The 6 Myths of Nonprofit Management

by | Nov 13, 2013


Head in the Sand GraphicRecently, Transform Consulting Group blogged about Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits. While Forces for Good focuses on these practices, the book also notes that there are also pervasive myths in the industry about what nonprofits should be doing. While these underlying organizational issues are worthy of some consideration, they don’t determine whether an organization has true effectiveness. Perpetuating these myths allows us to focus too much on process rather than on impact. These 6 myths of nonprofit management include:

Myth #1: A Nonprofit Needs Perfect Management. Although adequate management is necessary, it is not sufficient for creating significant social impact.

Myth #2: A Cause Should Have Brand-Name Awareness. For some, traditional mass marketing is a critical part of their impact strategy; for others, it’s unimportant.

Myth #3: You Need A Breakthrough New Idea. Although some groups come up with radical innovations, others take old ideas and tweak them until they achieve success.

Myth #4: Write a Textbook Mission Statement. High impact nonprofits have compelling missions, visions, and shared values, but what is most important is whether the organization is busy living it.

Myth #5: Achieve High Ratings on Conventional “Vanity” Metrics. Many high impact groups don’t score well on traditional “vanity metrics” such as number programs on the calendar and bodies in the room, but these are misleading and not a true measure of impact.

Myth #6: Large Budgets Are Necessary to Provide the Biggest Impact. Size doesn’t correlate with impact. Some of nonprofits have made a big impact with large budgets; others have achieved similar impact with much smaller budgets.

This summary of the six practices of high-impact nonprofits is from an article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. We’ve highlighted several Transformational Organizations that are making an impact like – Summer Advantage USA, The Patachou Foundation, EcO15, and The Mind Trust.

Does your organization aspire to change the world and attack and eliminate the root causes of social ills? Transform Consulting Group understands what makes an effective organization and can offer solutions across the organization and service areas. Contact us today about how we can help expand your organization’s impact!




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