in their journey to be the best they can be.