This year, the nonprofit Bridgespan Group is collaborating with The Chronicle of Philanthropy to start a new report offering guidance to nonprofit leaders to identify the best nonprofit management tools. http://philanthropy.com/article/The-Top-25-Nonprofit/149177/
One of the most important takeaways from this report is the importance of knowing your environment. Most people working in the nonprofit world know that understanding the environment we work within is crucial for effectiveness and success. This report gives the kind of detailed insight on understanding, and working with an organization’s surroundings that we can all learn from
The report emphasizes 6 key elements for better understanding your environment:
1. Constituent engagement – gathering input and involving individuals or families on a deeper level
2. Funding models – identifying the best strategy for cultivating reliable revenue bases
3. Benchmarking – looking to your nonprofit peers for best practices, new ideas, how-to, and how-not-to
4. Market mapping and landscape analysis – identifying all the parts in your organization’s equation, and classifying them based on relevant qualifiers
5. Beneficiary and donor segmentation – distinguishing between individuals based on their needs, interests, or other key characteristics
6. Big data analytics – Analyzing large data sets to identify useful insights
Why is understanding our nonprofit environment so important?
If individuals working in the nonprofit world, especially in nonprofit management, have an intricate understanding of the demographics, governmental influences, giving climate, competition, messaging and communication analytics, and overall context in which their activities and processes take place – they will become more effective at what they do. That is the bottom line, and improvement is something we can all strive for.