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The topics discussed here grow out of the bread-and-butter issues that confront my consulting and software clients on a daily basis. We'll talk about prosaic stuff like Membership Management, Meetings and Events Management and Fundraising, broader ideas like security and software project management, and the social, cultural, and organizational issues that impact IT decision-making.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Increasing operational efficiency

Just something else I came across cleaning up my desk - consulting giant Accenture released a report the other day on non-profit management. The study, Executive Issues in NonProfits, found that while most non-profit executives identify increasing revenue as their greatest challenge, they fail to realize the importance of increasing operational efficiency - that is, in stretching the value of their revenue.

The studies recommends :
...improving internal efficiencies, investing in better technologies, implementing relevant metrics, and cultivating a broader and more engaged volunteeer network.
Yet they found these improvements were relatively far down on the non-profit executives top-ten issues lists, when compared to simply increasing the number of donors and getting larger gifts from existing donors.

The study specifically recommends the following actions -
  1. Make better use of technology.
  2. Overcome inherent limitations in headcount by more effectively organizing and managing volunteers as an extension of paid staff.
  3. Explore and adopt new collaborative business models with complementary organizations.
  4. Convince corporate and private-sector donors to fund general operations instead of “signature” or “vanity” programs.
  5. Adopt appropriate metrics that enable organizations to evaluate the success and impact of their delivery of services and programs.
  6. Engage board members to ensure quality governance structures.

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