Recently there has been much talk about how the donor mindset must change in order to accommodate and support the nonprofit organisation. As much as this is true, there is also a very strong need for the mindset within a nonprofit organisation to also change. When I refer to the mindset of a nonprofit organisation, I am actually referring to the collective mindset of those who make decisions at the Board and Management level and those staff who have been in the organisation for a very long time.
Times have changed and the expectations from donors and society at large has changed. The awareness level of people have risen and although they may not know much about your organisation they would have at least heard about the issues you are championing to overcome or work towards.
So what has changed? Well today, the typical dilapidated office, the sub-standard working condition or the untrained talent that is managing the issue is perhaps now more of a worrying concern to the donor than an opportunity for investment. What the typical donor is looking for these days is an organisation that is managed professionally, knows what it needs, has all the necessary tools to monitor & evaluate its performance and deliver results in a financial sustainable manner.
So what will it take for a nonprofit to step up its role in society and make a difference? It has to be a collective mindset change that can change the organisational mentality. Some nonprofit organisations have made the difference and taken a leap from their past practises to a more progressive and aligned mentality that is aligned to the present times - thus benefiting from the shift. These organisation now have top talent on board which is bringing in more revenue, raising their profile and setting the kind of strategies that geared towards policy and advocacy change at a national level.
Of course, every new leap of change has it new challenges, but isn't that what all nonprofits organisations are supposed to do. Move forward?