101 Biggest Mistakes Nonprofits Make and How You Can Avoid Them
Nonprofits are some of the scrappiest organizations you’ll ever experience. In many respects, they resemble start-ups. Think about it. Small groups (generally) of highly dedicated, focused believers coming together to achieve something greater than they could ever achieve on their own. They’re often cash-strapped, moving faster than their infrastructures can keep up with, and frequently learning and adapting as quickly as they can. The majority of nonprofit staff are able to do so much good with so few resources. The general public has come to expect nonprofits to behave this way. But one thing I’ve noticed is that unlike the corporate sector, there is little in the way of generally accepted “best practices” across the nonprofit sector. This results in organizations that serially make mistakes — often resulting in detrimental impacts to their staff, their donors, their revenue, and ultimately to the achievement of their mission.
In 101 Biggest Mistakes Nonprofits Make and How You Can Avoid Them, you’ll hear directly from industry veterans who have over 300 years of combined experience inside nonprofit organizations and leading consulting firms serving nonprofits. They are experts in strategic planning, government relations, leadership, finance and administration, program development, marketing, and philanthropy.
Contrary to what the title might suggest, this book is NOT an admonishment of the nonprofit sector and those who make their career within it. Far from it. I know that one of the least-funded areas in the nonprofit sector is staff training and development. That is at the core of what brought me to envision this book, to assemble this group of expert contributors, and to bring this work to market. Everyone makes mistakes, whether you work in the nonprofit sector, the commercial sector, or anywhere in between. In the corporate sector there are entire industries designed to provide coaching and teaching at all levels of an organization, even customized to market niches. These industries help teach leaders how to improve and do their jobs at the highest possible levels. There are also plenty of works outlining best practices in strategy, design, staffing, leadership, management, finance, etc. Roadmaps, if you will, to help corporate executives, leaders, and individual contributors avoid costly mistakes and maximize impact for their customers and businesses. The same can’t yet be said for the nonprofit sector.
In this book I’ve compiled the 101 biggest mistakes that cost nonprofits the most, and given you expert recommendations to help you avoid making these mistakes yourself.
About the Author
Andrew provides senior-level strategic consulting for nonprofits. He and his team specialize in major gift training/coaching, direct response fundraising, development operations consulting, and strategic planning. Prior to joining Newport One, Andrew held senior-level positions at ONE HUNDRED, Russ Reid, Strategic Fundraising, and Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. Throughout his career Andrew has helped nonprofits raise more than $250 million to advance their strategic objectives.
Having consulted with over 500 nonprofits in his career, Andrew’s client experience includes work with: CARE, Best Friends Animal Society, Save the Children, The Smile Train, St. Joseph’s Indian School, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, National Republican Congressional Committee, The Salvation Army, Christian Broadcasting Network, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Home of Grace, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Miller Children’s Hospital, Christian Research Institute, University of Minnesota Medical Foundation, Gateway for Cancer Research, Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center, Chosen People Ministries, Fairview Foundation, Dayspring International, University of Tennessee Medical Center, Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation, 125 Gospel Rescue Missions, Catholic Charities, Lutheran Social Services, 75 Feeding America Food Banks, Appalachia Service Project, Goodwill Industries, Boys Town, The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and hundreds of other organizations across the US and Canada.
Andrew is co-author of Rainmaking: The Fundraiser’s Guide to Landing Big Gifts, and co-host of The Rainmaker Fundraising Podcast, available on iTunes. Andrew is also an Instructor at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business, where he teaches on annual fundraising strategies. He and his wife Deborah reside in the Midwest with their three daughters: Isabelle, Elisabeth, and Eilidh.